Ron Howard to direct Rust Belt-inspired Hillbilly Elegy drama for Imagine

Last Updated on August 2, 2021

It's been announced today that legendary filmmaker Ron Howard (SPLASH, APPOLO 13, A BEAUTIFUL MIND) will direct and produce a present-day economic drama based on the best-selling memoir by J.D. Vance entitled HILLBILLY ELEGY for Imagine Entertainment. Co-producing alongside Howard is Imagine Entertainment chairman Brian Grazer and the company's president, Erica Huggins. Additionally, Julie Oh will oversee the film as a representative of Imagine.

Vance's book tells of the trials and tribulations in relation to his growing up as a part of America's white working class while living in the nation's Rust Belt (a term for the region of the United States from the Great Lakes to the upper Midwest ). Focusing in on the struggles of drug addiction, as well as the region's social and economical challenges. In the memoir, Vance recalls his days of being raised by his grandmother, and the journey of seeking a better education to help overcome the burdens of poverty and cultural restraint. 

In speaking about the book, Erica Huggins stated, "‘Hillbilly Elegy’ is a powerful, true coming-of-age memoir by JD Vance. Through the lens of a colorful, chaotic family, and with remarkable compassion and self-awareness, JD has been able to look back on his own upbringing as a ‘hillbilly’ to illuminate the plight of America’s white working class, speaking directly to the turmoil of our current political climate.”

As of the moment, HILLBILLY ELEGY has yet to find a writer, though the project is moving steadily along despite this essential piece to the puzzle. While I admit that I have little to no interest in this film, I'm sure that there are plenty out there who will. Howard has proven himself time again throughout the years to be a remarkable filmmaker, and there's no telling what manner of magic he'll be able to work over on Vance's tale of work-related woe. 

While you're waiting for more details concerning this film, why not check out Howard's latest documentary THE BEATLES: EIGHT DAYS A WEEK – THE TOURING YEARS, which was released on September 16, 2016

Source: Variety

About the Author

Born and raised in New York, then immigrated to Canada, Steve Seigh has been a editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. He started with Ink & Pixel, a column celebrating the magic and evolution of animation, before launching the companion YouTube series Animation Movies Revisited. He's also the host of the Talking Comics Podcast, a personality-driven audio show focusing on comic books, film, music, and more. You'll rarely catch him without headphones on his head and pancakes on his breath.