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Amy Adams to star in Ron Howard’s Hillbilly Elegy

Updated 06-04-19 | 08:21 AM |Staff Reporter

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Amy Adams will star in Ron Howard’s Netflix drama, Hillbilly Elegy.

Howard’s Imagine Entertainment is producing the film, which is based on J.D. Vance’s bestselling memoir, which looks at what it was like growing up in America’s Rust Belt, examining the white underclass and race in society, as well as drug addiction and other economic challenges.

It follows three generations of an Appalachian family as told by its youngest member, a Yale Law student forced to return to his hometown.

The Shape of Water co-writer Vanessa Taylor is penning the script. Howard, meanwhile, will direct the film and also produce alongside Brian Grazer, Karent Lunder and EP Julie Oh.

Now, they’ve got an equally big name to be on screen, with six-time Oscar nominee Adams joining the project. The casting marks the first streaming project for both Adams and Howard, as Netflix continues to win over big talent for its growing movie arm.

Netflix nabs Ron Howard’s Hillbilly Elegy for $45M

26th January 2019

Netflix has splashed a not inconsiderable $45 million on its latest original film – an adaptation of Hillbilly Elegy by none other than Ron Howard.

The streaming giant is currently establishing itself as a major player in the movie industry, not only leading the Oscars race this year with 15 Academy Award nominations (including 10 for Roma, tied with The Favourite) but also becoming a member of the MPAA to boot. Now, it’s reminding other studios just how happy it is to splash cash, winning an auction held by CAA for Howard’s movie.

Howard’s Imagine Entertainment is producing the film, which is based on J.D. Vance’s bestselling memoir, which looks at what it was like growing up in America’s Rust Belt, examining the white underclass and race in society, as well as drug addiction and other economic challenges.

Imagine acquired the back rights back in 2017 in a similarly competitive bidding war, with The Shape of Water co-writer Vanessa Taylor already on board to pen the script. Howard, meanwhile, will direct the film and also produce alongside Brian Grazer, Karent Lunder and EP Julie Oh.

Netflix is fully financing the project, including production, fees and other costs, with Deadline also reporting that there is a theatrical component too, to release the movie in cinemas.

There is no confirmation yet on the cast for the film, but with all that talent the full clout of Netflix’s wallet behind it, Hillbilly Elegy cements the streaming giant’s powerful position in a market where funding for mid-budget, independent projects has become scarce.

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