Ron Howard to direct and produce Hillbilly Elegy

Ron Howard to direct and produce Hillbilly Elegy

Ron Howard is set to direct and produce 'Hillbilly Elegy'.

The 63-year-old actor and filmmaker will step behind the camera to both direct and produce the upcoming contemporary economic drama, which is based on the 2016 bestselling memoir of the same name by author J.D. Vance.

The book tells the tale of Vance - who was born in Kentucky - growing up in the Rust Belt, which is an area of the United States from the Great Lakes to the upper Midwest where deindustrialisation has caused economic decline, population loss, and urban decay.

According to Variety magazine, 'Hillbilly Elegy' documents "the everyday struggles of America's white working class as they navigate through drug addiction, and social and economic challenges."

Thanks to his grandmother, Vance learned to appreciate his education which eventually helped him rise out of poverty.

Imagine Entertainment secured the rights to the book following a bidding war, and will send in the company's president Erica Huggins and chairman Brian Grazer to produce alongside Howard.

Huggins said of the project in a statement: "'Hillbilly Elegy' is a powerful, true coming-of-age memoir by J.D. Vance. Through the lens of a colourful, chaotic family, and with remarkable compassion and self-awareness, J.D. 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."

No writer has yet been confirmed to adapt the book into a screenplay, and as of the time of writing no casting announcements have been made.

There is also currently no expected release date for the feature.

Most recently, Ron Howard's directing was showcased in the documentary movie 'The Beatles: Eight Days a Week', and in the mystery thriller 'Inferno', which starred Tom Hanks.

Howard previously won an Oscar for Best Director for 2001's 'A Beautiful Mind'.

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