Vanessa Taylor (The Shape Of Water) has adapted the screenplay based on the acclaimed novel by J.D. Vance. Howard is producing with Brian Grazer and Karen Lunder for Imagine Entertainment. Julie Oh and J.D. Vance are executive producers.
As we revealed earlier this year, Netflix stumped up around $45M for the project in a heated bidding war.
Imagine won the book rights back in 2017. Vance’s memoir (Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, to give it its full title), a bestseller for 74 weeks, is an account of growing up in the Rust Belt and a personal analysis of the white underclass, race and privilege in America. Vance, raised poor among working-class “hillbillies,” explores his childhood and family struggles as they navigate drug addiction, and social and economic challenges. Supported by his larger-than-life grandmother, he developed a deep appreciation for education that laid the foundation for him to rise out of poverty and its cultural restraints.
The project reunites Close with Howard who previously directed her in 1994 pic The Paper as well in a PSA for Bring Change To Mind, Close’s nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging dialogue about mental health.
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