Ron Howard adapting memoir Hillbilly Elegy

The film will take on J.D. Vance's account of growing up surrounded by 'hillbilly culture' in America's Rust Belt

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The Independent Culture

It has been announced that Ron Howard will be directing and producing a film adaptation of J.D. Vance’s 2016 memoir, Hillbilly Elegy.

The coming-of-age story follows Vance’s struggles growing up surrounded by ‘hillbilly culture’ in the Rust Belt of the American Midwest. The book is a two-time bestseller, topping The New York Times list both in August 2016 and January 2017.

Howard will be working in collaboration with fellow Imagine Entertainment partners, co-founder Brian Grazer and president Erica Huggins, though a writer has not yet been decided, Variety reported.

“Hillbilly Elegy is a powerful, true coming-of-age memoir by JD Vance,” Huggins said of the story. “Through the lens of a colourful, 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.”

Ron Howard originally rose to fame in the 70s for his role as Richie Cunningham in US sitcom Happy Days, after which he turned to directing. He won at the 2002 Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Director with A Beautiful Mind, which won two further Oscars that year.