Journal-News reporter Michael Clark spoke with best-selling author JD Vance prior to his commencement speech to the Middletown High School graduating class of 2017.

SPOTTED: Ron Howard looking for places to film in the Miami Valley for upcoming movie

Filmmaker Ron Howard stopped by the popular downtown business, according to Heather Gibson, owner of Triple Moon. She said Howard was in Middletown seeking potential filming sites for the upcoming movie adaptation of “Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis,” written by Middletown native J.D. Vance. Howard is set to direct and produce the movie.

MORE: J.D. Vance opens up about movie adaption of ‘Hillbilly Elegy’

On her Facebook page, Gibson wrote: “Look who stopped by the Moon today! Ron Howard and he loved the Bad Hunter! Great guy!”

The Bad Hunter is a vegetarian wrap on the menu at the Middletown coffee shop and eatery. Howard said it was a “really good” sandwich, according to Gibson.

When Howard walked in, Gibson was in the back of the restaurant and one of Triple Moon’s managers, Renae Theiss, came up to her and said: “Turn around. Turn around. Ron Howard is here.”

“What?” Gibson said.

She said after Howard finished eating, she asked him if he would pose for a few pictures.

MORE: Middletown native J.D. Vance’s book started with this simple question

After denying “a few relatively famous filmmakers,” Vance said he shifted gears and agreed to talk with a few about turning his best-selling book into a movie.

That included Howard, the director of award-winning blockbuster movies like “Backdraft,” “Apollo 13” and “A Beautiful Mind.”

“Ron was just … this incredibly kind and thoughtful guy, but he also was doing something that I was trying to do with the book, which was tell a story about a group of people who don’t get stories told about them very often and he seemed very interested about approaching the project carefully and thoughtfully and compassionately and really just revealing … what he thinks is an important story and I obviously think is an important story, too,” Vance previously said.

J.D. Vance, author of the best-selling book "Hillbilly Elegy" and Middletown native, was the speaker for the 2017 Alex & Lena Casper Memorial Lecture Thursday at Miami University Middletown.
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