Howard is directing the film adaptation of “Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis” that was written by J.D. Vance about growing up in Middletown and in Jackson, Ky. The memoir was a bestseller released in 2016.
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Over the past few months, Howard has visited Middletown several times scouting locations as part of his preparations to direct and produce the $45 million Netflix movie. During his visits to Middletown, he has become a regular of sorts at the Triple Moon Coffee Company, where he grabs a “Bad Hunter” sandwich and latte as well as donning a Triple Moon hat and posing in photos with employees.
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“Hillbilly Elegy” will feature several major film stars that include Amy Adams, Glenn Close and Gabriel Basso.
Howard is producing with Brian Grazer and Karen Lunder for Imagine Entertainment. Julie Oh and Vance are executive producers.
Imagine acquired the book at auction in 2017 and Netflix made a deal for a $45 million film in a heated bidding war earlier this year. The book was a bestseller for 74 weeks.