Report: Ron Howard movie version of Middletown-inspired ‘Hillbilly Elegy’ goes to Netflix, which will spend $45M

Netflix has won a bidding war for the rights to Ron Howard's film version of "Hillbilly Elegy," the book written by Middletown native J.D. Vance about his upbringing, and will spend $45 million on the film, according to a report from Deadline.

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Howard is directing and producing with his Imagine Entertainment partner Brian Grazer and the company’s Karen Lunder. Reports indicate shooting of the movie with begin later this year, but no cast has been set.

Vance’s memoir (“Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis”) was a New York Times bestseller for 74 weeks. In the book, Vance writes about growing up in Middletown.

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Supported by his grandmother, Vance developed a deep appreciation for education that laid the foundation for him to rise out of poverty and its cultural restraints.

Howard and Vance were seen in Middletown last year apparently looking for possible places to shoot scenes.

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