Ron Howard to direct adaptation of 'Hillbilly Elegy'

Vanity Fair Oscar Party at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, California. (Charlie Steffens/

Ron Howard has signed on to direct an adaptation of J.D. Vance's debut memoir "Hillbilly Elegy."

Howard acquired the rights to the book under his Imagine Entertainment banner and will also produce the project alongside partner Brian Grazer.

In the memoir, Vance chronicles his struggles growing up in poverty in Middletown, Ohio and Jackson, Kentucky. He details his family's experiences with drug addiction and being raised by his grandmother. He went on to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps, serve in Iraq, attend Ohio State University and Yale Law School, and become a venture capitalist.

The book is credited for exposing the struggles of poor, white people who rallied behind U.S. President Donald Trump in last year's election.

“Hillbilly Elegy is a powerful, true coming-of-age memoir by JD Vance,” Imagine’s president Erica Huggins says. “Through the lens of a colorful, 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.”

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