Last month, JD Vance added partner at Revolution Growth to his resume. This month, the New York Times bestselling author of “Hillbilly Elegy” can say his movie is being turned into a major motion picture.
As Deadline reports, Imagine Entertainment bought the film rights to Vance’s debut memoir, and Ron Howard will direct and produce the film with Imagine partner Brian Grazer. Vance’s memoir recounts his experience growing up in Middletown, Ohio and the Appalachian town of Jackson, Kentucky. His family struggled with drug addition and social and economic hardships; he was raised by his grandmother and grew to love school. Later, Vance joined the Marines and served in Iraq. Following the 2016 presidential election, his memoir has been cited by many as an explanation for Donald Trump’s improbable election victory.
Now, that book is heading to the big screen. Grazer led the efforts for the Imagine deal with the production company’s president Erica Huggins—who will also produce the film. Imagine is the production studio behind recent films like “In the Heart of the Sea,” which was also adapted from a book, and Jay-Z’s “Made in America” documentary and “Kindergarten Cop.” The exact timing for the release of the film is unclear.
Vance joined the team at Revolution in late March to head up the firm’s Rise of the Rest program. At the time of his hire, Revolution CEO and co-founder Steve Case said Vance would be splitting his time between D.C., his residence in Ohio and traveling for the Rise of the Rest bus tour. He made headlines last year when he announced he would be moving from Silicon Valley back to Ohio and adjusting his position with Peter Thiel’s VC firm.
“Through the lens of a colorful, chaotic family and with remarkable compassion and self-awareness, J.D. 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,” Higgins told Dateline.
Images courtesy of Revolution