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‘Hillbilly Elegy’ movie: We now know who will play the J.D. Vance role

Published: Monday, April 15, 2019 @ 1:20 PM


            BEVERLY HILLS, CA - SEPTEMBER 26: Actor Gabriel Basso attends the 12th Annual Teen Vogue Young Hollywood Party with Emporio Armani on September 26, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Teen Vogue)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - SEPTEMBER 26: Actor Gabriel Basso attends the 12th Annual Teen Vogue Young Hollywood Party with Emporio Armani on September 26, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Teen Vogue)

The latest actor to sign on for the movie version of “Hillbilly Elegy” is Gabriel Basso, who will star in the lead role inspired by Middletonian J.D. Vance.

Deadline.com reported Friday that Basso will be joining Amy Adams and Glenn Close in the Netflix film that is being directed by Academy Award-winning director Ron Howard. The film is an adaptation of Vance’s best selling memoir, “Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis.”

MORE: The Middletown community is asking Ron Howard to #MakeitinMiddletownRon

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According to Deadline, Basso will play the role based on Vance, whose memoir is about the Appalachian values of his Kentucky family and their relation to the social problems of his hometown of Middletown, where his mother’s parents moved when they were young.

Basso has acted in nearly two dozen movie and television series including “The Kings of the Summer” in 2013, “Super 8” in 2011 and “The Whole Truth,” in 2016, according to IMDb.com.

MORE: Ron Howard spotted in Middletown again at popular coffee shop

MORE: Report: Glenn Close to play J.D. Vance’s grandmother in ‘Hillbilly Elegy’ movie

Howard is producing with Brian Grazer and Karen Lunder for Imagine Entertainment. Julie Oh and Vance are executive producers.

MORE: Report: Amy Adams signed to star in upcoming ‘Hillbilly Elegy’ movie

Over the past several months, Howard has been seen around Middletown and has been a regular of sorts at the Triple Moon Coffee Company for coffee and vegetarian sandwiches.

The downtown Middletown business community has been making local videos and posting them to You Tube and Facebook to encourage Howard to film in the city.

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.