Slumdog Millionaire's Freida Pinto Joins Hillbilly Elegy

Slumdog Millionaire’s Freida Pinto Joins Hillbilly Elegy

Variety has brought word that Netflix and Ron Howard’s upcoming adaptation of the J.D. Vance memoir Hillbilly Elegy have rounded out its cast with the additions of Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire), Bo Hopkins (Murder, She Wrote), and Owen Asztalos (Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul).

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Based on J.D. Vance’s memoir, the story centers on growing up in the Rust Belt and is a personal analysis of the white underclass, race, and privilege in America. Vance, raised poor among working-class “hillbillies,” explores his childhood and family struggles as they navigate drug addiction and social and economic challenges. Supported by his larger-than-life grandmother, he developed a deep appreciation for education that laid the foundation for him to rise out of poverty and its cultural restraints.

The trio join an already star-studded cast that includes Amy Adams (Sharp Objects), Glenn Close (The Wife), Gabriel Basso (The Kings of Summer) and Haley Bennett (The Girl on the Train).

The movie adaptation has become a passion project for Howard, who will direct. Vanessa Taylor (The Shape of WaterGame of Thrones) will pen the screenplay. Howard will also produce alongside his Imagine Entertainment partner Brian Grazer and Karen Lunder. Julie Oh will serve as executive producer.

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Hillbilly Elegy will likely begin production later this year. Howard is currently wrapping up production on the documentary Pavarotti, which takes a look at the life and work of opera legend Luciano Pavarotti. Close was last seen in The Wife, which earned her her seventh Academy Award nomination, though she lost to Olivia Colman in The Favourite. Read the book before the film by buying it on Amazon.

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(Photo Credit: Backgrid Images)


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