No Release Date Yet For 'Hillbilly Elegy'
One year ago, Hollywood rolled into Middletown so director Ron Howard could film the final week of Hillbilly Elegy.
Oscar-winners Glenn Close and Amy Adams were joined by Gabriel Basso, Jesse C. Boyd, Haley Bennett, Bo Hopkins and Owen Asztalos shooting scenes on Harrison Street in the 100-year-old Park Place neighborhood.
Netflix has invested $45 million in the adaptation of the 2016 best-seller, Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, by J.D. Vance, a 2003 Middletown High School graduate who now lives in Cincinnati.
Howard, also an Academy Award winner, brought the cast and crew to Vance's hometown for the production's final four days. Filming started June 12 in Georgia, which has generous tax incentives for movie and TV companies.
The International Movie Datebase has listed the release date as November 2020 for months. Brian C. Ellerman of the-numbers.com, a Hollywood website which tracks box office receipts and film openings, says "it is supposed to be released sometime during the month of November," although he has heard nothing official from Netflix. But major Hollywood studios have pushed most premieres into 2021 because many theaters are closed due to the coronavirus.
So when will we see it?
"We currently do not have this information to share right now," says Netflix publicist Rachel Herring. "But I'll be sure to let you know as soon as it is available."
Vance's memoir has been cited by some as a guidebook for understanding Donald Trump's election in 2016. Herring did not answer my question when I asked if Netflix might premiere the movie before Trump faces re-election Nov. 3.
Netflix also has not released publicity photos shot a year ago, which could mean promotion of the premiere is a long ways off.
Little known Basso (The Whole Truth), 24, plays Vance, who grew up among poor working-class "hillbillies" in the Southwestern Ohio steel town. After high school Vance enlisted in the U.S. Marines and served in Iraq. He returned to Ohio and studied political science and philosophy at Ohio State University, and later earned his law degree from Yale in 2013.