Ron Howard’s film adaptation of J.D. Vance’s memoir Hillbilly Elegy just added another star to its cast. Glenn Close (who, by the way, is only missing the “G” in her EGOT) has signed on to play Mamaw, the sharp-as-a-tack matriarch who raised her grandson J.D. She joins Golden Globe winner Amy Adams, previously announced as J.D.’s mother in the Netflix movie.
Hillbilly Elegy is an examination of Appalachian culture through the story of one family, as explained in Netflix’s synopsis of the film:
J.D. Vance, a former Marine from southern Ohio and current Yale Law student, is on the verge of landing his dream job when a family crisis forces him to return to the home he’s tried to forget. J.D. must navigate the complex dynamics of his Appalachian family, including his volatile relationship with his mother Bev (Amy Adams), who’s struggling with addiction. Fueled by memories of his grandmother Mamaw (Glenn Close), the resilient and whip-smart woman who raised him, J.D. comes to realize that to achieve his dreams, he must embrace his roots. Based on J.D. Vance’s #1 New York Times Bestseller and directed by Academy Award winner Ron Howard, HILLBILLY ELEGY is a powerful personal memoir that deconstructs stereotypes. By following three colorful generations through their unique struggles, J.D.’s family story explores the highs and lows that define hillbilly culture.
Vanessa Taylor, who garnered an Oscar nomination for writing The Shape of Water, is penning the screenplay. Vance himself has signed on as an executive producer alongside Julie Oh. Beyond directing, Howard is producing with Brian Grazer and Karen Lunder for Imagine Entertainment. While the project still hasn’t found its J.D., its Academy Award-winning director and impressive cast members thus far prove a promising start.