Yann Demange took everyone by surprise with his breakout film ’71, a powerful and gripping thriller that really put the director on the map. Surprisingly, he hasn’t done anything since then, but he’s now looking to change that with White Boy Rick.
For those unfamiliar with the project, it’ll tell the story of Richard Wershe Jr., who “in the mid-1980s at the age of only 14 became an undercover informant for local and federal law enforcement agencies, and then established himself as a major drug dealer. The dual life he led eventually put him into the cross-hairs of the feds when he was found with 17 pounds of cocaine (at only 17 years of age). He was put in jail for life, but ethical questions remain as how much the feds were involved in putting him deeper into his life of drugs.”
It sounds like a fascinating story, and Deadline is reporting tonight that Demange is putting together quite the cast as he’s just brought Matthew McConaughey on board to play Wershe’s father. No word yet on who will portray the titular character, but now that the Dallas Buyers Club star is in talks for a role, expect this one to come together quickly.
Despite some steps in the wrong direction with films like Free State of Jones and The Sea of Trees, it seems that the McConnaissance is still very much upon us, as White Boy Rick sounds like another promising project for the actor to add to his already very busy slate. In the immediate future, we’ve got Gold, Sing and The Dark Tower to look forward to in terms of McConaughey’s upcoming movies, and they all look to be big hits for him.
It’s still early days on White Boy Rick, but the film seems like it’d suit Demange well and has a pretty interesting and controversial story at the center of it. With an actor like McConaughey now involved, we’d be surprised if this one didn’t turn out to be something special, perhaps even emerging as an awards contender. Of course, it’s obviously still far too early to make that call, but the pieces are certainly coming together nicely for White Boy Rick.