Newcomer Richie Merritt Lands Title Role in ‘White Boy Rick’ Opposite Matthew McConaughey

'White Boy Rick': Richie Merritt Cast
Courtesy of Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock

After a nationwide search, Studio 8 has found its White Boy Rick.

Richie Merritt, a newcomer from Baltimore, MD, has landed the title role opposite Matthew McConaughey in the biopic about the youngest informant in FBI history. The film has also cast Jonathan Majors, Y.G., Taylour Paige, and Piper Laurie.

“We are very excited to have found Richie,” says director Yann Demange. “For the purposes of our story, it was essential that we find someone who understands the life of an inner city teenager, as well as the complicated point of view and experience of the real life Ricky Wershe Jr. As a fifteen-year old kid from inner city Baltimore, Richie brings a genuine sense of authenticity to both the role and our film.”

Bel Powley, Bruce Dern, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Rory Cochrane are also on board with “’71” director Yann Demage directing the pic. Steve Kloves is rewriting the script previously written by the Millers, Andy Weiss, and Scott Silver.

Related

Bel Powley

Bel Powley to Play Matthew McConaughey’s Drug-Addicted Daughter in ‘White Boy Rick’

Set in 1980s Detroit at the height of the crack epidemic, “White Boy Rick” recaps the true-life story of Richard Wershe Jr. who became an undercover informant at the age of 14 before becoming a major dealer until he was arrested at age 17.

McConaughey will play Wershe’s father in the pic.

The studio was looking for someone whose chemistry worked with McConaughey’s movie star status and had the Oscar winner test with dozens of actors until landing on Merritt.

The movie will now look to start shooting this spring.

Protozoa Pictures’ Darren Aronofsky and Scott Franklin along with John Lesher are producing the film for Studio 8. LBI Entertainment’s Julie Yorn. Jon Silk is overseeing for Studio 8.

This is Merrit’s first major studio role as the actor is currently without representation as well.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 9

Leave a Reply

9 Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Vanessa Clark stage name Tracy says:

    My comment was to Matt. Playing the part Rick will he or his director see the post if not please take it down

  2. Vanessa Clark stage name Tracy says:

    My comment was to Mattew Rick is who he is playing thanku

  3. Freda Stanford says:

    AND IF YOU DECIDE TO DO THE RIGHT THING AN FILM IN DETROIT I WILL PERSONALLY MYSELF SHOW YOU EACH AN EVERY LOCATION NEEDED TO FILM TELL RICK IM FREDA THE LADY WITH THE WHITE TRANSAM BACK IN THE DAY COMING OFF HARDING STREET BLOWING AN SMILING AN THE REST IS HISTORY HE KNOW I KNOW EVERYBODY FROM BACK IN THE DAY. THINK ABOUT IT AN HIT ME UP!!!

  4. Freda Stanford says:

    YOU SHOULD HAVE FILMED IT IN DETROIT. IT WOULD HAVE MADE BETTER REVIEWS BECAUSE OF THE REALNESS. PAY THE DAMN EXTRA MONEY. ITS FAKE. REAL LIFE IM PERSONALLY OFFENDED BY IT AN WONT BE GOING TO SEE IT.

  5. Amanda Krosney says:

    I am so proud of you Little Richie. Aunt Amanda & Connor love you very much!!!!!

  6. Nancy MERRITT Gibson says:

    You couldn’t have found a better match then Richard. He is cousin and we grew up together in Dundalk Maryland born in the 1950’s. He does karaoke for Veterans and neighhood restaurants in the area we call home. He started singing and playing guitar in my yard as teens. Thank you for selecting him. Matthew you our a great actor and person. Love your movies would love your autograph

  7. AllWiledUp says:

    Be interesting to see if the movie finally gets Wersche out on parole. He’s the longest serving non-violent offender in the US. Somebody up there definitely didn’t like him and pulled a lot of strings.

More Film News from Variety

Loading