The film stars newcomer Richie Merritt as Ricky Wershe Jr.and Matthew McConaughey as Ricky’s father, Richard Wershe Sr. Merritt was discovered in Baltimore during an extensive nationwide talent search.
Previously announced cast features Jennifer Jason Leigh and Rory Cochrane as the FBI agents who begin working with Wershe as a confidential informant; Brian Tyree Henry as a narcotics detective Officer Jackson; Bruce Dern and Piper Laurie as Wershe’s grandparents and Bel Powley as sister.
Cyler will portray Rudell Curry, one of the drug dealers. He previously starred in “Me and Earl and The Dying Girl” as Earl and joined the “Power Rangers” cast in 2015. Kyanna Simone Simpson (“Fist Fight”) has also joined the cast.
Set in 1980s Detroit at the height of the crack epidemic, “White Boy Rick” recaps the true-life story of Wershe, who became an undercover informant at the age of 14 before becoming a major dealer — until he was arrested at age 17.
“White Boy Rick” is directed by Yann Demange from an original screenplay by Logan & Noah Miller with revisions by writers Andy Weiss, Scott Silver, and Steve Kloves. The film is being produced by John Lesher, Julie Yorn, Darren Aronofsky and Scott Franklin. Executive producers are Georgia Kacandes, Ari Handel, Matthew Krul, Christopher Mallick, Michael J. Weiss, Logan Miller and Noah Miller.
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Demange made his directorial film debut in 2014 with the drama “’71” starring Jack O’Connell, which followed a young British soldier who is accidentally abandoned by his unit following a riot on the streets of Belfast in 1971. Demange won the British Independent Film Award for Best Director.
“White Boy Rick” will film primarily on location in Cleveland through early June with a couple of days in Detroit and Las Vegas. The film is scheduled for release through Sony Pictures on Jan. 12, 2018.