×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

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

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.

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.

More Film

  • Akira

    Taika Waititi's 'Akira' to Face Off Against 'John Wick 4' in 2021

    Warner Bros. has dated its live-action “Akira” movie, directed by Taika Waititi and produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, for May 21, 2021, when it will face off against “John Wick 4.” The studio announced the date on Friday, two days after pushing the release of “DC Super Pets” back a year, avoiding opening against “John Wick [...]

  • Sylvester Stallone

    Cannes: Sylvester Stallone Says 'Rambo' Wasn't 'Meant to Be a Political Statement'

    The final day of Cannes was devoted to honoring Sylvester Stallone, who conducted a masterclass on the Croisette, where he looked back at his 43-year career and discussed how he never intended “Rambo” to get so political. Thousands queued outside the Salle Debussy to sit down with the star and gave him a raucous standing [...]

  • Women in Animation, Les Femmes s’Animent

    Women in Animation, Les Femmes s’Animent Announce World Summit Lineup

      CANNES–Women in Animation (WIA) and Les Femmes s’Animent (LFA) have announced the program lineup and initial list of speakers for the third Women in Animation World Summit, which will take place June 10 in conjunction with the Annecy Intl. Animation Festival and Mifa. The summit will feature a day-long symposium of panels and discussions [...]

  • Chloe Sevigny Podcast

    Chloë Sevigny on That Time Bill Murray Took Her for a Joyride in a Cop Car

    If there’s one thing Bill Murray’s co-stars can depend on, it’s that the comedic actor will give them a good time. Just ask Chloë Sevigny and Adam Driver, who play fellow police officers opposite Murray in Jim Jarmusch’s zombie comedy “The Dead Don’t Die.” “He brought us on a joyride in a cop car,” Sevigny [...]

  • 'Sonic the Hedgehog' Pushed Back Due

    'Sonic the Hedgehog' Movie Pushed Back to 2020 Due to Character Design Changes

    Paramount Pictures is pushing its “Sonic the Hedgehog” movie back three months, from Nov. 8 to Valentine’s Day. The delay follows fan criticism over the appearance and design of the titular blue hedgehog — particularly his teeth and lean legs. Director Jeff Fowler tweeted that it was “taking a little more time to make Sonic [...]

  • Aladdin

    Box Office: 'Aladdin' Flies to $7 Million on Thursday Night

    Disney’s live-action “Aladdin” flew to $7 million during Thursday night previews in North America. That’s well above the $5.7 million that “Pokemon Detective Pikachu” earned two weeks ago on its way to a $54 million three-day opening. Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” took in $5.5 million in previews on the [...]

  • Cannes The Square Winner

    SF Studios Acquires Nordic Rights to Ruben Östlund’s 'Triangle of Sadness'

    SF Studios has acquired the Nordic distribution rights to Ruben Östlund’s “Triangle of Sadness,” the Swedish filmmaker’s follow up to the Palme d’Or winning “The Swquare.” A contemporary satire taking place in the world of fashion, “Triangle of Sadness” is set on a luxury yacht and ends up on a deserted island where hierarchies are [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content