White Boy Rick
|White Boy Rick|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Yann Demange|
|Based on||Richard Wershe Jr.|
|Music by||Max Richter|
|Edited by||Chris Wyatt|
|Distributed by||Sony Pictures Releasing|
|Box office||$24 million|
White Boy Rick is a 2018 American biographical crime drama film directed by Yann Demange and written by Andy Weiss, and Logan and Noah Miller. Based on a true story, the film stars Richie Merritt as Richard Wershe Jr., who in the 1980s became the youngest FBI informant ever at the age of 14. Matthew McConaughey, Bel Powley, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Brian Tyree Henry, Rory Cochrane, RJ Cyler, Jonathan Majors, Eddie Marsan, Bruce Dern, and Piper Laurie also star.
The film premiered at the Telluride Film Festival on August 31, 2018 and was released in the United States on September 14, 2018, by Sony Pictures Releasing. It received mixed reviews from critics and has grossed over $24 million.
"Set in 1980s Detroit at the height of the crack epidemic and the War on Drugs, WHITE BOY RICK is based on the moving true story of a blue-collar father and his teenage son, Rick Wershe Jr., who became an undercover police informant and later a drug dealer, before he was abandoned by his handlers and sentenced to life in prison."
- Matthew McConaughey as Richard Wershe Sr.
- Richie Merritt as Richard "Rick" Wershe Jr. / "White Boy Rick"
- Bel Powley as Dawn Wershe
- Jennifer Jason Leigh as FBI Agent Alex Snyder
- Brian Tyree Henry as Officer Mel “Roach” Jackson
- Rory Cochrane as FBI Agent Frank Byrd
- RJ Cyler as Rudell "Boo" Curry
- Jonathan Majors as Johnny "Lil Man" Curry
- Eddie Marsan as Art Derrick
- Bruce Dern as Ray "Roman" Wershe
- Piper Laurie as Vera Wershe
- YG as Leo "Big Man" Curry
- Taylour Paige as Cathy Volsan
- Danny Brown as "Black Ed"
- IshDARR as "Freaky Steve" Roussell
- Kyanna Simone Simpson as Brenda Moore
- Kwon Haynes as "Nug"
In February 2015, Studio 8 acquired a spec script by Logan Miller and Noah Miller, titled White Boy Rick. The script was produced independently of "Trials of White Boy Rick" writer Evan Hughes, who has stated on Twitter that "The film used my work without pay nor credit."
In November 2016, Matthew McConaughey joined the cast of the film, with Yann Demange directing the film, Darren Aronofsky, Scott Franklin and John Lesher produced the film under their Protozoa Pictures and LBI Entertainment banners, respectively. In January 2017, Bruce Dern and Jennifer Jason Leigh joined the cast of the film. In February 2017, Bel Powley and Brian Tyree Henry joined the cast of the film. In March 2017, Richie Merritt, Jonathan Majors, YG, Taylour Paige, Piper Laurie and RJ Cyler joined the cast of the film.
Principal photography began on March 14, 2017.[not in citation given] Following audience testing, in which the film scored quite high—in the 90s—director Yann Demange was given the go-ahead to shoot extra scenes.
The film was originally scheduled to be released on January 12, 2018, but was pushed back two weeks from its original release date of January 12, 2018, to January 26, 2018, but was pushed back again from January 26, 2018, to August 17, 2018, after successful test screenings. In April 2018 it was pushed back again from August 17, 2018, to September 14, 2018. It had its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival on August 31, 2018. It was also screened at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 7, 2018.
In the United States and Canada, White Boy Rick was released alongside The Predator, A Simple Favor and Unbroken: Path to Redemption, and was projected to gross $5–9 million from 2,504 theaters in its opening weekend. It ended up debuting to $8.8 million, finishing fourth behind The Predator, The Nun and A Simple Favor. It dropped 43% in its second weekend to $5 million, finishing sixth.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 58% based on 115 reviews, with an average rating of 6.1/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Solid work from the cast - particularly a scene-stealing Matthew McConaughey - helps White Boy Rick make up for a number of missed opportunities in the script." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 59 out of 100, based on 34 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale, while PostTrak reported filmgoers gave it a 64% positive score and a 44% "definite recommend".
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