Ron Howard says he will boycott Georgia if the "heartbeat bill" goes into effect. Howard will film "Hillbilly Elegy" here, but he will make a donation toward the fight against a restrictive abortion bill. The movie begins filming next month with Glenn Close. Actress Amy Adams was one of the first to sign on for the movie. Gabriel Basso was recently signed to play the lead in the movie.

Ron Howard seen in Middletown scouting possible filming locations for ‘Hillbilly Elegy’ movie

They may have gotten their wish.

MORE: ‘Hillbilly Elegy’ movie gains momentum and Middletown seeks to take advantage

While plenty of events are happening downtown and in neighborhoods Saturday afternoon, Howard was standing with a crew in the middle of a tree-lined Middletown street looking at houses. A private bus used for transportation was parked a few blocks away.

Ron Howard (center in hat and green shirt) and crew were Middletown Saturday scouting locations to film “Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis” that was written by J.D. Vance about growing up in Middletown and in Jackson, Ky. The memoir was a best-seller released in 2016. SUBMITTED
Photo: Staff Writer

A Middletown police sergeant kept onlookers at a distance, but plenty of residents were snapping photos.

MORE: ‘Hillbilly Elegy’ movie: We now know who will play J.D. Vance

Howard is directing the film adaptation of “Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis” that was written by J.D. Vance about growing up in Middletown and in Jackson, Ky. The memoir was a bestseller released in 2016.

The Middletown Visitors Bureau sent the Academy Award-winning director a video touting Middletown.

Howard has visited Middletown in the past few months as part of his preparations to direct and produce the $45 million Netflix movie. In March, Howard stopped by Triple Moon and donned a hat and posed for photos with employees.

Thank you for reading the Dayton Daily News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Dayton Daily News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.