The White Boy Rick movie will finally be in theatres this summer, pushing back from its original January 2018 release date. Starring Oscar-winner Matthew McConaughey and newcomer Richie Merritt, the big-budget Hollywood film depicts the trials and tribulations of Richard (White Boy Rick) Wershe, the former teenage drug dealer and FBI mole from Detroit who has been behind bars going on 30 years for a single cocaine possession arrest he took when he was 17 in the spring of 1987.
Principal photography on the film wrapped last summer. First slated for a January 26, 2018 debut, the movie will now hit the big screen on August 17. Merritt plays Wershe, McConaughey portrays his dad, a one-time fellow FBI informant.
The FBI recruited Wershe fresh out of junior high school when he was just 14 to work in an undercover capacity for a federal narcotics task force. He was employed by the task force for two years, leaving to go off on his own in the drug world at 16.
While on the government payroll, he was mentored in the rough-and-rugged, mostly African-American Motor City dope game by eastside crime lords Johnny Curry, Art Derrick and Demetrius Holloway. Curry went down in March 1987 and has been out of prison since 2000. Derrick did a short prison stint in the 1990s and died of a drug overdose in 2006. Holloway was killed gangland style in 1990, the high-priority target of a wide-reaching federal criminal investigation.
Wershe, 48, was finally paroled from the Michigan Department of Corrections in July after 29 years behind bars. He’s currently incarcerated in Florida on a car theft conspiracy case he took in a federal witness protection unit in 2005, but could be free in less than two years. His movie was helmed by European director Yann Demange (’71) and produced by Darren Aronofsky, Scott Franklin, Jon Lesher and Jon Silk, all of whom have been nominated for Academy Awards in the past.