New documentary to bring 'White Boy' Rick Wershe's story to the big screen

Matthew McConaughey stars as Wershe's father

DETROIT – A new documentary featuring Richard Wershe Jr.'s story is slated to hit the big screen this year.

The movie dives into the life of Wershe, who became known as "White Boy" Rick on the streets. Wershe was a secret paid informant for police at 14. He started selling drugs at 16 and was arrested a year later. He was sentenced to life and went on to sit in prison, unable to win parole, for 29 years.

READ MORE: The story of White Boy Rick

He helped bust dirty cops and drug dealers, including Johnnie Curry, who says in the documentary that he sold far more drugs than Wershe, yet he served only half of the time that Wershe did.

Richard Wershe said he's looking for a new life outside of prison after serving nearly 30 years behind bars.
Richard Wershe said he's looking for a new life outside of prison after serving nearly 30 years behind bars.

"Rick was nowhere near me. From a scale of 1-10, I’m a 10. I’d say he is about a two. Rick couldn’t touch me with a 10-foot pole," Curry said. "They was making him way bigger than he was and I would say, 'Where are they getting this stuff?'"

Wershe's role made him an enemy of other drug gangs, including convicted hitman Nate Boone Craft, who says he was hired to kill Wershe, but his gun jammed.

“I was told to kill White Boy Rick. I said, ‘$125,000.’ ‘I’ll make sure you get it as long as you make sure that boy is dead; we can’t have the boy talking,'" he said.

The movie stars Matthew McConaughey as Wershe's father. McConauhey talked with Wershe for hours at the Oaks Correctional Facility where he was housed in northern Michigan.

Related: Matthew McConaughey spends 5 hours in Michigan prison talking with 'White Boy' Rick

“It was awesome. He is real down to earth. I love him, nice guy. I think he will do a great part playing my father. He is real passionate about the project; he sees the injustice in it,” Wershe said.

The film's first scenes were filmed in Detroit and include McConaughey attending the grand opening of the People Mover.

I-Tunes is releasing the film by Shawn Rech. Its premiere is scheduled for September.

Where Wershe is now

Wershe was granted parole in July of last year. He was released from the Michigan prison in August, but immediately headed to Florida to serve time for a car theft ring he was involved in while locked up.

While he was in a Michigan prison 11 years ago, Wershe introduced his sister, Dawn, to a car salesman. It turned into a stolen car ring, and Wershe pleaded guilty to protect his sister and mother from criminal charges.

Richard Wershe Jr.'s 2017 mugshot in Florida.
Richard Wershe Jr.'s 2017 mugshot in Florida.

"They said, 'Listen, this is what we're going to do. If you don't take this plea, we are going to arrest your mom and your sister,'" Wershe said. "It was a forced plea. I don't agree I committed the crime that I was convicted of."

Wershe is scheduled to be released in March of 2021, but he hopes attention from the documentary will help him get an early release.

About the Authors: