Rob Morgan as Producer, starring in Appalachian crime picture “Dixie Crystal” – Deadline

EXCLUSIVE: Rob Morgan (to smile) will produce and play the lead role in the crime thriller Dixie Crystalbased on the real-life FBI operation of the same name by filmmaker brothers Conor and Jake Allyn (no mans land).

From Riverside Entertainment and Stride Management, the film centers on FBI Special Agent Jim Anderson (Morgan) who faces an overwhelming task to liberate methamphetamine from Harlan, Kentucky – a sprawling mountain ghetto overseen by only a handful of lawyers. As the picture progresses, Jim finds himself confronting a former coal union boss turned drug lord. With a different skin color and a badge that means little, he recruits local police officer, Harlan native and recovering addict Cam (Jake Allyn) to help him out. They launch an investigation into locally made meth, or “Dixie Crystal,” and the locals behind it. But the deeper the investigation goes, the more Jim realizes that the drugs he hunts and the miners who cook them are the only things that keep this community alive. Meth is the new coal in this county.

Dixie Crystal was developed and packaged by Stride Management, representing both Morgan and Jake Allyn. Conor Allyn will direct from Jake Allyn’s script. Morgan Will Produce With The Allyn Brothers Margate House Films (no mans land, edge of the world) and Brian Loschiavo, Pastor Alvarado and Jeff Molyneaux of Riverside Entertainment (manodrome, throttle), who alongside Matt Shelton also has Josh Peters (The lighthouse) and executive producer Tony Herbert.

Slated to start filming in April 2023 in West Virginia and Kentucky, the film is a partnership with Brooke’s House, a women-only recovery home run by former drug officer Kevin Simmers that offers its participants an on-set job training program.

“Drugs and our war on them have become a ubiquitous part of American culture,” Conor Allyn told Deadline. “Rob is the perfect blend of strength and humanity to embody this conflict.”

Morgan recently appeared in Paramount’s horror smash to smile and has also been in films, including the Oscar-nominated one mudbound and Don’t look up, among many others. Notable TV credits include HBOs Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty and Netflix stranger things. The horror thriller by Lee Daniels is also on the agenda for the actor The Liberation for Netflix.

Jake Allyn first garnered attention with his regular role on BET’s drama The quad and most recently he has written and acted in modern westerns no mans land, released by IFC Films and directed by his brother Conor. The Allyns formed genre-focused Margate House Films in 2009. The biopic of the company edge of the world was published by Samuel Goldwyn with his Mexican co-production I’m not here anymore released by Netflix after its premiere in Tribeca and was recognized as Mexico’s official Oscar entry for Best International Feature Film.

LA and Nashville based development and production company Riverside Entertainment is led by filmmakers Loschiavo, Molyneaux and Alvarado. His past and current projects include the Music Docs feature throttle and Midland: The Sonic Ranch (CMT) and the Outfest premiere football document Down firstand series including Make modern with Brooke and Brice (Magnolia Network), on the plate (ABC) and Disney Insider (Disney+). The studio’s first feature film manodromestarring Jesse Eisenberg and Adrien Brody, is slated to hit theaters in early 2023.

Morgan is also with Yorn, Levine, Barnes; Jake Allyn, with Buchwald.


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