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Did White Boy Rick Get Any Money From The Movie?

How much money did White Boy Rick make from the movie?


They say that crime never pays, but that can be turned on its head pretty quickly in the case of people who turn into informants.

One example of this might come from a man named Richard Wershe Jr. – you might know him instead as White Boy Rick.

He is the ‘star’ of the 2018 film by the same name, which follows his incredible life story and how he managed to end up in the situation he is in today.

The film itself is based on his own experiences within the criminal world of America.

It covers his life story, involvement in the criminal world, and life as an informant.

The movie was a critical and box office success, so many assume that White Boy Rick himself must be pretty well-off.

After all, he was a long-term informant – believed to pay well – and was the star of a movie about his life.

So, we need to ask this: did White Boy Rick get any money from the film?

The movie itself: what is White Boy Rick?

how much money did white boy rick make in real life

White Boy Rick attends the Mix Master Mike performance at Pine Knob Music Theatre – @Getty

White Boy Rick is a 2018 movie that was released with the idea of showing the insane life of Wershe Jr.

The film stars some pretty big names, including the likes of Matthew McConaughey, as well as the film debut of Richie Merritt.

how much is white boy rick worth

Director Yann Demange and Matthew McConaughey – @Getty

The movie is built around the life of Wershe Jr., who became an FBI informant as young as 14.

This made him the youngest-ever informant for the FBI. The film follows his life as an informant, his descent into challenges in later life, and where he is today.

In the credits, it is revealed that Ricky himself was given a 30-year jail sentence, which was the longest-ever jail sentence given to a non-violent criminal offender in Michigan, USA.

In 2017, though, it was announced that Wershe Jr. was finally given parole.

Indeed, there is even a small bit at the end – a recording of the real Wershe Jr. talking about how he is happy today and is hopeful for his future.

McConnaughy plays White Boy Rick, and the film was regarded as one of the best of the year.

The film focuses on the challenges that White Boy Rick faced in his career, including his descent from being an FBI informant into being involved in a life of crime and selling drugs.

If you have never seen the film, then you should definitely take the time to watch it.

It is gripping, and while there are obvious artistic liberties taken with the source material, the film does as good a job as it can to stick to the source material and stay true to what actually happened to White Boy Rick.

Why was White Boy Rick so popular?

did white boy rick get any money from the movie


Part of the reason the film was so gripping is that it shines a light on how people can become informants.

The FBI had, it seems, no qualms about using a teenager who was involved in the criminal firearms trade due to his father. Richard, or Ricky’s father, Rick, sold illegal firearms on the side to make ends meet.

The FBI saw a young boy who was involved in the illicit trade of firearms and saw that he could be a useful asset for them to try and break into the criminal underworld that was so heavily involved in the USA at the time.

In exchange for some money and immunity, Ricky gets involved with the FBI.

This involves taking part in criminal projects like selling drugs, helping him to become quite credible within the drug industry.

However, things become complex when Ricky struggles to live a dual life – trying to impress the criminal gangsters he is working with, like Johnny Curry, whilst also miraculously escaping illegal censure when he is caught doing things like having a shootout in the street.

The film was incredibly popular because it helped people to see how people can get caught up in the wild world of being an FBI informant.

Also, as the movie progresses, we see just how easy the FBI finds it to drop their informants when they have outlasted their usefulness.

Without spoiling what happens later in the film, Ricky essentially finds himself in a position where he cannot win.

His association with the FBI makes him an enemy of his criminal associates, while the FBI has no problem putting Ricky behind bars when it comes time to move on from that particular lead.

For many, then, the film is popular because it shows beyond all doubt how easy it is for someone to get involved in a life of crime – that life is then made worse by the involvement of the FBI and the lengths they will go to make sure they can catch criminals.

Even, of course, if it means working with criminals to try and get into the inner circle of some of the major crimelords of the day.

Did White Boy Rick make money?

The film itself was not a commercial success, per se.

It was produced on a budget of around $29m but made only $26m back at the box office.

Despite that limited financial success, though, the movie has gained a cult following for those interested in discovering whether the FBI informant industry is quite as insane as it seems.

On the basis of the movie and interviews with White Boy Rick himself, it looks like the film is pretty accurate as to how things can go down!

The movie itself, though, was not a major commercial success.

For that reason, many people have wondered whether or not White Boy Rick got any money from the movie. Let’s take a look at what we can find out about this side of things.

As an FBI informant, though, it is likely that he would have made some money.

It is estimated that an FBI informant can make six figures per year if they are valuable enough to law enforcement.

For Wershe Jr., it is likely that as he was such a key informant, he might have some good money across his two-year spell as an informant. However, as far as making money from the movie, that is uncertain.

So, did White Boy Rick make money from the movie?

At the moment, it does not look like White Boy Rick has made any money from the movie itself. Wershe Jr. has not made any statements saying that he has made any money from the film based on his life. It does not look like any financial success has come his way from being involved in the movie, which is a shame.

Usually, people who are the subject of such biographical storytelling of their lives will be given at least some kind of compensation for the work that they have put in to have the film created in the first place.

As it stands, though, it does not look like White Boy Rick managed to get anything back in return for his involvement in the movie.

Having been released from prison in 2020, though, Wershe Jr. decided to finally try and make some financial compensation for the challenges he has faced in his life so far.

At the moment, this will come in the form of a lawsuit against the FBI themselves.

Wershe Jr. had opened a 2021 lawsuit that the FBI had taken part in child abuse given his young age when he first became an FBI informant.

The lawsuit essentially claims that had Wershe Jr. not been brought in by the FBI, he would never have gone down the path of selling drugs or getting involved in the criminal underworld to the degree he did.

While he might still have helped his dad out on the side, as he was doing before the FBI got involved, he might never have found himself facing the challenges in life that he did.

He stated that the actions of the FBI were essentially child abuse, and he has asked for a sum of around $100m.

However, while the case opened up in 2021, little else has been said about his lawsuit since. In fact, in a September 2023 ruling, a judge dismissed the suit out of hand. It was in the opinion of the judge that the lawsuit would be time-barred.

It was stated that if Wershe Jr. was so certain about this, he should have brought the lawsuit forward during his time in prison.

It was also noted in the dismissal that another claim – that his life was one of living in fear of retaliation for what had happened during his stint in the criminal underworld – was not true, as there were no facts to show that this was the case.

Final Words

So, did White Boy Rick get any money from the movie? No, it does not appear that he did. It looks like he was unable to make any financial gains from the movie itself. While the film only produced modest profits after everything was counted for and subtracted, none of that money has made its way to Wershe Jr.

He has since tried to sue the FBI, but that has since been dismissed out of hand.

For Wershe Jr., then it looks like he will never receive the kind of financial compensation he feels that he is due after what is one of the most outrageous life stories of the 1980s.


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