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Jennifer Lee Pryor Disappointed w/ Richard Pryor Doc, May Do Sequel + Key Figures Missing

by Tambay A. Obenson
May 30, 2013 6:14 PM
1 Comment
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“When we went to the . . . (Tribeca Film Festival), one of the first things Jennifer said was there was going to be a sequel. I wish she would have told me that (during production); I would have made the film differently.”

Words from director Marina Zenovich in a Columbus Dispatch interview on her latest film - the new Richard Pryor feature documentary, Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic, which premieres on Showtime tomorrow, Friday, May 31st at 9pm ET/PT.

She's referring to Richard Pryor's widow, Jennifer Lee Pryor, who's a producer of the film - one that she has long referred to as a definitive documentary on Pryor's life.

Jennifer Lee Pryor apparently isn't too pleased with the finished product, which I was puzzled by, given that it's been said that she was closely involved in the making of the film. She is the producer after all, giving director Marina Zenovich unprecedented access to estate photos and other materials. 

Here's her statement from the Columbus Dispatch interview:

“I think that it failed in revealing what really was going on with Richard... I loved Richard madly; I married him twice. And one of the things I learned from Richard was that I had my own sense of truth and my own moral compass, and I had to follow it no matter what.”

She added that she hopes to include what she feels is missing from the film, as extra features on the film's eventual DVD/Blu-ray release. Although she doesn't give details on what the film failed to deliver on.

It looks like she previously expressed her dissatisfaction with the film to the director after its Tribeca premiere; I'm referring to the quote about there being a potential sequel. 

The Dispatch profile notes the fact that the film is directed and produced by white women, calling that ironic, given the subject. Both Zenovich and Jennifer Lee addressed that by suggesting that it was maybe to the film's detriment (as well as other factors), given that several key figures refused to appear in the film.

“I’m sure some people wondered why they hired me,” the director said with a chuckle. Several key figures don’t appear in the film — including [Bill] Cosby, [Eddie] Murphy, former fiancee Pam Grier and the comic’s six children. “I think Pam was too hurt by Richard,” Jennifer Lee Pryor said. “Others, I know there was some bitterness.”

Although I should note that the film does include interviews with Whoopi GoldbergRobin WilliamsMel BrooksQuincy JonesLily Tomlin, Jesse Jackson and more.

I should also note that Forest Whitaker has taken over as producer of the long-in-development scripted Richard Pryor biopic, which, at one point, Marlon Wayans was attached to star in, with Chris Rock producing alongside Adam Sandler.

Whether or not Wayans will be on Whitaker's short list of actors for the role, isn't public info yet, although Whitaker's Fruitvale Station star, Michael B. Jordan might be getting a look.

A new script is being penned, with input from Jennifer Lee Pryor.

Here she is talking about her marriage to Richard Pryor.

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1 Comment

  • Vanessa Martinez | May 30, 2013 6:46 PMReply

    His life was quite eventful. I don't think there's one biography that could cover every major event thoroughly. I'm sure there are a thousand ways to do it. Pam Grier was mentioned, so was their abrupt break-up and his marriage to someone else. I could only imagined how painful it must have been for her, although I knew more about the back story of their relationship. He had a lot of other women. I didn't know he was quick to commit and regret doing so often. For me, the documentary revealed a lot of what was going on psychologically. There was still a lot of ground covered. So, it worked for me.

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