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Bill Condon Out, Forest Whitaker Now Producing Forever-Developing Richard Pryor Biopic

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist March 28, 2013 at 1:25PM

The saga of the constantly-in-development Richard Pryor biopic could fill pages upon pages but we'll try and keep it brief. At one time called "Is It Something I Said?," Martin Scorsese was linked way back in the day while Pryor was still alive and over the years it continued to kick around with Eddie Murphy at one point attached (though he recently said his involvement never really got past initial meetings), and a couple of years ago, it seemed like it was really going to happen with Adam Sandler producing (seriously), Bill Condon directing and Marlon Wayans taking the lead role.
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Richard Pryor Forest Whitaker

The saga of the constantly-in-development Richard Pryor biopic could fill pages upon pages but we'll try and keep it brief. At one time called "Is It Something I Said?," Martin Scorsese was linked way back in the day while Pryor was still alive and over the years it continued to kick around with Eddie Murphy at one point attached (though he recently said his involvement never really got past initial meetings), and a couple of years ago, it seemed like it was really going to happen with Adam Sandler producing (seriously), Bill Condon directing and Marlon Wayans taking the lead role with a fall 2010 shoot lined up. But then the bloody vampire money of "Twilight" lured Condon away and it's been in purgatory ever since. But someone else is hoping to bring it back to life.

Forest Whitaker is now taking over producing duties on the movie, working with the comedian's widow Jennifer Pryor, but it all looks like it's back to square one. A new script will be developed, Condon is no longer directing and a new leading man will possibly have to be found. Deadline says that Wayans could still have the part, but suggests that Whitaker might want to roll with Michael B. Jordan, star of Sundance sensation "Fruitvale," which Whitaker produced, but that's pretty much conjecture.

So what does this all mean? A Pryor biopic is probably still a long way off at this point, and that's something Wayans hinted at earlier this year.  “Hollywood doesn’t want to bet on that kind of movie right now, and it’s a shame. I think it’s a beautiful movie, and the people who got the money don’t understand that Pryor is an icon… studios are scared because they’re owned by corporations, and they don’t see it,” he said while promoting "A Haunted House" in January.

It looks like those stand-up records and DVDs will have to keep holding you over for now.

This article is related to: Forest Whitaker, Bill Condon, Marlon Wayans, Richard Pryor


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