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Lee Daniels To Direct Richard Pryor Biopic, Michael B. Jordan, Damon Wayans & Eddie Murphy In The Mix To Lead

by Kevin Jagernauth
January 10, 2014 11:25 AM
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Lee Daniels' The Butler

Where on Earth do we begin with the saga that is the forever developing Richard Pryor biopic, once known as "Is It Something I Said?" Well it has gone through a couple of producers (Adam Sandler and most recently, Forest Whitaker, who doesn't seem to be linked anymore), and while it looked like Bill Condon would get it off the ground in the fall of 2010, nothing came to pass and it remained in development hell. But now, it's once again back to life thanks to The Weinstein Company.

The studio is backing the project, and has Lee Daniels ("Precious," "Lee Daniels' The Butler" ) in talks to direct the movie in what would be his next gig. The legendary comedian's widow Jennifer Pryor is still on board as well for the film that will chronicle Richard Pryor's life in his late '20s and '30s, which would basically be his rise to mainstream success, and we imagine will explore the demons that haunted him too. So, who's going to play him? Eddie Murphy (who had meetings for this project way back in the day), rising star "Fruitvale Station" star Michael B. Jordan and Damon Wayans (whose brother Marlon Wayans was attached to the Condon-era movie) are all in the mix for the lead role. Frankly, whoever gets chosen will have a monumental task ahead of them, so we don't have an opinion either way (though we'd love to see Jordan crush the role).

Does any of this mean we're closer to see this biopic on the big screen? Well, The Weinstein Company are fully financing the project so that's one major hurdle out of the way, and they have a director too, but if the history of this project is anything to go by, we're just going to sit back and see what happens. At the very least, there is still interest in getting this made, and so it's only a matter of time before it all comes together.

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  • fabluvskat | August 9, 2014 2:43 PMReply

    I would love to see Chadwick Boseman play Richard Pryor. He did a good job as Jackie Robertson in 42 and he did an exellent job as James Brown in Get On Up. I think he is a good enough actor to pull off being a comedian. I would be interested in seeing his potential as an actor or I should say push his limits.

  • Lissa | July 17, 2014 12:37 AMReply

    Really was wanting Mike Epps, to do this.

  • wanda s harris | July 13, 2014 10:36 AMReply

    Wood Harris would be great at this role

  • David lloydy | January 10, 2014 8:53 PMReply

    They need to bring us newer unknown actors on these projects !
    I myself would be a great James Brown or Pele or black panther etc but back to the article .

    The homie Dino Archie out here in Vancity doing his thing .
    He'd merc that role lol!

    Like the dude AE says below " cast an unknown , give a black actor a break "...
    Google Dino Archie - cuz he's funny !!

    Your welcome!

  • AE | January 10, 2014 4:31 PMReply

    Cast an unknown, give a black actor a break. Murphy feels too on the nose and can't see him disappearing into Pryor ditto Wayans and Jordan's name's there cause he's the black actor du jour and completely wrong for Pryor. They should go search the bottom rung comedy clubs for their Pryor.

  • JZ | January 10, 2014 3:48 PMReply

    Michael B Jordan is 26, Eddie Murphy and Damon Wayans are 52 an 53. So they don't have a clue how old their main character is?

  • JZ | January 10, 2014 3:50 PM

    What's next? A John Candy biopic with either Jonah Hill or John Goodman as the lead.

  • NewYorker | January 10, 2014 2:50 PMReply

    im hoping for damon wayans to get the role, he haven't done a film since marci x.
    always liked him on the show My Wife & Kids.

  • Ken | January 10, 2014 11:46 AMReply

    Eddie Murphy has done too many terrible movies over too many years to be taken seriously in something like this now.

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