Eddie Murphy in Talks to Join Richard Pryor Biopic
Eddie Murphy is in talks to join the Richard Pryor biopic that Lee Daniels is directing for The Weinstein Co., The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
Mike Epps is starring as the comedian who pushed the boundaries of race and mined his own gritty experiences, becoming one of the most influential acts of all time.
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Pryor was raised by his grandmother, a hard woman who ran a brothel, and by his father, an alcoholic who beat him on the days his grandmother didn’t. Stories of both were frequently told as part of his routine.
Murphy will play the father, LeRoy Pryor.
Entertainment Tonight first reported the casting news. ET also reported that Kate Hudson was joining the production. Hudson’s representatives and TWC reps did not comment.
According to ET, Hudson would play Jennifer Lee Pryor, who was Pryor’s fourth wife (they married in 1981 and divorced in 1982) as well as his seventh; they remarried in 2001. Jennifer Lee Pryor is a producer on the movie along with Bruce Cohen.
On Thursday, Daniels posted a picture of himself with Murphy on Instagram.
Tracy Morgan Cast as Redd Foxx in Richard Pryor Biopic
Tracy Morgan is in talks to play Redd Foxx opposite Mike Epps in the Richard Pryor biopic for the Weinstein Co. with Lee Daniels directing.
“Mr. Foxx, I hope I do you justice!” said Morgan in a statement. “It will be an honor to portray an icon.”
Foxx was best known for raunchy comedy “party albums” in the 1950s and 1960s, and starred for six seasons in the sitcom “Sanford and Son” from 1972 to 1977. Pryor broke into the business in the early 1960s and had become the top stand-up comedian in the business by the early 1970s.
Foxx and Pryor both appeared in Eddie Murphy’s 1989 movie “Harlem Nights.”
Other cast in the untitled Pryor project include Kate Hudson as Pryor’s wife, Taraji P. Henson and Murphy as Pryor’s parents and Oprah Winfrey as Pryor’s grandmother who raised him.
Morgan returned to “Saturday Night Live” as host on Oct. 17, more than a year after being seriously injured in a car accident on the New Jersey Turnpike. He’s also in New Line comedy “Fist Fight” with Ice Cube and Charlie Day.
Lee Daniels has left the directing gig for the Weinstein Company’s Richard Pryor biopic.
TWC is seeking another director for the project “Richard Pryor: Is It Something I Said?” in order to begin shooting in October. The cast includes Mike Epps as Pryor, Oprah Winfrey as his grandmother and Kate Hudson as Pryor’s widow Jennifer Lee Pryor.
TWC had no comment and Daniels’ rep did not respond to a request for comment. Sources indicated that Daniels, the showrunner for Fox’s hit series “Empire,” was not able to fit the movie shoot into his schedule.
Daniels had worked with TWC on the 2013 film “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” which had a successful run with more than $175 million in worldwide box office.
Pryor broke into the business in the early ’60s and had become the top stand-up comedian in the industry by the early ’70s. He won five Grammys for his comedy albums and starred in several concert films — the most lucrative being 1982’s “Richard Prior — Live on the Sunset Strip,” in which he memorably described catching himself on fire while freebasing cocaine in 1980.
Pryor died in 2005 in Los Angeles after suffering a heart attack.
News about Daniels’ exit was first reported by the Hollywood Reporter.