Marlon Wayans to Replace Eddie Murphy as Richard Pryor?!
by Alex Billington
October 7, 2009
I've been looking forward to seeing a Richard Pryor biopic for a long time. And thankfully, Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison and Sony Pictures are still developing a biopic called Richard Pryor: Is it Something I Said with Dreamgirls director Bill Condon still attached to direct. Well, Entertainment Weekly reports today that Eddie Murphy (who was originally attached to star) dropped out over early studio conflicts and that Marlon Wayans has been brought on to replace him in the role of Richard Pryor. Apparently Marlon "fought for the role, blowing the producers away with a 13-min screen test where he transforms into Pryor."
Richard Pryor: Is it Something I Said depicts Pryor's controversial brand of comedy and his battle with drugs and is currently budgeted at $20 million. Chris Rock, Pryor's widow Jennifer Lee Pryor and Mark Gordon are also lined up to produce. Wayans last "blew us away" as the cheesier-than-all-hell Ripcord in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. However, as EW points out, he did receive a lot of acclaim for his performance in Darren Aronofsky's Requiem for a Dream. And if he's anything like Eddie Murphy at all, he could pull off a great performance in this and get an Oscar nomination just like Murphy did in Bill Condon's Dreamgirls.
As much as I normally hate anything either of the Wayans brothers do, I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt this time and wait to see a trailer with him actually playing Pryor before I write this off entirely.