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Marlon Wayans to Replace Eddie Murphy as Richard Pryor?!

by
October 7, 2009

Marlon Wayans / Richard Pryor

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.

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  • nktwrk
    cricket cricket.....ok I agree with you, Marlon gets on my nerves like nobody else but this will be his chance to step up to the plate. I wasn't the biggest fan of Jamie Foxx but he did such a great job with Ray that I was won over. Marlon...Give us your BEST!
  • Kenchi
    I think this might be a bit of good news, at this moment I find Marlon a lot more than Eddie Murphy. I'd like to see Marlon take on more serious roles.
  • clippers350
    Marlon Wayans? Seriously Marlon Wayans? The guy who played buggalo in above the rim. This guy has not done anything entertaining and is annoying. I was excited to see this movie, now I can care less. If he has any kind of talent I'd like to see him show it on this movie. Show me something Marlon so I can change my perception of you.
  • tazz
    @#3 clippers350 wait you just said he has not done anything entertaining. i guess you have not seen Requiem for a Dream his performace in that movie was praised.
  • Dark Fist
    Eew.
  • PimpSlapStick
    I think Marlon could pull it off. He has potential as an actor Requiem and Lady Killers showed he has the talent all he needs is to shed the clown image and do Pryor justice
  • SuicidalOptimist
    Wayans was great in Requiem for a Dream, and he actually was a lot less annoying in G.I. Joe than I expected. I think he just screwed himself a bit with all the Scary Movies. This is his chance to redeem himself and make everyone go =O. For the longest time people thought Jim Carrey was unable to break away from Ace Ventura and other over-the-top comedies. Then he starred in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Same with Adam Sandler. He was pretty damn good in Reign Over Me, and nobody expected that, either. I am not exactly a fan of the Wayans brothers in general, but I am always interested in actors who break away from their usual ways and take another route.
  • Echoing the few comments before here, anybody who hasn't seen Requiem for a Dream doesn't know how good of a move this really is. Marlon's best performance, ironically enough, is in the deleted scenes -- his 5-minute uncut Jar Jar Binks impression is absolutely classic. Underrated, underused and often tied to the sinking ship of Damon Wayans flicks, this has all the potential to be Marlon Wayans' "Ray," -- a potentially major turning point for him as a serious actor.
  • Fisherr
    With all do respect to what you said Alex, but Marlon is way better than Eddie Murphy that's from my opinion.
  • The Rogue
    I've thought for a while now that Marlon Wayans had some real talent buried beneath the bad roles and camp, and always wanted to see him do more.
  • Winston
    ...sometimes you just have to let actors explore their talent and give them a shot at something new. When I first heard that the late and great Heath Ledger was going to play the joker I was skeptical. But after seeing him in the "joker get-up" and hearing his creepy voice, he had me. Lets see what Mr. Wayans has to offer...
  • Tim
    I hate marlon. He will destroy a legend. Eddie should of stayed on...
  • Devon Shaw
    That's "should have," and right... because Eddie Murphy's track record is so much better.
  • Kyle
    Marlon is a really talented actor but never gets roles to show it off. Go watch Requiem for a Dream and then tell me he cant pull this off. I have been waiting for him to get a strong role for quite some time.
  • @9...I secretly agree with you. Requiem (as many people have written above) was an impressive turn for him and it impressed the hell out of me. I'll say that for now, because Richard was such a wildly talented performer, that it'll take a lot to do Pryor justice, but if Chris Rock is behind this then that's good enough for me...
  • Dan
    I think that if Pryor's widow is behind Marlon taking on the role, then that's a pretty solid endorsement that should be taken seriously. Also, echoing everyone else, if you haven't seen Requiem for a Dream then you haven't really seen what the guy's capable of.
  • flyingdutch808
    Most of the Wayans are "secretely" talented. They just choose to do the shuck and jive stuff for $. If this actually goes , Marlon better cut out the rest of the coonin roles for good.
  • branden
    I assume that with a budget of only 20 mil Marlon was chosen over Eddie because of $$.
  • Xerxex
    hell give the guy a chance.
  • Dreckent
    "fought for the role, blowing the producers away with a 13-min screen test where he transforms into Pryor." Thats how you create hype for a movie...
  • james
    i think mike epps would be perfect for the role
  • tmac
    The WORST decision ever....I thought the fact that sandler was involved was bad enough. Marlon Wayans is a no talent joke. I will never see it.

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