Michael B. Jordan Shortlisted for Richard Pryor Biopic from Lee Daniels
A biopic about the legendary, late comedian Richard Pryor has been in the works for years now. Eddie Murphy was once slated to star in a film from Dreamgirls director Bill Condon, and then Marlon Wayans was supposed to replace him a year later, but the project never came to fruition. Most recently, Forest Whitaker was trying to line up a Pryor film with the comedian's wife producing. Now another heavy-hitting filmmaker is in the fray for the project as THR reports The Butler and Precious director Lee Daniels is in talks to reunite with The Weinstein Company to direct the film they will finance. But there's more. Read on!
As for who will play the star, Eddie Murphy and Marlon Wayans are again being eyed to star in the film, with the latter possible being at the top of the list because of his age and screen test which impressed Harvey Weinstein. However, supposedly Fruitvale Station and Chronicle star Michael B. Jordan is also in the running to play the comedian who grew up in a brothel, but went on to become one of the most successful, revered and controversial comics of all-time. But his fame came with the price of issues with drugs and alcohol, including a cocaine incident where he set himself on fire, before the comedian died in 2005.
It turns out Jennifer Pryor, the comedian's wife, is also working with The Weinstein Company on the film. We're not sure if Forest Whitaker, who starred in The Butler for them, had anything to do with helping the project along, but that would make sense. The widow is allowing use of more than 50 pages of Pryor's personal journals, which should offer some unique insight we haven't seen before. Much of the film will follow Pryor in his 30s, so there will be plenty of comedy to go along with the darker parts of his life. However, Daniels being involved is a little disappointing, if only because he's anything but subtle. Both of his award contending films have been heavy-handed and even melodramatic. Plus, we're not sure he has a good sense of comedy to go with the drama. But I'd love for him to surprise and impress me. Thoughts?