Eddie Murphy to Play Richard Pryor's Father in Comedian Biopic

March 14, 2015
Source: THR

Eddie Murphy / Richard Pryor

For those who didn't know, there's still a biopic about iconic comedian Richard Pryor in the works from The Butler director Lee Daniels. Taking the lead role is Mike Epps, who played Black Doug in The Hangover franchise, but now a familiar face who was supposed to play Pryor in a film about six years ago has joined the cast. THR reports Eddie Murphy, a once iconic comedian who now makes silly, terrible comedies, is taking the role of Pryor's father. The good news is that this has the potential to be an Oscar role for Murphy, because Pryor's father was an abusive alcoholic, and a brutal influence on his life. Read on!

Director Lee Daniels posted this picture with Eddie Murphy on Instagram:

Strap in and brace yourself. They done let me and him out of our cages! #idonteventhinkimreadyforthisone! #excited #proud #OMG

A photo posted by Lee Daniels (@theoriginalbigdaddy) on

Pryor has talked extensively about his childhood, as he was raised by his grandmother, who was an abusive woman in addition to running a brothel, and his alcoholic father. They were both frequently brought up in Pryor's stand-up, and his honesty in talking about these darker points in his life and making them funny is one of the many reasons he became such an icon in comedy. In addition, Kate Hudson has also joined the film as Jennifer Lee Pryor, the comedian's fourth wife who he married in 1981 and divorced the next year (the real woman also happens to be a producer on the film).

This has the potential to be a powerful biopic. Daniels has proven he knows how to direct drama, albeit a little too heavy-handed at times, but Pryor's life and career has plenty of details that are ripe for a film adaptation. However, I'm just hoping that this won't have the same beats we've seen in countless music biopics like Walk the Line and Ray. Those movies, while well-acted and made, are becoming a little derivative, as evidenced by the parody Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. But since this is a comedian's biopic, hopefully the story will unfold a little differently on screen. Sound good?

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  • Tuomas Lassila
    Tower Heist wasn't terrible, it was alright.
      5/10 is still failing.
      • Tuomas Lassila
        It's still better than 4/10.
  • Otto Greif
    They should get Jim Carrey to play Pryor.
  • Bo
    This film has no chance of being worth seeing with Lee Daniels as the director. He simply does not have the sensibilities required to render an intelligent and gritty film about a man like Richard Pryor. He just does not understand gritty and authentic and truthfulness. He's a candy-coated, shallow shlock artist. What part is the great actress Oprah going to play in this debacle of a movie about a true comedic genius who suffered torments way out of Daniels (and Oprah's) league? They haven't a clue. I know, I know...Oprah isn't involved in this movie....yet! And Eddie Murphey? Please! Can anyone say has-been or your time has passed? I don't even think Spike Lee has the chops to take on Pryor, but Daniels? Say it ain't so!
    That should a interesting role if nothing else. Pryor's life was strange and full of internal misery.




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