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