A biopic of the iconic, yet troubled, black comedian Richard Pryor has been rumoured for many years now in Hollywood. The stand-up comic famed for his fast-talking, foul-mouth and outrageous onstage antics was also known to have struggled with alcohol, substance abuse and depression during his career. While Pryor wrote Mel Brooks’ classic comedy BLAZING SADDLES and starred in the likes of STIR CRAZY, SILVER STREAK and SEE NO EVIL, HEAR NO EVIL alongside frequent collaborator Gene Wilder, he was also an accomplished dramatic actor. Giving an outstanding performance in Paul Schrader’s BLUE COLLAR.
It appears that the biopic is creeping ever forward and THE BUTLER and PRECIOUS director Lee Daniels is currently circling the project as his next possible film. The Oscar-nominated filmmaker was looking at a biopic of the tragic singer/songwriter Janis Joplin, set to star Amy Adams, but now has apparently moved on to an examination of the life of the funny man who passed away in 2005.
In addition, three actors are now desperate to take the coveted role that is sure to have award potential. FRUITVALE STATION’s Michael B. Jordan, LITTLE MAN Marlon Wayans and Eddie Murphy are named as the main contenders. Murphy had been tipped to take the role when it was originally picked up by The Weinstein Company many years ago. He was a long-time of the late entertainer. However, the spread of these actors ages Jordan 26, Wayans 41 and Murphy 52 could be a stumbling block with the script said to focus on Pryor during his 30s.
Who would you like to see play Richard Pryor? Personally, I have my own thoughts. Where’s Dave Chappelle at the moment?