It seems as if a Richard Pryor biopic has been in the works for a while now. Pryor, who died on December 10, 2005, at the age of 65, is widely regarded as one of the most important and influential stand-up comedians of all time, and for some, he is the best. He fiercely and uncompromisingly addressed racism and social issues through his humor. But it seems that this thing is ready to finally start moving forward.
Comedian and actor Mike Epps will play Pryor in the movie. Epps, 44, has been attached to the project for nearly 10 years, beating out Nick Cannon and Marlon Wayans for the lead role. According to Deadline, Oprah Winfrey has been cast as Pryor’s grandmother Marie Carter, who ran a brothel where she raised the groundbreaking comic, and Eddie Murphy will play Pryor’s father, Leroy ‘Buck Carter’ Pryor. It’s only natural that Eddie be involved in this project in some capacity, and maybe this will be another rarity for his film career: a movie he’s in that’s actually good.
Kate Hudson will play Pryor’s wife Jennifer, whom he married twice and who is also serving as a producer on the film. The movie will be directed by Lee Daniels, who was nominated for a Best Director Oscar for his 2009 movie Precious and who directed Winfrey in Lee Daniels’ The Butler in 2013. I wish they could have found a stronger director for this. He’s scheduled to start production on the Richard Pryor biopic in March of next year, after wrapping the 2nd season of the incredibly successful Fox series Empire.