The Richard Pryor biopic – now titled Richard Pryor: Is it Something I Said? – has been in various up and down stages of development dating back to 2005, when the famed comedian was still living, but the Weinstein Co. project with Lee Daniels (Selma) at the helm has now found its main cast and is ready to move forward through to production, according to Deadline.
The film will be telling the life story of the ground-breaking and controversial comedian from his upbringing to his countless achievements on and off the stage.
Mike Epps (The Hangover) will be playing Pryor himself while Kate Hudson (Almost Famous) will play his (now widowed) wife Jennifer Lee Pryor. Oprah Winfrey has taken the role of Pryor’s grandmother who raised him in the brothel she ran and Eddie Murphy (Beverly Hills Cop) has signed on to play his father Leroy ‘Buck Carter’ Pryor.
The script was written by Bill Condon (Dreamgirls) and Daniels’ Empire collaborator Danny Strong. In one version of the creative team, Condon had actually been in place to direct the film with Marlon Wayans (White Chicks) filling Pryor’s shoes. However, Epps was favored long before and a supposed knockout audition last year apparently won him the role. Epps is currently playing a part Wayan’s latest spoof film Fifty Shades of Black, so it’s safe to assume there is no love lost between the two.
Winfrey’s role as Pryor’s brothel-running grandmother isn’t too surprising, given her performances in the last two Daniels films, Selma and Lee Daniels’ The Butler.
Murphy, considered by many a comedy successor to Pryor, actually acted alongside the man himself in Harlem Nights (1989).