By Randall Rydell Russell
Hollywood has been making comic book movie after comic book movie, sequel after sequel and remake after remake. The other thing that Hollywood is doing is creating biopics to any person they can possibly get their hands on. One person in particular is finally getting a biopic coming to the big screen and that person is Richard Pryor.
Rumors of a Richard Pryor biopic have brewing for years, coming close but never coming to fruition. As we all know, Richard Pryor is one of the most controversial and hilarious comedians to ever pick up a mic. He influenced more comedians then one can even imagine. He broke the barrier working with both white and black comedians and bringing his brand of comedy worldwide.
Unfortunately, his personal life and drug use effected his career in the mid to late 80’s, leading to his demise and his film work being scarce or no films at all. An illness in the 90’s solidified that his time had come to an end but made cameos on TV shows and movies. His death in 2004 was sad and shocked the world but his legacy would never die.
At one point, Eddie Murphy was to play Pryor in a biopic in the 90s, then Damon Wayans was to play him based off his performance of him on a sketch on In Living Color back in the 1990s. Another planned biopic was titled Is it Something I Said? which was to be directed by Dreamgirls director Bill Condon and starring Damon’s youngest brother Marlon Wayans. The project never came into fruition as of 2013. Many felt the many documentaries and specials were enough, but Hollywood was determined to get a biopic.
As of September 2014, The Butler and Precious director Lee Daniels has been hired to direct the biopic on Pryor with Oprah Winfrey producing. Comedian and actor Mike Epps has been hired to portray Mike Epps in the biopic and many people feel he may not be the right choice, but who better than a comedian who loved his work
Do you think this biopic will work? Do you feel this is a forced project and a way for Hollywood to get some more money, or will a director like Daniels make a legitimate film with his track record in the industry? We are going to have to wait until next year to find out. Stay Tuned.