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Lee Daniels, whose The Butler is currently in the running for awards, is reportedly in talks with The Weinstein Company to direct a biopic about legendary comedian Richard Pryor. A trio of actors are currently in the mix for the lead role, including Eddie Murphy.
The Weinstein Company, which also released Lee Daniels’ The Butler, will finance the project, which should be Daniels’ next movie, reports The Hollywood Reporter.
Michael B. Jordan, Marlon Wayans and Murphy are being considered for the lead role. Even though Wayans and Murphy are much older than Jordan, they are still being considered by Daniels and Harvey Weinstein. Wayans apparently impressed Weinstein with his screen test.
However, Jordan has the inside track on the part. He impressed Hollywood with a stunning performance in Ryan Coogler’s Fruitvale Station, which TWC also distributed. Jordan is only 26, though, so Daniels will have to rely on the magic of make-up for much of the film.
Jennifer Pryor, Pryor’s widow is on board to executive produce. The legendary comedian died in 2005 at age 65 and the movie is said to be based on his journals.
Daniels has expressed interest in making a Pryor film before. In August, while talking up a Janis Joplin film with Amy Adams, the Precious director told Forbes that he was interested in Pryor’s story.
This is the closest the Pryor biopic has come to fruition in years. Indiewire notes that there was an attempt in 2010 with Bill Condon directing. However, the project got stuck and was not made.
image: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images For Relativity Media/image.net