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Actor Mike Epps has been officially picked to play the legendary late comedian Richard Pryor in a new biopic in the works from director Lee Daniels and Oprah Winfrey. The project has been in the works for years, but it looks like it will finally happen.
The news was announced by Winfrey on her Instagram page herself this weekend. She posted a picture of herself with Daniels and Epps. She wrote that they had just finished a first read-through of the script.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Daniels also shared a picture of the trio on Twitter. “Get ready y'all- #MikeEpps as #RichardPryor,” the Butler director wrote.
Epps also tweeted a picture of himself with Jennifer Pryor, Pryor’s widow, proving that he has her blessing. “Had to kiss the ring of @jennferLpryor for the blessing !you got to be [strong] to have been with the king!” the actor wrote.
The flurry of Twitter messages follows a Deadline report earlier this month that Epps was the top pick to play the role. Epps actually was attached to the project in 2005, just before Pryor’s death later that year.
Epps, who appeared in the first and third Hangover movies, is currently working on the Bessie Smith TV movie Bessie with Queen Latifah. Back in October 2012, he was cast to play Pryor in Zoe Saldana’s Nina Simone biopic, but it sounds like that project is stuck.
As for Daniels, he entered the Pryor project in January 2014. The film is a Weinstein Company project. It’s not entirely clear what Winfrey will do for the film, though.
— lee daniels (@leedanielsent) August 24, 2014
image via Twitter from Lee Daniels
image courtesy of Roger Wong/INFphoto.com