Back in March, we reported that Forest Whitaker is producing the biopic Richard Pryor: Is It Something I Said?, along with the comedian's widow Jennifer Pryor. Today, we have word that Michael B. Jordan, Marlon Wayans and Eddie Murphy have emerged as front runners to play Richard Pryor, with Lee Daniels in negotiations to direct for The Weinstein Company.
The trio of actors represent vastly different age groups, although the 26-year-old Michael B. Jordan and 41-year-old Marlon Wayans are considered the front runners. The project is said to center on the comedian's life in his 30s, though it isn't known if Michael B. Jordan can be aged-up through makeup to take on the role. Both Marlon Wayans and the 51-year-old Eddie Murphy had previously been attached to the gestating biopic at different points in development, which once had Bill Condon set to direct.
The project fell apart when he left to direct The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2. While both actors are still in the mix, insiders claim that Marlon Wayans' screen test particularly impressed Harvey Weinstein, who is fully financing the project through The Weinstein Company.
Richard Pryor is still considered to be one of the most influential comedians of all time, although he had drug problems which lead to the actor/comedian setting himself on fire after freebasing cocaine. Producer Jennifer Pryor also brings more than 50 pages of her late husband's journal that offer a unique glimpse into his dark but brilliant mind. The comedian passed away in 2005 at the age of 65.
No screenwriter is attached to the project, although our story from March indicated that producer Forest Whitaker is developing a new screenplay. No production schedule was given.
Richard Pryor: Is It Something I Said? is in development and stars Mike Epps. The film is directed by Lee Daniels.