Eddie Murphy To Play Richard Pryor

Published 6 years ago by

murphy and pryor Eddie Murphy To Play Richard PryorIf there was ever a list of comedians whose lives are worthy of being made into a biopic, then surely the legend that is Richard Pryor would be near the top. Well it appears that none other than Eddie Murphy is attached to play Pryor in an upcoming film about his life, known for the time being as Richard Pryor: Is It Something I Said?

Pryor himself directed, wrote and starred in a fictionalized version of his life in the mid ’80s called Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling but this new film is said to “depict the events more realistically.” The film has been freed up by Oscar winning writer/director Bill Condon (Dreamgirls) and producer Mark Gordon who have shopped it around at various studios.

Although originally developed by The Weinstein Company and almost secured by Paramount Pictures, Fox Searchlight has recently stepped in and acquired the film after agreeing to the $25 million budget.

For those of you who may not know, Murphy isn’t just an out-of-the-blue choice to play Pryor; he actually incorporated impressions of him in his early stand-up comedy acts and even put Pryor in his one and only directorial effort Harlem Nights. Looking at Murphy’s stand-up stuff from the ’80s it’s clear Pryor was an influence on him (probably even a hero, also), and so it would make sense for him to portray him in a movie.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, Murphy has accepted a smaller paycheck than usual to play the role. How gracious of you, Mr Murphy…

As I said Pryor is definitely a comedian who deserves a biopic, but not only that but a well done one. None of us want to see a plain, mediocre telling of his life – this is a life that deserves a respectful showcasing and one can only hope they get it right. Murphy obviously isn’t too hot these days (One Shrek, Meet Dave and Norbits too many, I think) but no one can take away how well he did at the stand-up comedy game, and perhaps this’ll give us the funniest Eddie Murphy movie in about a decade and a half.

What do you think of a Richard Pryor biopic? And is Murphy the right guy to portray him?

Source: Hit Fix

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  1. This makes complete sense to me. I can’t think of anyone more suited for the role.

    And I think a lot of people don’t really know much about Pryor. Seems to be a good idea. I doubt it’ll be a smash hit like Ray or Walk the Line, but it’ll do well.

  2. I think we all knew this movie was coming and Eddie Murphy is the perfect choice to portray him. Murphy is at his best when doing the adult comedy routines; I just hope they don’t screw this up by making it PG-13.

  3. Two of my all-time favorite comedians! I can’t wait for this! So many great comedy concerts, albums, movies, etc., between the two of them. I’m already ordering my tickets through Fandango! ;-)


  4. This is a no brainer to me. I think we all knew a Pryor biopic was coming and Eddie Murphy is the only person capable of doing the part justice. Hopefully, this will start a new life for Murphy. I’m so tired of his “comedies.” He’s a much better at drama

  5. Definitely the guy for it. Eddie Murphy was GREAT in the 80′s and you definitely could see his attitude was influenced by Pryor. This good be very, very good.

    Now we need something similar done for George Carlin. Just as long as it’s NOT Steve Martin playing him. LOL.