Marlon Wayans Replaces Eddie Murphy in Richard Pryor Biopic

Published 6 years ago by , Updated August 7th, 2013 at 11:41 am,

Back in February, Screen Rant reported that actor Eddie Murphy would portray Richard Pryor in a Bill Condon-directed biopic of the late comedian’s life, tentatively titled Richard Pryor: Is It Something I Said? At the time, the fit seemed perfect. Not only were Eddie Murphy and Richard Pryor friends, but they are both respected as two of the most influential and successful comics in history. As of last week, however, it appears that Murphy won’t be stepping into the shoes of his longtime friend. According to an article over at HitFix, Murphy has been replaced in the role by actor Marlon Wayans (G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra).

In addition to the news that Murphy is out and Wayans is in, Paramount and Fox Searchlight are no longer considered potential distributors for the film. Instead, the project will now be produced by Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison production company, which operates under the umbrella of Sony Pictures.

Although it is somewhat of a cliché to say, there are some people who are truly larger than life. In my estimation, Richard Pryor was one of them. From his raucous live performances to his unpredictable behind-the-scenes outbursts (I recommend reading Gene Wilder’s autobiography Kiss Me Like a Stranger for some insight into Pryor’s offscreen habits), there was truly nothing conventional about Richard Pryor. Does Marlon Wayans have the necessary dramatic chops to take on such a complex character?

For many moviegoers, the news that Marlon Wayans is taking on a more dramatic role may seem surprising. After all, the actor is most widely known for his recurring role in the Scary Movie franchise, among other financially successful, but critically panned comedies. Despite his propensity to star in cheap comedies, however, Marlon Wayans has proven in his career that he is capable of pulling off strong dramatic performances. Perhaps the finest example of Wayans’ dramatic abilities came in Darren Aronofsky’s acclaimed independent film, Requiem for a Dream.

Given his previous success in dramatic roles, along with the strong directorial vision of Bill Condon (Dreamgirls), I personally believe Marlon Wayans has the potential to do very well in his role. Of course, that’s just one man’s humble opinion. What do you think? Will Marlon Wayans make a good Richard Pryor?

Source: HitFix

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  1. I wonder how deep this story gets?
    It would be quite a moving film if it didn’t hold back.

    Glad Murphy is out, I’m tired of that guy.

  2. history will repeat itself. I compare it to Jamie Fox’s Ray and maybe a break-out roles for wayans. an award in Marlon’s future?

    This is the prediction of The Pitt Man.

  3. Waynes was prety decent in Requiem, I have faith.

  4. I think he might just pull it off. If he finds the balance between funny & dramatic as Richard Pryors life was, Marlon will nail the role.

  5. I actually think Wayans is a better choice than Murphy. I think Marlon definitely has the skills to pull off an authentic performance of Richard Pryor. Other than being arguably the funniest of the Wayans brothers, Requiem has shown he also has the skills to pull off a draumatic presence as well.


  7. I gotta say, I’m rather surprised at the Marlon Waynes love here at SR. I’m glad people can see past his crappy comedies to the actual actor inside.

  8. I thought this would be the film that gave us a chance to see the old Eddie Murphy. Oh, well. Wayans will do fine.

  9. what happen to eddie murphy? was he even offered the role or what…im just curious….

  10. I had actually heard for quite a while that it was supposed to be mike epps to play the role… Not only that but in an interview with richard before he passed he even said that he spoke with epps to play him. So this is a complete surprise to me… Either way hopefully like 790 commented above that they don’t hold back and “tell it like it is/was”…

  11. WOW, that’s all I can really say about that pick. But I guess it’s possible but we’ll see soon enough.

  12. So, they are replacing someone who was funny with someone who was never funny?

  13. @ Dana S

    Thank you for mentioning Requim as I was in a one sided battle of trying to get people to watch that great movie to see the acting power and potential Marlon Wayans has.

  14. @ 790:

    you must be young and not remember eddie before he sold his soul to hollywood to make kids movies.

  15. I worked on Nutty Professor Bata, so I’m not that young. 😉