Eddie Murphy plays the multi-talented Rudy Ray Moore in the trailer for Netflix and director Craig Brewer's upcoming biography, Dolemite Is My Name. It's been three years since Murphy's last appearance on the big screen (2016's little-seen drama, Mr. Church) and a whole lot longer since the '80s comedy icon's glory days as a Hollywood superstar. Nevertheless, he's in the midst of staging a comeback, beginning with his Dolemite biopic.
Dolemite Is My Name tells the true story of how Moore, having already become a successful (and famously raunchy) stand-up comedian and singer, set out to produce a hit Blaxploitation movie based on his Dolemite persona in the 1970s. The film is bolstered by a big-name supporting cast that includes Wesley Snipes as Dolemite's director, D'Urville Martin, in addition to Keegan-Michael Key, Da'Vine Joy Randolph, Craig Robinson, Mike Epps, Snoop Dogg, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt's Tituss Burgess in key roles. Netflix clearly has big hopes for the movie, seeing as they've set it to premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, ahead of its release this fall.
Netflix dropped the Dolemite Is My Name trailer online today, a few weeks ahead of the movie's global debut at TIFF. You can check it out in the space below, followed by the official poster.
Murphy, Brewer, and Snipes clearly enjoyed their experience working together on Dolemite Is My Name and have since reunited for Coming 2 America, the belated sequel to Murphy's hit 1988 comedy that's scheduled to arrive next year. Their Netflix biopic isn't hurting for decorated names on the opposite side of the camera either, with Brewer (who broke out with 2005's Hustle & Flow) joined by writers Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (Ed Wood, Man on the Moon, American Crime Story) and Oscar-winning costume designer Ruth E. Carter (Black Panther). In an interview with EW, Brewer praised Carter for nailing the aesthetic of the late '60s and early '70s with her work, noting "It’s particularly challenging when you’ve got a character whose whole essence is to be flamboyant and bigger than life, but she managed to create this world". The pair are also reuniting for the Coming to America sequel.
Between its cast and its screenwriters' track record of delivering insightful biographies, Dolemite Is My Name has a lot going for it on paper. The trailer is similarly promising and suggests the film may feel less like a paint-by-numbers biopic and more like a dramedy about a bunch of outsiders trying to break into a major industry where they've long been (at best) under-represented. Brewer indicated as much in his interview with EW, describing Rudy's story as "truly of a person trying to be an artist" and saying his movie is not necessarily going to be a Blaxploitation throwback (though there may be elements of that).
Dolemite Is My Name premieres on Netflix this fall, but doesn't have an official date just yet.
- Dolemite Is My Name (2019) release date: Oct 25, 2019