A year ago, the news was that the project had changed hands yet again, as Forest Whitaker took over as producer (this came shortly after the huge success of Fruitvale Station at the Sundance Film Festival last year – a film he produced).
Today’s news is that Lee Daniels is now in talks to direct the project, adding to his already full slate, assuming a deal is worked out.
Also, The Weinstein Company, who produced and distributed Daniels’ last film, the blockbuster drama The Butler, have come on board to back this project as well – a Richard Pryor biopic that’s been in development forever, most recently, with Marlon Wayans attached to star, and Chris Rock producing alongside Adam Sandler.
The project is being made with input from Pryor’s widow, Jennifer Lee Pryor, so, I suppose we could say that this won’t be one of those troubled biopics made without the approval/blessing of the subject’s family.
Although, if there’s suddenly some objection from someone we don’t know of yet, I won’t be surprised, given recent biopic project hold-ups.
No word on whether Whitaker is still involved.
Last year saw the release of what was dubbed the definitive documentary on Pryor’s life, directed by Marina Zenovich (known mostly for directing the multiple award-winning 2008 documentary Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired), which will make its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Jennifer Lee Pryor was also producer of the doc, giving director Marina Zenovich access to estate photos and other materials, as many of Pryor’s friends and family opened up for the project, which focused on Pryor’s transformation from successful but mild stand-up comedian, to successful but dangerous social critic.
Titled Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic, the doc was broadcast on Showtime last fall, as part of a new documentary series showcase titled Closeup, which gives measured and complex looks at the lives of several notable public figures, with Richard Pryor being among the first to be “provocatively studied,” as Showtime described it.