Where on Earth do we begin with the saga that is the forever developing Richard Pryor biopic, once known as “Is It Something I Said?” Well it has gone through a couple of producers (Adam Sandler and most recently, Forest Whitaker, who doesn’t seem to be linked anymore), and while it looked like Bill Condon would get it off the ground in the fall of 2010, nothing came to pass and it remained in development hell. But now, it’s once again back to life thanks to The Weinstein Company.
The studio is backing the project, and has Lee Daniels (“Precious,” “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” ) in talks to direct the movie in what would be his next gig. The legendary comedian’s widow Jennifer Pryor is still on board as well for the film that will chronicle Richard Pryor’s life in his late ’20s and ’30s, which would basically be his rise to mainstream success, and we imagine will explore the demons that haunted him too. So, who’s going to play him? Eddie Murphy (who had meetings for this project way back in the day), rising star “Fruitvale Station” star Michael B. Jordan and Damon Wayans (whose brother Marlon Wayans was attached to the Condon-era movie) are all in the mix for the lead role. Frankly, whoever gets chosen will have a monumental task ahead of them, so we don’t have an opinion either way (though we’d love to see Jordan crush the role).
Does any of this mean we’re closer to see this biopic on the big screen? Well, The Weinstein Company are fully financing the project so that’s one major hurdle out of the way, and they have a director too, but if the history of this project is anything to go by, we’re just going to sit back and see what happens. At the very least, there is still interest in getting this made, and so it’s only a matter of time before it all comes together.