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Watch Footage From Marlon Wayans’ Richard Pryor Audition Tape

Watch Footage From Marlon Wayans' Richard Pryor Audition Tape

The role now belongs to Mike Epps, in a project that will be directed by Lee Daniels, with Oprah Winfrey also attached to play Richard Pryor’s grandmother. But, at one time, Marlon Wayans was to play Pryor in a film that Chris Rock was on-board to produce; this was in 2010, when Rock shared his enthusiasm for the project, and just how blown away he was by Marlons’ audition tape.

Might this be footage from the tape that Rock and company watched, that blew them away?

Thanks to reader "Dave," here’s footage from Wayans’ Richard Pryor audition tape, made with the contributions of Omar Epps.

But the role now belongs to Mike Epps, so, no matter what you think of Wayans’ attempt in the tape below, it ultimately doesn’t matter.

Director Lee Daniels really has not spoken publicly much about the project; although he did say that, much like Chris Rock said he was blown away by Marlon Wayans’ audition, Daniels, and his producers, The Weinstein Company, were just as taken by Epps’ performance. 

Others who were said to be in contention for the job, when it became Daniels’, include Nick Cannon and Michael B. Jordan. 

Also, Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway were said to both be in the running to play Jennifer Lee Pryor in the film; although it looks like it’s Hudson’s role.

I should note that Mike Epps actually plays Richard Pryor in Cynthia Mort’s Nina Simone film that Zoe Saldana stars in, which still hasn’t been released.

Here’s the footage; the first half, I’m told, was written and directed by Bill Condon (director of films like "Dreamgirls" and "The Fifth Estate"); the second half is a Pryor monologue.

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Comments

Z Strachan

Oprah again

Valentino

Marlon is a truly talented guy.. but this is not his part

Mr. Terrence Jackson

Yes Marlon in Requiem for a dream was awesome acting by marlon, his range is not being looked at hard enough, I did not get the pryor vibe that much, but his acting ability is far more supeaior than epps. Give marlon the role he will do it justice

Rich

I tend to agree with everyone else here. I remember when Marlon was first announced as the frontrunner years ago. I thought it was a great idea.he is such a strong actor and it’s a shame he’s never found the role or the company to fully showcase that (aside from requiem over a decade ago). I’m a big fan of Mike Epps, but I keep struggling to envision him in the seriousness of this role.I’ll give him a fair shot, just like I gave Marlon. I like both actors. But, I’ve never got the "great actor hiding under a comedian" thing from Epps.

B

Mercury Morris > Richard Pryor

Rayf

"The beard/goatee makes him look a lot like his brother, Damon, on the real. " So spot on, it made me think of an audition for an "Living Color" skit about Damon PLAYING Richard Pryor. If its an audition though, they’d need to work on his diction/cadence more like Richard. Maybe Epps had that much down and sold it on that level…but on a Thespian level I’m feeling Marlon’s ability to bring his own feel to it. Ionno, where is Epps footage at? Too early to call it.

ChgoSista

"Marlon needs to go and make White Chicks 201, Haunted House 47 and Scary Movie 5000.">>>BWAAAHAHHHAHAHAHAAAAAAA

Actor_too

I have seen Requiem For A Dream, and it is one of the most memorable films for me that really freaked me out. His performance was INCREDIBLE. Marlon’s audition was phenomenal. Visually, I really think that he captures the essence of Richard Pryor. I had the opportunity to be a part of a film that Mr. Pryor worked in “Brewster’s Millions” and from what I can remember about him, Marlon fits better than Mike Epps – Visually speaking. It would also be interesting to see Mike Epps’ audition tape to make a comparison.

M CREW LITE FORMALLY KNOWN AS MIKE

I don’t know Richard Pryor’s comedy, so I can’t say who would be better. To me, I feel like Marlon Wayans and Nick Cannon are better off. In other words, they have more opportunities than Mike Epps has. In terms of a business perspective this is great for Mike Epps.

No

@Joe Jackson, Sr., re Oprah, Lee Daniels and Tyler Perry; it’s called collaboration, and it is something that Spike Lee should have done with some of those folks years ago.

JP JUSTICE

Knowing both Epps and Wayans personally for Epps not to get is would have been a mistake. His lifestyle is the closest to Pryor’s and I think that he can embody Pryor because he almost lives the same life today. I think Wayans is to sheltered and would have to dig from unrealistic places and may not come off good enough. I have faith that Epps is going to do his homework and channel RICHARD PRYOR and move us.

Lamar Anthony Hill

I forgive him for the fake beard since it was an audition tape and might have not worked for whatever he was doing currently. Perhaps he was simply not willing to do to Lee Daniels what Mike Epps is willing to do because this audition is flawless.

black god

blah blah yall need to wake up can we stop supporting black biopics so we can be motivated/given a chance to be creative?….yall need to learn to desire more than what white Hollywood allows us to make…if i was white(audience member or in the industry) i wouldnt wanna watch black films either…all we appear to wanna tell a cinematic story about is racism, slavery and famous black people…remember no matter how important things are once they become redundant they become powerless……quit supporting this equation black people please

Troublemaker

@Nate You took the words right out my mouth. Marlon Mayans is a buffoon who will shuck and jive for a laugh. In order for Marlon to be funny, he has to have a script. If he doesn’t have one, he’s lost. Mike Epps is naturally funny and he’s much deeper than Marlon. Mike can tell stories that are funny as hell without even cursing. Then he can switch it up and tell serious stories. Marlon is alway trying to be funny. He’s always trying to make a joke even at the expense of other people (I’m talking about that MTV movie awards debacle). Marlon needs to go and make White Chicks 201, Haunted House 47 and Scary Movie 5000.

Haq

NO PRYOR VIBE AT ALL, at least in the first part. I don’t like the words either. This is like some ode to the white pussy, BS. Pryor was more than just a white woman. He was a comedic genius. More than just drugs and women. He was the Peoria, Il in us all, struggle, anguish that he turned into jokes and we turned into laughter. Like Carlin was more than a cynic. There’s a lot of emotion in the last part but still didn’t make me feel pryor. He could be anyone in this audition tape.

NATE WALKER

TGHE RICHARD PRYOR I KNEW WAS A COMEDIAN. MARLON, NO KMOCK ON HIS AUDITION, IS A COMIC. THE DIFFERENCE IS: A COMIC TAKES A WRITTEN WORD AND SAYS IT "FUNNY". ON THE OTHER HAND, IN MY OPINION, THE BETTER OF THE TWO, IS FUNNY SAYING WORDS. IN OTHER WORDS FOR A "COMIC" TO BE ENTERTAINING, THE WORDS MUST BE EFFECTIVE. A COMEDIAN CAN MAKE YOU LAUGH READINF=G THE PHONE BOOK. THEREIN LIES THE DIFFERENCE IN MY OPNION…….PEACE !

Omar

Based on this audition, thank goodness he did not get it. This is caricature. I will be honest, I don’t think Marlon is talented really, and most of his stuff is sell out bug eyes for white people comedy, but I gave him a fair shot watching. Looks like he put time into this, but I don’t think he mentally understood Pryor. I don’t think he is smart enough to get the emotions and demons, knowing what Marlon has done for work. He is the kind of comic Pryor would hate, how he hated himself for doing The Toy. Thats a movie Marlon would have loved to do. Or Superman 3. Shudders.
And then releasing this audition is bitter scum bag move. Its unfair to the project. At least wait a few years until after the new one comes out. Very unprofessional for this to hit the light of day.

Yea, thankfully Marlon is no where near this project.

getthesenets

Oprah needs to sit down in regards to her playing Richard’s grandmother. There are at least 50 current stage actresses who would be way better than Oprah in the role. Put her enormous ego aside Oprah and cast somebody else. I’ve always thought that Della Reese was basically playing Pryor’s grandmother in Harlem Nights. When I saw JoJo Dancer film and read about Rich’s upbringing, it’s clear that Reese’s character in HN was based on his grandma.

Justin Sane

I was impressed. There were bits in there when Marlon sounded like Richard, but he did not captivate the essence of Richard Pryor. The second scene was from Richard Pryor Live and Smokin. The scene was convincing, but Marlon does not look like Richard. I’m not taking away anything from Marlon. His performance was superb, but there has to be a resemblance to Richard. I think Mike Epps is going to hit a home run. I’m waiting to see his audition tape now. Long Live, Richard!!!

ed

Another film Oprah trying to buy her way into hollywood, while others use their talent to succeed there

Black Canseco

Pryor cursed alot. alot… Aaaa lot. I get that. But he was a really articulate cat and that is like every other word in his audition is a cuss word throws me a bit. It makes it less of a character and more of a caricature. But with that said, Marlon clearly has talent. I’m curious to see what Mike Epps does… that’s always the problem with anything Pryor is connected to—the cussing as if he wasn’t articulate. People who "do" Pryor always curse more than he did.

Mango

Marlon was ok but didn’t capture Ruchard’s essence. I think Mike Epps is going to be incredible as Richard Pryor!!!

Kennis Jones

I Like Marlon, He’s funny! But this Roll is not for him because we keep looking for Pryor! but Marlon could do this take for Himself as another person! He would be believable!

Tuesday

I said it then and I’ll say it again, not casting Marlon Wayans was a blunder. I’m sure Mike Epps will do a respectable job but I really think that Marlon would have taken it to the next level. If you don’t believe me go and watch Requiem For A Dream, his talents are severely wasted in those silly movies he does.

Shanae

Very, very compelling audition…I don’t see how anyone else could be considered for the role. I don’t get the Richard Pryor vibe, as Mr. Jackson stated…but I can see that Marlon Wayans really wants the role. I’m not sure if that’s reason enough to give it to him, but it’s an important fact that would make me see the film.

Joe Jackson Sr.

When this film project had legs and Marlon was a front runner I thought he’d be great in the role. The audition is ok but I didn’t get a richard pryor vibe. Also, Marlon should’ve grown his own beard and stubble instead of using fakes. Side note, interesting how any project with Lee Daniels or Tyler Perry there’s Oprah.

KevitoClark

Pretty strong audition from Marlon. The beard/goatee makes him look a lot like his brother, Damon, on the real. Hopefully, Mr. Daniels can make this Pryor biopic on point. ||

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