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.