Richard Pryor died in 2005 at the age of 65, leaving behind a legacy of legendary comedy — and equally legendary debauchery. He was the guy a generation of stand-up comedians modeled themselves after, and he was the guy whose long-standing drug abuse — including a frightening incident in which he lit himself on fire while freebasing cocaine — stood as a warning to rising comics about the dangers of addiction and fame.
Two of the comedians who rose to prominence in the decades after Pryor’s trailblazing comedic stylings, [movieperson id="55545"]Adam Sandler[/movieperson] and [movieperson id="53724"]Chris Rock[/movieperson], are deep in development as the producers of “Richard Pryor: Is It Something I Said?” a biopic about the funnyman. Eddie Murphy circled the Pryor role at one point, and before his death, Pryor himself anointed Mike Epps (“The Hangover”) as the guy for the part. But the gig eventually went to Marlon Wayans. Why? Rock had some answers.
“Marlon Wayans, he did a screen test and it was just unbelievable,” Rock told MTV News recently. “It’s not just doing the comedy of Richard Pryor. He captures the vulnerability of Richard Pryor.”
Long attached to helm the project, director Bill Condon should begin shooting “Is It Something I Said?” in the fall. But now that Condon has signed on to direct the two-part “Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn” — also this fall — things seem to be getting complicated. Is Condon still onboard? Will Sandler and Rock get their project off the ground?
“Hopefully, soon,” Sandler said. “It’s all being worked on. Hopefully soon.”
What do you think of Marlon Wayans playing iconic comedian Richard Pryor? Would you have cast another actor? Let us know in the comments!