Thanks to the Hollywood Insider, we’re almost sure that one of the less-than-generic Wayans brothers, Marlon, will play Richard Pryor in Happy Madison Productions/Sony Pictures’s forthcoming Richard Pryor: Is it Something I Said. With Dreamgirls director Bill Condon at the helm, we’re sure it’ll be one of two things: 1) a beautifully shot, contemplative piece, or 2) a musical. Mark Gordon, Chris Rock, and the widow Jennifer Lee Pryor will produce.
Prior to Marlon Wayans presumably having Pryor priority, comedy legend Eddie Murphy (seriously, guys. You may not realize it, but he’s been famous since he was like 18.) was originally scheduled to star. Murphy dropped the piece, according to the Hollywood Insider scoop, “over conflicts with Paramount Pictures, which was previously on board to finance the film”.
Frankly, I can’t imagine what conflicts Murphy could’ve had over this film, but they must be just overtly insurmountable. Why would you not want to play Richard Pryor? Who wouldn’t want to go down in history as the guy who played the funniest African-American comedian in several generations? Hell, I want to play Richard Pryor.
While sources praise Wayans’s audition for the role — apparently it was nothing short of 13 Method Minutes in Richard Pryor Heaven, it’s still baffling to me that Murphy would pass this up. It sort of makes me wonder what we don’t know. No, wait, that’s the middle 45 minutes of Brewster’s Millions.