No, Thank You: Eddie Murphy as Richard Pryor

Richard Pryor is Funny. Eddie Murphy used to be.

I hate to be so negative, but the news recently has only brought me down. Also, I’ve switched medications, which may be affecting my mood. I’ve also been cutting onions all morning (something for the site, don’t ask) so that might also be a factor. Unfortunately, the heaviest burden is hearing the news that Bill Condon has attached Eddie Murphy to his biopic – Richard Pryor: Is it Something I Said?

According to our friends over at /film, Weinstein put the project into turnaround, so Condon is now upping the ante with the hilarious comedic talent that brought us Meet Dave and Norbit and attempting to shop it around.

First, I’ll admit that I have no idea what other actor could play the part, but Eddie Murphy is just not right for it. Eddie Murphy from 1988, maybe, but definitely not Murphy circa 2009. Secondly, despite being supremely negative about this whole thing, I wouldn’t mind seeing Eddie Murphy catch on fire.

I realize that a name like Murphy will sell the flick to studios, but I can’t see it being a very successful film in the first place unless it was done with the type of heart that something like Ray or Walk the Line was made – you know, with a real actor. Wait a minute, is Don Cheadle still available? I hear he’s great.

Here’s where I’d normally end my rant and let you guys take it from here, but I have to ask – is there anyone who doesn’t think Eddie Murphy will just play Eddie Murphy in this thing? That he won’t just ham it all up instead of accurately becoming Pryor? Is there any serious doubt that that won’t happen?


A veteran of writing about movies for nearly a decade, Scott Beggs has been the Managing Editor of Film School Rejects since 2009. Despite speculation, he is not actually Walter Mathau's grandson. See? He can't even spell his name right.

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