Richard Pryor

Richard Pryor Biopic

Okay, this isn’t normally the way we do things. An actor gets cast in a role, and we hear about it from some trade magazine of glamorous and shining repute. But not this time. Lee Daniels‘ Richard Pryor biopic looks to have just cast its lead, and we’re hearing the first news…on Twitter. But it’s Lee Daniels’ Twitter, so we’ll take that as slightly more legitimate than most. Here’s the fateful tweet in question: Get ready y’all- #MikeEpps as — lee daniels (@leedanielsent) August 24, 2014 I think it’s safe to assume that, were Stephen Spielberg to tweet “Get ready y’all- #Ryan Reynolds, #RyanGosling and #RyanSeacrest in #SavingPrivateRyan2,” we’d be inclined to believe him. If Saving Private Ryan 2 was real. And probably if he didn’t use the words “Get ready y’all,” which probably mean Lee Daniels has gotten a hold of Spielberg’s Twitter password.


Superman 3 Computer

The life of a film critic is one of the swankiest and most lucrative jobs you’ll ever have. Forget doctors and lawyers. Forget international business. Forget technology. Film criticism, particularly that which involves publishing on the internet, has me rolling in money like Scrooge McDuck. I’m not just rich, I’m stupid rich. Still, when it gets to be the middle of the month, and I’m paying bills, I can come up a little short. There never seems to be enough money in my bank account to comfortably live. It’s around this time that I start to think creatively about how to make even more money than my swag-filled, jet-setting life already brings me. Sure, there’s always the possibility of becoming the trophy companion of a supermodel. I certainly have the rippling muscles, two-percent body fat, and inguinal arch of Ryan Gosling. Then again, I’m happily married, and that might be a deal-breaker for a sugar momma. After recently watching Superman III and Office Space, I realized that the best way to make ends meet might be a life of crime. After all, I live most of my life on computers. Just ask my 2,693 Twitter followers. That’s got to be worth something. This got me thinking: Could I use the banking glitch we saw in Superman III to get even richer than I am today?


Blazing Saddles

Coming off a successful career in television and two smaller pictures (The Producers in 1968 and The Twelve Chairs in 1970), Mel Brooks took a chance on a western comedy. This was before the days of Airplane! and The Naked Gun, decades before Scary Movie, and a generation of time (and quality) from Meet the Spartans and A Haunted House. Brooks broke all sorts of social and decency taboos with Blazing Saddles, from the subversive racial commentary to the orchestra of cowboy farts around a campfire. Blazing Saddles turns 40 this year, which makes it as good of a time as any to look back on the production with Mel Brooks himself. The commentary on the original Blu-ray release comes from the initial DVD release back in the late 1990s, but it still has a lot to say about this comedy classic.



Like many readers of this site, I love comic books. I grew up reading them, so when Hollywood finally started to really get superhero movies right in the mid-to-late 2000s, I was overjoyed. Of course, I had been enjoying superhero movies long before Iron Man and The Dark Knight. As a child of the 70s and 80s, I grew up watching superheroes on television and in the movies when radiation was the key element of heroic transformation and spandex was the fashion standard. Going back to the 80s, these comic book movies have their own Kryptonite that causes problems for them. It seems that one of the best ways around a mysterious substance or miracle solution is to encounter an unknown element, or to discover a new one if you don’t have the expertise to just create it in your own home laboratory. And this got me thinking… where do all these unknown and new elements come from?



That Richard Pryor biopic that’s seemingly been in the works since before Pryor was born? Well, it might actually be moving forward, with a director and a shortlist of three potential actors and a giant wheelbarrow full of money to fund it. The director? Lee Daniels. The actors? Eddie Murphy, Marlon Wayans and Michael B. Jordan. The group filling farm equipment with legal tender?  The Weinstein Company, which has come on board to finance the entire project. There’s a lot to think about here. The big issue might seem to be Daniels’ involvement, and one could discuss that until the cows come home (if Lee Daniels lived on a farm, which I’m assuming he doesn’t). Daniels isn’t known for his funny bone, and a biopic about a stand-up comedian would have to at least acknowledge that jokes exist and that people do this thing called “laughing” after hearing them. But that’s only one half of the story. The other half involves those three fellows up for the starring role, and the humongous differences between each one. So let’s break ‘em down one by one.


Vintage Trailer Logo

Proven by science to be the funniest movie of all time, Blazing Saddles gives the entire western genre a spanking while Cleavon Little asks where all the white women are at. I love that the opening of the trailer plays it perfectly straight, as if any minute John Wayne or Robert Ryan are going to ride into frame, chew on some tobacco and spit out a line worth remembering. Instead, we get Mel Brooks in dressed as a Native American. Most know that Richard Pryor was supposed to star in this flick, but no one would finance the film with him in the lead. However, most don’t realize that workhorse actor Gig Young actually started the production as The Waco Kid but got too drunk (it’s called method acting) to continue, so Brooks fired him, and Gene Wilder came in the next day to take over. This movie, even more than most, could have been completely different than the one we all know and love. Can you imagine this movie with Pryor and Young leading the charge?



Mel Brooks returns to comedy, and he’s got his eye set on the entirety of civilization. Plus, he’s finally getting a writing partner to hop in front of the camera. Are we ready to see our ancestors mocked?



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.


Richard Pryor is Funny. Eddie Murphy used to be.

Remember the iconic, legendary comic that never, ever got un-funny in the slightest measure? Bill Condon has attached Pluto Nash to play him.



The biggest superhero mistakes that Hollywood seems to finally be avoiding this Summer. Don’t worry – we mention the rubber nipples.

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published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.27.2015

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