Richard Pryor


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.


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.


Ten Superhero Movie Mistakes

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: 04.20.2014
published: 04.20.2014
published: 04.20.2014
published: 04.20.2014

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