Forest Whitaker to produce the long in development Richard Pryor biopic
The long in development biopic of the legendary comedian Richard Pryor has switched producers yet again. The most recent news regarding the film was that director Bill Condon was going to helm the film with Marlon Wayans in the lead role as Pryor. But, maybe after seeing the monstrosity that was BREAKING DAWN the producers got cold feet. That version was to have been produced by Adam Sandler.
According to Deadline, Forest Whitaker has taken over producing duties on the film and will be developing a new screenplay with input from Pryor's widow, Jennifer. This continues a long string of projects that have included everyone from Martin Scorsese to Eddie Griffin.
Pryor is regarded as one of the best stand up comedians of all time as well as an influential film actor. While he was never quite an Oscar winner, Pryor made a lasting impact in several movies, many of which featured his friend Gene Wilder. My personal favorite is SEE NO EVIL, HEAR NO EVIL which makes me crack up every time I see it.
There are many actors who would like to play the legendary Pryor, but Deadline theorizes that Michael B. Jordan, who starred in the Whitaker produced FRUITVALE, would be an interesting candidate. Whoever takes the role needs to be a good actor and not just a good impersonation. Pryor's life was full of accusations of domestic abuse against several wives as well as the infamous freebasing incident in 1980. This project has the potential to be one of the better biopics in recent memory, but after 20 years of false starts, I won't hold my breath.