Mike Epps is now frontrunner to star in Lee Daniels' Richard Pryor biopic
Everything that was old is new again as comedian/actor Mike Epps is now the front-runner to play Richard Pryor in Lee Daniels' biopic of the late stand-up legend. Epps apparently blew producers away during an "explosive" screen test, according to Deadline.
Deadline also indicated that actors Nick Cannon, Michael B. Jordan, and Marlon Wayans also screen tested. The role of Pryor's wife is also potential being linked to Kate Hudson or Anne Hathaway. All of these actors have been linked to the role of Pryor in the past with both Wayans and Epps being named for the role during prior versions of the project.
Epps, in fact, was selected by the late Richard Pryor and his wife in 2005 when Walter Hill was set to write and helm the movie. As recently as a few years ago, Wayans was set to play Pryor for director Bill Condon when the movie was being produced by Adam Sandler's Happy Madison productions. Since then, the film has languished in development hell. This latest round of screen test for Lee Daniels marks the closest the project has come to fruition.
The sources claim the role is not a lock for Epps at this point and that Wayans is still in contention, but the word front-runner was used in regards to the NEXT FRIDAY/HONEYMOONERS actor. Epps is better known for his stand-up work rather than his on screen work, something that is the reverse for the other names in contention. Stay tuned for more as this develops.