Better luck next time Nick.
It’s official, the Richard Pryor biopic is not only happening but is already inking key cast members. Contrary to reports, and Nick Cannon‘s Pryor-esque look and statement at BET Awards last month, it has been confirmed that Mike Epps will be playing the comedic legend in an upcoming biopic.
Several actors were purported to be in the contention for the role including Michael B. Jordan, Marlon Wayans, and even Eddie Murphy. Director, Lee Daniels however took to Twitter to post a picture with Epps in which he revealed him as his final choice for the role. Both of the men stood alongside Oprah in the photo, who was also reported to be working on the film.
— lee daniels (@leedanielsent) August 24, 2014
— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) August 24, 2014
While Oprah’s role in the film has been assumed to be behind the scenes, yesterday TMZ reported that she’s actually playing Marie Carter, Pryor’s “cruel and abusive lady pimp” grandmother. TMZ reported:
Pryor’s widow, Jennifer, tells TMZ … Oprah got hold of the script, and was desperate to play Marie Carter — the woman who raised Pryor in her brothel in Peoria, Illinois … and who was known to beat him. … We’re told Oprah really wanted to play Grandma Carter because she’s anxious to show her gritty side.
Oprah’s acting chops in films like Beloved and The Color Purple coupled with Mike Epps’ facetious nature should prove to be a perfect combination for the film. It will be interesting however to see if Mike Epps, who’s largely known for acting in comedies like Next Friday and All About The Benjamin, can depict the more serious and darker moments in Pryor’s life.
You can find Khari Clarke at a bar in Williamsburg and on Twitter (@KINGCLARKEIII).