Lee Daniels in Talks to Direct Richard Pryor Biopic

He reportedly is negotiating with the Weinstein Company, which would fully fund the project.

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Lee Daniels

ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

Lee Daniels is said to be in talks with the Weinstein Company to direct an as yet untitled Richard Pryor biopic, as a follow-up to last year’s box-office hit, Lee Daniels’ The Butler, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The Weinstein Company, which produced and distributed Lee Daniels’ The Butler, reportedly will finance the project.

Actors under consideration for the Pryor film, which has been in the works for years, include Michael B. Jordan, Marlon Wayans and Eddie Murphy. Wayans, at 41 years old, is considered to be the right age for the project, and his screen test is said to have impressed Harvey Weinstein. 

But Jordan, who became a breakout star with the Weinstein Company's Fruitvale Station, has emerged as the front-runner to tackle the story of Pryor, who died in 2005 at age 65, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Pryor is an icon who had a deeply troubled side. In 1980, he set himself on fire while freebasing cocaine and experienced severe burns, among other issues, which he discussed freely during his wildly popular stand-up routines.

His widow, Jennifer Pryor, is producing the film. She will provide more than 50 pages of Pryor's personal journals, which give a glimpse into his brilliant, but dark, mind.

Read more at the Hollywood Reporter.

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