Oprah Winfrey and Eddie Murphy are confirmed to join Mike Epps and Kate Hudson in a new biopic about legendary comedian Richard Pryor, according to the Daily Mail.
The report says that Winfrey has been cast as Pryor’s grandmother Marie Carter, who ran a brothel where she raised the legendary comic, and Murphy will play Pryor’s father, Leroy “Buck Carter” Pryor.
Epps, slated to play Pryor, has been connected to the project for nearly a decade after “beating out Nick Cannon and Marlon Wayans for the lead role,” the report notes. Hudson is on tap to play the role of Pryor’s wife, Jennifer, “whom he married twice and who is also serving as a producer on the film,” the report says.
The film is scheduled to be directed by Lee Daniels, who was nominated for a best director Oscar for his 2009 movie, Precious, and who in 2013 directed Winfrey in Lee Daniels’ The Butler. production is scheduled to start in March after Daniels completes filming of the second season of Empire, his successful Fox TV series.
Pryor served as inspiration for most comedians, including Murphy, who purportedly beat out his comedy hero for the role of Billy Valentine in 1983’s Trading Places. Murphy said he grew up idolizing and impersonating Pryor.
He died at the age of 65 in December 2005 after suffering a heart attack at his home in Los Angeles. In 1986 he had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and he underwent triple heart bypass surgery in 1990.
Pryor was widely regarded as one of the most important and influential stand-up comedians of all time, using his intelligence and vulgar and profane humor to tackle issues of racism and other social issues.
Read more at the Daily Mail.