Forest Whitaker Takes Over Richard Pryor Biopic

Forest Whitaker

Forest Whitaker Takes Over Richard Pryor Biopic

The Oscar-winner to produce film after 20 year effort.

Published March 29, 2013

Another attempt to reincarnate Richard Pryor on the big screen is underway, and it may be the most promising one yet. 

Forest Whitaker is the latest Hollywood heavyweight to throw his hat in the ring to make a biopic on the life of the groundbreaking comedian. The actor/director/producer, who won an Oscar for his role in The Last King of Scotland, will develop a new script for the biopic through his production company. Whitaker will produce the film, though he has not committed to direct. He will be working with Pryor's widow Jennifer Pryor to develop the screenplay.

Chicago director Bill Condon is the latest in a string of A-listers trying to get the biopic off the ground. His version had Marlon Wayans starring as the actor and comedian, whose life began in a brothel, saw amazing heights on stage and screen, and nearly ended in a drug-induced fire. Martin Scorcese and Kasi Lemmons also made attempts, with a revolving door of stars including Eddie Griffin, Chris Rock, Damon Wayans and Eddie Murphy to play Pryor.

While many of the actors previously attached to play Pryor are now too old for the part, speculates Michael B. Jordan may top Whitaker's list. The two recently worked together on the Sundance hit Fruitvale, due to release theatrically this year. 

Wonder what this means for Marlon Wayans, who told recently that he has been doing standup for several years to prepare for the role. 

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Written by Evelyn Diaz


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