Marlon Wayans Rumored for Richard Pryor Biopic
10.08.09 by REELZ
Entertaiment Weekly is reporting that Marlon Wayans is already in negotiations to star as comedy legend Richard Pryor in the upcoming biopic Richard Pryor: Is It Something I Said?
Part of the well-established Wayans Brothers clan, which helped pioneer In Living Color and several hit comedies in the early to mid '90s, Marlon Wayans showed his range by dropping a highly memorable performance as a Coney Island junkie in Darren Aronofsky's Requiem for a Dream (2000).
If we didn't have that performance to judge from, we might think the idea of him portraying Pryor is a big mistake, since he's also written and starred in several forgettable Scary Movie installments.
But according to the EW post, Wayans fought hard for the chance to audition for the role, and he then wowed producers with a 13-minute audition in which he "transforms into Pryor."
Apparently, Eddie Murphy was once attached to this project, but had to withdraw due to scheduling conflicts. This seems fortunate, because Wayans seems like a better fit. We think audience's familiarity with Murphy's distinct comedic identity would make it difficult for him to pull off a convincing performance.
The project is being helmed by Bill Condon, who also directed Dreamgirls, Kinsey, and Gods and Monsters. Chris Rock is producing along with Pryor's widow, Jennifer Lee Pryor. No official casting decisions or release dates have been announced.
In the meantime, check out this clip of Pryor talking about kids telling lies (one of the few profanity-free clips of Pryor we could find).