Eddie Murphy has been sought out to join the cast of Richard Pryor biopic, as first reported in Entertainment Tonight. Murphy will be playing the late comedian’s father, LeRoy “Buck Carter” Pryor, a WWII veteran and former boxer, in Lee Daniels’ latest Weinstein Co. drama.
Murphy, who idolized and impersonated the legendary comedian in the 70’s, seems to be living a childhood dream with this new role offered to him even though he won’t be playing as his idol. “Richard’s the one that made me want to do comedy,” Murphy said. “When I was young, I wanted to be Richard Pryor so bad I used to sneak in the basement, put his albums on, and just listen,” he added.
— FilmTVDiversity (@FilmTVDiversity) March 15, 2015
Daniels’ Richard Pryor biopic was first announced in January 2014 and was rumored to be released in time for this year’s Oscars, but the exact date of release has not been set. Pryor’s wife, Jennifer, expressed her confidence in Harvey Weintein’s production of the biopic. “Because, you know, Harvey is good at that sh-t,”, she said. Jennifer is a producer on the film, alongside Bruce Cohen.
Daniels teased the Murphy casting Thursday night by posting a photo on Instagram, with a caption “Strap in and brace yourself. They done let me and him out of our cages! #idonteventhinkimreadyforthisone! #excited #proud #OMG." Daniels has been successful with his hit TV drama “Empire” and is excited to collaborate with the Weinstein Co. again.
The confirmed cast of the biopic include Mike Epps as Pryor and Kate Hudson as Jennifer. Oprah Winfrey is rumored to have been offered the role of Pryor’s grandmother, Marie Carter.
— OnSMASH (@OnSMASH) March 15, 2015
The 53-year-old actor, who recently appeared in the SNL 40th anniversary special, has played alongside Pryor in Harlem Nights in 1989. He has also been chosen to star as Pryor in a proposed biopic which was supposed to be directed by Bill Condon until the project’s cancellation.
Eddie Murphy and Richard Pryor in 'Harlem Knights'