Earlier this year we got news that Eddie Murphy was going to play legendary comedian Richard Pryor in a biopic directed by Bill Condon (“Chicago”, “Dreamgirls”). Almost everyone was left wondering if Murphy could really pull it off. Well, we no longer have to wonder about Murphy as he has been replaced by Marlon Wayans. If this news wasn’t enough of a surprise, the film will no longer be produced by Fox Searchlight. Instead, it will be produced by Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison productions. You can get all of the interesting details when you hit the jump.
Hitfix scored this bit of news which is sure to have the internet saying “wtf?” for the rest of the day. Hitfix tells us that Bill Condon and the film’s executive producers were impressed with Marlon Wayans after his dramatic audition which featured two scenes directly from the film. What is interesting to me is that Wayans was even auditioning in the first place since Murphy was pretty much considered a lock for the role by not only having been close friends with Pryor, but also having already worked with Condon on “Dreamgirls”. As interesting as this story is, I’m sure the story behind Murphy leaving is even more interesting.
If Marlon Wayans playing Richard Pryor in a biopic by Bill Condon wasn’t weird enough, Hitfix also tells us that Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison productions will be producing the film along with Chris Rock after Paramount and Fox Searchlight passed on the project for some reason. Could it have been the budget? Doubtful. Also, Bill Condon has a great track record and he makes solid movies. Why wouldn’t you want to work with him?
Anyway, Marlon Wayans was excellent in Darren Aronofsky’s “Requiem for a Dream” and I’m interested in seeing what he can bring to the role. I also actually really like it that Sandler and Rock will be producing the film instead of the usual studio guys who love their Oscar winning by the numbers biopics. I also have faith in Condon after loving his previous two biopics (“Gods and Monsters”, “Kinsey”) so I’m sure that he knows what he’s doing.
As you can imagine, there are still a ton of roles left to cast in the film. As of right now, we know that the film is expected to begin production sometime this spring. So, expect a lot of casting announcements in the next couple of months. As always, we’ll keep you updated.