Well the long-gestating Richard Pryor biopic just got thrown yet another curveball. A film about the life of the iconic comic has been in the works for years, with Precious and The Butler helmer Lee Daniels coming aboard as director in 2013. While an extensive casting search took place to find the actor who would play Pryor, Mike Epps was finally confirmed in late summer 2014, with Oprah Winfrey and Kate Hudson subsequently signing on. It looked as though the project was finally about to happen, but now a major blow has been delivered: Lee Daniels has exited the project.
Per THR, Daniels is no longer directing the untitled Richard Pryor biopic. Apparently The Weinstein Company declined to wait further for Daniels’ schedule to clear up, so he was forced to vacate the project while they look to find a new filmmaker who can get this thing rolling more quickly.
Indeed, Daniels is mighty busy at the moment not only with his smash hit Fox series Empire, but also with a new series he’s developing at the network called Star. That new music-centric series takes place in Atlanta and follows three young women who start a band and rise to the top, and Daniels is intimately involved in crafting that show for its debut during the upcoming season.
Bill Condon, the scribe behind Dreamgirls and director of Kinsey and the upcoming Beauty and the Beast, penned the script for Richard Pryor: Is It Something I Said?. The Weinstein Company is committed to starting production later this year, as an October start-date was planned before Daniels asked for another delay, expect word of a new director to arrive sooner rather than later.