Last year, we reported that director Lee Daniels was planning to follow up The Butler with a Janis Joplin biopic starring Amy Adams. However, it now looks like he’s moving towards another biopic, this one around legendary comedian Richard Pryor. A Pryor biopic has been in the works for years, and last year we reported that Forest Whitaker was set to co-produce an untitled picture based on the stand-up comic’s life with the possibility of re-teaming with his Fruitvale Station star, Michael B. Jordan, to play the lead role. Today’s news regarding Daniels’ Pryor biopic makes no mention of Whitaker (a bit odd since he starred in The Butler), but still mentions Pryor’s widow, Jennifer Pryor, as a producer the project. However, Michael B. Jordan is still in the mix as are Marlon Wayans and Eddie Murphy. Hit the jump for more.
Several years ago, Bill Condon was set to direct a biopic about comedian Richard Pryor with Marlon Wayans in the lead role. However, when Condon jumped to The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn—a move that will give him power in the long-run to get more personal projects made—the Pryor biopic languished. According to Deadline, the project has found new life with Forest Whitaker taking over to co-produce with Pryor’s widow, Jennifer Pryor. Forest will develop a new script in an attempt to finally bring Pryor’s story to the big screen. A biopic of the comedian has been attempted for years with black comedians such as Damon Wayans, Eddie Griffin, Mike Epps, Eddie Murphy, and Chris Rock all circling the role.
Hit the jump for why Whitaker’s film may finally get Pryor’s biopic in front of cameras, and the unlikely actor who could be a possibility for the juicy role.
At the recent Los Angeles press day for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2, I landed an exclusive video interview with director Bill Condon. As I told him on camera, I think the last Twilight film is the best in the series, and if your girlfriend is asking you to go, bite the bullet.
During our extended conversation I tried to ask new questions. We talked about how long his first cut was, deleted scenes, what will be on the eventual Blu-ray (he just recorded his commentary and says it’ll have an extended cut), whether he’s been approached to provide additional material for the eventual ultimate box set, how much changed throughout the shooting and post-production, how the MPAA originally gave the film an R and what he had to change in order to get the PG-13, mistakes/flubs on set (he tells a good story about Robert Pattinson), whether the Blu-ray extended cut will be unrated, and more. In addition, I got an update on his Richard Pryor movie, how he’s returning to direct a show onstage at the end of next year, and a lot more. Hit the jump to watch.
Casting additions today are as follows:
- Mike Epps (The Hangover) will portray comedian Richard Pryor in Nina, the Nina Simone biopic from writer/director Cynthia Mort that stars Zoe Saldana (Avatar) and David Oyelowo (The Last King of Scotland).
- Hip hop artist, Scott “Kid Cudi” Mescudi will join the indie rom-com, Two Night Stand, which marks the directorial debut of Max Nichols.
- Jai Courtney (Spartacus: Vengeance) will star opposite Joel Edgerton (Warrior) and Tom Wilkinson (Michael Clayton) in Felony. Matthew Seville (Noise) directs from Edgerton’s script.
Hit the jump for more on each picture.
It’s always a fun treat when a now-famous actor pops up in a small role in an older movie you haven’t re-watched in a while. We previously posted a “Before They Were Famous” supercut, but now someone has edited together a montage of actors in their very first feature film roles. While you’re most likely aware of the majority of these appearances, I’m willing to bet you’ll find at least a few surprises in this video. I had no idea Jon Hamm was in Clint Eastwood’s “old guys can be astronauts too” movie Space Cowboys, but I now feel compelled to move the pic to the top of my Netflix queue.
Watch Jack Nicholson, Woody Allen, Emma Thompson, Zach Braff and many more make their feature debut after the jump.
It’s hard to believe that The Wiz actually exists. It’s not that it’s too “out-there” an idea, or that anyone would have funded the production. It’s just that we’re talking about a musical re-telling of The Wizard of Oz starring Michael Jackson, Richard Pryor (!!!), and Nipsey Russell. Does that sound likely to you? Me, neither. I’d always heard about The Wiz, but had never seen it. You’re probably in the same boat, so is the recently-released Blu-ray worth a spot in your collection? Depends. Read on to learn why, folks…
More vampire news today, and this item has a much larger audience than the story on the Blood Nation comic adaptation, as it comes directly from Forks, WA. We reported earlier in the month that Oscar-winning writer/director director Bill Condon (Dreamgirls) was the frontrunner to direct the final chapter of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, and Summit just made it official with a press release. Condon, a great get for the franchise, remarked, “I’m very excited to get the chance to bring the climax of this saga to life on-screen. As fans of the series know, this is a one-of-a-kind book–and we’re hoping to create an equally unique cinematic experience.”
Check out the full press release and details on Condon’s participation after the jump.
It may take fans of the late, great Richard Pryor a while to get used to the idea of him being played by the star of White Chicks and Little Man, but Marlon Wayans himself is clearly excited about jumping into the role when director Bill Condon starts filming Richard Pryor: Is It Something I Said? this fall.
“This is like an invitation to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro for me, and I’ve never been more excited in my life than when I got the role,” he said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. “I want to be in dramas, I want to produce, I want to write and I want to prove I can handle a role such as this one.”
Smirk about all that if you want to, but along with the movies that have made he and his brethren very rich guys, Wayans has at least two performances in his career that show why I think he can handle this and nail it. First, go back and watch the Coen brothers’ remake of Ladykillers, in which he was easily the funniest guy (“you brought your bitch to the Waffle Hut?”) And, even better, think all the way back to Darren Aronofsky’s Requiem for a Dream, in which he held his own with the likes of Jennifer Connelly and Ellyn Burstyn and showed some genuine dramatic chops.
Hit the jump to hear more of what Wayans and a producer of Richard Pryor: Is It Something I Said? had to say about the upcoming flick.
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.
Because you demanded it! Or, I assume someone did…maybe. Either way, writing duo Michael Dilberti and Matthew Sullivan are set to write an update of George Barr McCutcheson’s 1902 novel “Brewster’s Millions”, a story centering on a down on his luck schmoe who gets a chance to inherit a huge sum of money from his rich grandfather, providing he can spend a slightly less huge amount in one year without gaining any assets along the way. Riveted? Thought so, so go ahead and hit the jump to learn more.