Eddie Murphy to Star in Richard Pryor Biopic?

Nowadays, the thought of a new Eddie Murphy movie is a pretty painful proposition. From The Adventures of Pluto Nash and The Haunted Mansion to Norbit and Meet Dave, he’s doing a great job of making us forget the brilliant comedic performances that he was responsible for throughout the ’80s and early ’90s. Still, buried in amongst his recent roles there was one faint glimmer of hope: Bill Condon’s Dreamgirls, a film that earned Murphy an Academy Award nomination and a Golden Globe win for Best Supporting Actor. Clearly if there is anyone out there who could revive Eddie Murphy’s career, there’s a good chance it is Bill Condon.

According to Entertainment Weekly, Condon is currently shopping around a project to indie studios that may indeed be the perfect comeback vehicle for Eddie Murphy: a biopic called Richard Pryor: Is It Something I Said?. Word on the street is that Fox Searchlight may be interested. Pryor is widely regarded as one of the most important stand up comedians of all time, and had some pretty crazy ups and downs before eventually being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. We all know biopics are a surefire way to land an Oscar, and this could find the same mix of comedy and drama that landed Jim Carrey praise for his turn as Andy Kaufman in Man on the Moon. Murphy has done impressions of Richard Pryor throughout his years of stand-up, but the challenge will be to turn the performance into more than just an impression. What do you think, can Eddie Murphy pull it off? Would a role like this this put him back near the top of Hollywood’s A-list?

  • Back on the A-List? Was he ever off of it? I mean, sure, his movies are in general pretty shitty, but didn’t both “Norbit” and “The Haunted Mansion” make a pretty good amount of money?

  • Well I said “back near the top”, but yeah that’s a good point. He’s still a huge name, there’s no question, and his movies do make money. Critical acclaim is almost irrelevant.

  • rus in chicago

    best idea to come out of Hollywood in 5 years. give them a budget to recreate the 60s, and 70s and light this candle. (meaning, light eddie murphy’s head for the cocaine overdose scene at the end of the second act)

  • joe

    pretty funny clip there

  • Chuck

    I made a previous comment, but after I thought about I changed my opinion. I would rather see a strong actor rather a well known comedic presence like Eddie play Richard Pryor. Some one like Jeffery Wright, Tarrence Howard, or how about letting this be the vehical for that great unknown who is out there and just right to play Richard Pryor. Eddie Murphy will be professional but I bet I will see Eddie Murphy using his standup experience to do Richard Pryor rather experiencing a great actor being Richard Pryor.

  • Chuck

    I forgot to mention Mos Def.