Spike Lee has found a leading man in Eddie Murphy, reports The Washington Post, who say that the Tower Heist actor will play former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry in a biopic based on both Harry Jaffe and Tom Sherwood’s 1994 nonfiction book, “Dream City: Race, Power and the Decline of Washington, D.C.” and Dana Flor and Toby Oppenheimer’s 2009 documentary The Nine Lives of Marion Barry.
Barry served three straight terms as Mayor of the District of Columbia between 1979 and 1991. Despite being arrested and convicted for crack cocaine use in 1990, Barry ran again and won a fourth term between 1995 and 1999 and, despite no longer being in office, is still referred to with the nickname of D.C.’s “Mayor-for-life”.
While there is no announced timeline for the biopic, Murphy is slated to next appear early next year in A Thousand Words and will provide the voice of the title character in Hong Kong Phooey. Lee, meanwhile, will helm the big screen remake of Park Chan-wook’s Old Boy.
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