Kenya Barris tapped to write/direct/produce Richard Pryor biopic
After years of attempts at telling the story of the legendary comedian on the big screen, MGM has acquired the rights to a new iteration of a Richard Pryor biopic with Kenya Barris (Black-ish) attached to write, direct and produce the project, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“The way Pryor did what he did — with truth and specificity that was somehow self-aware and self-deprecating, and said with an unmatched level of vulnerability — that was the power and impact of his work,” Barris said in a statement. “Pryor had a voice that was distinctly his and, in many ways, comedy since then has been derivative of what he created. To me, this is a film about that voice, the journey that shaped it, and what it took for it to come to be.”
The untitled project will be produced by Barris via his Khalabo Ink Society production banner alongside Pryor’s widow Jennifer Lee Pryor for her Tarnished Angel banner and Tory Metzger for Levantine Films, while Adam Rosenberg is attache to executive produce the film.
“Having had a front-row seat to much of Richard’s life, I am excited that the mystery of his genius is finally going to be explored and Kenya Barris is the perfect person to do it,” Lee Pryor said in a statement. “Richard and Kenya are creative brothers.”
A biopic centered on Pryor has been in the works for over a decade now, with previous attempts including Richard Pryor: Is It Something I Said? being produced by Chris Rock and Adam Sandler, which had Marlon Wayans, Eddie Murphy and Mike Epps attached to produce at various points in development as well as Mike Condon and Lee Daniels being set to direct, though after years of languishing in development hell it appears that project has officially died.
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