Mike Epps to play Richard Pryor in Lee Daniels biopic

We’ve had plenty of biopics about politicians and musicians. But how many have we gotten about comedians? (Milos Forman’s Man on the Moon about Andy Kaufman is the last one to come to mind. And that was released in 1999.)

That could be changing soon with the news that Mike Epps has been cast to play Richard Pryor in a biopic to be directed by Lee Daniels. Both director and actor confirmed the development with a photo on Twitter.

If Oprah’s involved, this thing is going to happen, right? (No word on what her actual involvement will be, whether it’s as a producer, actor or even both.) The film will be produced by The Weinstein Company.

According to Deadline, other actors that had been mentioned for the role include Nick Cannon, Michael B. Jordan and Marlon Wayans. But Epps was apparently Pryor’s choice to play him nearly 10 years ago before that project stalled. The comedian and actor reportedly impressed Daniels and The Weinstein Company with his audition, and the thought is that Epps will be able to more believably play Pryor in his later years.

Interestingly, as pointed out by Shadow and Act, Epps also portrayed Pryor in Cynthia Mort’s Nina Simone film starring Zoe Saldana that still has yet to be released (and may never be.)


About Ian Casselberry

Ian is an editor for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He has covered baseball for Yahoo! Sports, MLive.com, Bleacher Report and SB Nation, and provides analysis for several sports talk radio shows each week. He currently lives in Asheville, NC.