The joke in that headline is as obvious as it gets, but I wouldn’t make it for any other reason. As it were, THR confirm that Lee Daniels left The Weinstein Company plenty pleased with his late-summer hit, Lee Daniels’ The Butler, to the point that they’d like him aboard another biopic — this one focusing on the life of Richard Pryor, a long-in-development project that’s fortunate enough to have three actors currently pursuing its central role. The men? Marlon Wayans, Eddie Murphy, and Fruitvale Station‘s Michael B. Jordan.
The lattermost’s (relative) newcomer status is doubly true of this title, which has been looking to secure those older performers for years — Wayans, in particular, leaving Harvey Weinstein “wowed” with an audition tape — but the up-and-comer is gaining traction, as up-and-comers do; the only cited concern is makeup to convincingly age the star through his mid-60s. Daniels‘ own involvement isn’t discussed a great deal in the story — there’s more focus put on its producer (the comic’s widow, Jennifer Pryor) being able to supply the title with “more than 50 pages of Pryor’s personal journals, which offer a glimpse into his brilliant, but dark, mind — but it’s worth noting he’s (generally) fine with actors, as The Butler displayed so often. Can he convincingly age Jordan? He did it for David Oyelowo, who isn’t much older. What I’m still unconvinced about is if (and why) this story is worth a translation to the screen.
What do you think of Daniels taking on the life of Pryor? Does anything about this project especially stand out?