Mike Epps will play Richard Pryor on the big screen, after all.
It just won’t be in a movie about the legendary stand-up comedian and actor.
Instead, Epps will play Pryor in Nina, a biopic about singer Nina Simone that stars Zoe Saldana. Pryor opened for Simone during the singer’s early tours of the 1960s. The movie begins shooting this week in Los Angeles.
As for the Pryor biopic, Marlon Wayans has been attached since 2010 to star as Pryor in a film directed by Bill Condon. But the project — “Richard Pryor: Is It Something I Said?” — apparently remains on hold, with Adam Sandler and Chris Rock on board as producers. Eddie Murphy also had been looking into becoming the most famous stand-up to play an even more famous stand-up. And Epps had the other players beat in terms of personal connections, sitting with Pryor in the year before his death in 2005.