Mike Epps to play Richard Pryor in biopic — but not about Pryor

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 inĀ 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.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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