Tracy Morgan’s road to recovery is well under way after a tragic 2014 highway accident that left comedian James McNair dead and Morgan seriously injured, and now the comedian-turned-actor has lined up a notable on-screen role playing another actor who began his career in the stand-up circuit.
Morgan is reportedly in final negotiations to portray deceased comedian and actor Redd Foxx in the upcoming biopic of Richard Pryor, set to be directed by Oscar nominee Lee Daniels (Precious).
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Morgan will play Foxx in the upcoming biopic Richard Pryor: Is It Something I Said? Pryor is set to be played by Mike Epps (Next Friday, The Hangover), with veteran funnyman Eddie Murphy portraying Pryor’s father, Leroy Pryor.
“Mr. Foxx, I hope I do you justice!” said Morgan in a statement accompanying the news. “It will be an honor to portray an icon.”
An irreverent, often raunchy comedian who went on to star in the hit NBC sitcom Sanford and Son, Foxx gave Pryor a big break early in his career when the older comedian chose the younger stand-up to be his opening act. Foxx died in October 1991, and Pryor died in December 2005.
Along with the film’s high-profile cast of stand-up comedians who have found success on the screen, the film will also feature Taraji P. Henson (Empire, Person of Interest) as Pryor’s mother, Gertrude L. Thomas Pryor, and Oprah Winfrey (The Butler, The Color Purple) as Pryor’s grandmother, Marie Carter. Oscar-nominated Almost Famous actress Kate Hudson will play Pryor’s widow, Jennifer Pryor.
Richard Pryor: Is It Something I Said? is based on a script penned by Bill Condon (Dreamgirls, Mr. Holmes).
It’s worth noting that the 1989 film Harlem Nights, which was directed by Eddie Murphy, presented both Foxx and Pryor in featured roles along with Murphy himself. Given the generation-spanning nature of that film, it will be interesting to see the dynamic as yet another group of well-known comedians assembles onscreen to portray these comedy legends.
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