Director Lee Daniels Exits Long-Developing Richard Pryor Biopic
A biopic based on the life of the late, great Richard Pryor has been in the works for years, only recently making some legitimate progress with the hiring of director Lee Daniels and actor Mike Epps — who landed the role of the iconic comedian following an exhaustive casting search. But the project has taken a bit of a stumble, as Daniels has been forced to exit the biopic, which is now in need of a new director (again).
Back in 2013, Daniels signed on to direct the long-developing Richard Pryor biopic, but it took another year to find the perfect actor to play the role of the late stand-up comic. Mike Epps signed on in 2014, but it wasn’t until last year — with the additional casting of Kate Hudson and Oprah Winfrey — that the biopic seemed to be finally getting off the ground.
Unfortunately, according to THR, Daniels will no longer helm the project, as The Weinstein Company reportedly grew impatient waiting for an opening in the director’s schedule. Daniels is best known for directing Precious and The Butler, and is the co-creator / executive producer of FOX’s hit series Empire. He’s also developing Star, another new series for FOX.
Titled Richard Pryor: Is It Something I Said?, the biopic was scripted by Bill Condon, the director of Dreamgirls and Beauty and the Beast, Disney’s upcoming live-action redo of their animated classic. With production on the Pryor biopic set to begin this fall, it shouldn’t be much longer before a new director is hired — maybe Condon can take over for Daniels now that his work on Beauty and the Beast is complete.