July 5th, 2010
01:05 PM ET
Comic legend Richard Pryor has inspired legions of comedians and now he’s inspiring a big-screen movie.
Pryor’s life will be turned into a biopic produced by Chris Rock and Adam Sandler and starring Marlon Wayans. “Richard Pryor: Is It Something I Said?” will tell Pryor’s story from his childhood at his grandmother’s Peoria, Illinois, brothel to his rise on the comedy scene to his struggle with drug addiction.
Eddie Murphy, who co-starred with the groundbreaking comedian in 1989’s “Harlem Nights,” was originally attached to the project, but reportedly passed because of “creative differences.” Meanwhile, Pryor, who died in 2005 at age 65, had selected “The Hangover” star Mike Epps as his personal choice. But Rock, 45, says it was “Scary Movie” and “G.I. Joe” funny guy Wayans who was born to play the role.
"Marlon Wayans, he did a screen test and it was just unbelievable," Rock told MTV News. "It's not just doing the comedy of Richard Pryor. He captures the vulnerability of Richard Pryor."
Bill Condon will direct the film – once he’s finished working on the two-part “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn” – and Sandler, 43, says shooting will begin “hopefully, soon. It’s all being worked on.”
In the meantime, Wayans, 37, is confident he will make Pryor proud. "You need to be lucky in life, but it's also what you do with your luck," he told the L.A. Times. "I'm ready."
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