Forest Whitaker to resurrect Richard Pryor biopic

The project has been flailing for almost two decades

By Prachi Gupta

Published March 28, 2013 9:30PM (EDT)


Forest Whitaker is reviving a biopic about the life of venerated comedian Richard Pryor, who inspired a generation of comics until his untimely drug-related death in 2005.

From Deadline:

"Whitaker is  teaming with the late comedian’s widow, Jennifer Pryor, to produce the film through his Significant Productions shingle. Whitaker will develop a new script with input from Jennifer Pryor, and Significant Productions’ Nina Yang-Bongiovi, will also produce."

The project has been stalled for nearly 20 years, since before Pryor's death. The first project was to be directed by Martin Scorcese and star Damon Wayans as the comic. Showtime also had plans at one point to star Eddie Griffin as Pryor, and later a movie with Mike Epps. In 2010, filmmaker filmmaker Bill Condon had plans to direct the pic starring Marlon Wayans as Pryor, but put the project on hold to direct the "Twilight" sequels.

Condon is no longer involved with the film, and there's no word yet on whether Wayans or any of the other actors once slated to will play Pryor.

Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at

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Biopic Film Forest Whitaker Movies Richard Pryor