Casting Call: Richard Pryor

Published April 19, 2013

In which we suggest who should star in the next big adaptation, remake, or historical film.

Academy Award-winning actor Forest Whitaker has taken over production of the long-delayed Richard Pryor biopic. Whitaker, who just produced a Sundance Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award-winning movie in Fruitvale, will develop a new script, working with the late comedian’s fourth and seventh wife, Jennifer Pryor.

This film has gone through seemingly endless attachments and detachments. The most recent being Marlon Wayans starring as Pryor with Bill Condon directing, although that film was derailed by Condon’s commitments to the Twilight franchise. Without an attached director or star, this project is very much in limbo, but Pryor’s widow’s involvement suggests that it will be a softer look at the controversial comedian than, say, the rumored Scorsese-Damon Wayans drama. Not to say that the film will not still include the famous crack-related incident during which Pryor lit himself on fire, then ran down the street until police could subdue him, but it will probably paint a more sympathetic picture overall.

The details are extremely sketchy, but Pryor’s status as an iconic figure demands that justice be done to his legacy. Click through the slideshow for a look into who we think should play Pryor, his friends, and his family.

Casting Call runs every Friday. For more, click here.