Comedians Eddie Murphy (left) and Richard Pryor (right).
Director Lee Daniels (Precious, The Butler) is currently working on getting a biographical drama focusing on Richard Pryor underway, and some news regarding the supporting cast has now surfaced from THR. Comedy-veteran Eddie Murphy (Beverly Hills Cop, Coming To America) is now set to portray Pryor’s abusive, alcoholic father, a period that proved incredibly influential on the comedian’s work and only added to his comedic-legacy. Also included on the cast list is comedic-actor Mike Epps (Next Friday, The Hangover) and Oscar-nominee Kate Hudson (Almost Famous, Something Borrowed). Thus far there is no scheduled release date and Daniels has yet to develop a script or find a screenwriter, but with the cast filling out we should see that get underway relatively quickly. Stay tuned for more news.
Paramount Pictures has found a replacement director for their Civil Rights drama Selma after Lee Daniels (The Butler, Precious) backed away from the project. Ava DuVernay, who has served as publicity specialist on projects like The Help, Rush Hour 3, and Spider-Man 2, has taken the job after just directing her own episode of Scandal. The film revolves around the “Bloody Sunday” civil rights marches that happened in Selma and Montgomery, Alabama in 1965 and has Tim Roth (Reservoir Dogs, The Incredible Hulk) set to star as Senator George Wallace, Tom Wilkinson (The Patriot, Michael Clayton) as President Lyndon Johnson, and David Oyelowo (The Last King of Scotland, Rise of the Planet of the Apes) as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Senator George Wallace is famous for his extreme opposition to banishing segregation in the United States; he famously stood in front of the doors at the University of Alabama in an effort to block newly admitted black students from entering, and when the Selma marches began the politician ordered state troopers to stop the first waves of marchers by beating them, stirring national attention and building great support for desegregation. No word yet on when this one is expected to hit theaters, but we’ll keep you informed.