Richard Pryor died in 2005 at the age of 65, leaving behind a legacy of legendary comedy — and equally legendary debauchery. He was the guy a generation of stand-up comedians modeled themselves after, and he was the guy whose long-standing drug abuse — including a frightening incident in which he lit himself on fire while freebasing cocaine — stood as a warning to rising comics about the dangers of addiction and fame.
Two of the comedians who rose to prominence in the decades after Pryor’s trailblazing comedic stylings, Adam Sandler and Chris Rock, are deep in development as the producers of “Richard Pryor: Is It Something I Said?” a biopic about the funnyman. Eddie Murphy circled the Pryor role at one point, and before his death, Pryor himself anointed Mike Epps (“The Hangover”) as the guy for the part. But the gig eventually went to Marlon Wayans. Why? Rock had some answers.
“Marlon Wayans, he did a screen test and it was just unbelievable,” Rock told MTV News recently. “It’s not just doing the comedy of Richard Pryor. He captures the vulnerability of Richard Pryor.”
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