Mike Epps to star as Richard Pryor in Nina Simone biopic 'Nina'

theGRIO REPORT - Comedian Mike Epps will take on the role Richard Pryor in the upcoming Nina Simone biopic, 'Nina,' starring Zoe Saldana...

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

Comedian Mike Epps received rave reviews this summer for his dramatic role as the troubled comedian, Satin Struthers, in Sparkle.

The 41-year-old actor is now set to take on the role Richard Pryor in the upcoming Nina Simone biopic, Nina, starring Zoe Saldana.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Epps will star as Pryor in a supporting role.

In a supporting role, Epps will play Pryor, who opened for the singer when they two were starting out in the early 1960s. Pryor had terrible stage fright and Simone, in her autobiography, recalled how she regularly rocked him into calmness.

Cynthia Mort penned the script for Nina and is directing the film, which follows the “Feeling Good” singer’s “ascent to stardom and her relationship with her Paris-based manager Clifton Henderson,” played by David Oyelowo.

In addition to Sparkle, Epps recently wrapped up filming The Hangover Part III.

He also has a role in the thriller Vipaka, starring Forest Whitaker and Anthony Mackie, which is reportedly in post-production.

Nina begins shooting this week in Los Angeles.

Follow Chris Witherspoon on Twitter at @WitherspoonC