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Richard Pryor Biopic Gets Upgraded to 10-Part Series


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by Xtreme HD IPTV

Summary

  • Kenya Barris is developing a 10-part series biopic on Richard Pryor, originally planned as a movie.
  • Barris is passionate about Pryor’s legacy and sees him as a comedy god who influenced future comedians.
  • The expanded series format will allow for a more comprehensive exploration of Pryor’s life and impact on comedy.


Kenya Barris has finally shared an update on his upcoming biopic of iconic comedian Richard Pryor, which will now take the form of a 10-part series. Originally tapped by MGM to helm the project as a movie back in 2020, the Black-Ish creator was originally set to write, direct and produce the feature, but it looks like the plans for the story have changed, which could all be down to Amazon’s acquisition of MGM Studios in 2022.

Speaking to Variety, Barris shared that he is currently “in the room” with development on the series, and although it has not been confirmed, it seems almost certain that it will find a home on Prime Video. Speaking about the series, he said:

It’s a 10-part limited biographical series that takes a look from cradle to grave. From his earliest upbringing — he grew up in a ho house, or a house of ill repute — and became, at one point, the biggest star in the world.

This is probably a much more rounded project that would have been seen if it had remained a movie, and as far as Barris is concerned, it appears to be something he could never have passed up on. He continued:

“It is my baby. I love it. He is my comedy god. A super flawed guy, but who everything, to this day, the comedy that we remember — even including [Dave] Chappelle — is derivative of what he started. That honest, reflecting, observational look at what the world is and the differences between us that actually make us more similar than we are apart. I think telling his story and letting people see things that they didn’t know about him is something that I’m super excited to bring to life.”

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Barris Shared His Feelings About Pryor’s Place in Comedy

Richard Pryor holding a microphone during a stand-up routine

When it was announced, the Richard Pryor biopic was reportedly the subject of a fierce bidding war, with MGM taking the spoils. Now part of the Amazon family, it is possibly not surprising that the project has been expanded to be a series. At the time of the original announcement, Barris’ enthusiasm to be working on a biopic of Pryor’s life was clear to see. He said in a statement:

“The way Pryor did what he did, with truth and specificity that was somehow self-aware and self-deprecating, and said with an unmatched level of vulnerability, that was the power and impact of his work. Pryor had a voice that was distinctly his and, in many ways, comedy since then has been derivative of what he created. To me, this is a film about that voice, the journey that shaped it, and what it took for it to come to be.”

Richard Pryor is one of the most celebrated stand-up comedians in history. His work would go on to influence comedians for years to follow. Pryor, who passed away in 2005, was the first recipient of the annual Mark Twain Humor Prize. During his career, Pryor starred in dozens of movies including Superman III, Silver Streak, See No Evil, Hear No Evil and Brewster’s Millions. Jennifer Lee Pryor had this to say.

“Having had a front row seat to much of Richard’s life, I am excited that the mystery of his genius is finally going to be explored and Kenya Barris is the perfect person to do it. Richard and Kenya are creative brothers.”

Kenya Barris created the hit series Black-Ish as well as the spin-off Grown-Ish. Some of his previous screenwriting credits include The Witches and Eddie Murphy’s Coming 2 America, which is arriving from Amazon in December. MGM Film Group Chairman Michael De Luca and MGM Film Group President Pamela Abdy had this to say in a joint statement.

“The NY Times has said of Richard Pryor, he was an ‘iconoclastic standup comedian who transcended barriers of race and brought a biting, irreverent humor into America’s living rooms, movie houses, clubs and concert halls.’ We couldn’t agree more. Along with our partners Kenya, Tory, Jennifer and Adam, we are incredibly excited to share Richard’s extraordinary life with audiences the world over.”

A Richard Pryor biopic has long been eyed by Hollywood. At one point, a version of the movie was coming together that would have possibly seen Mike Epps taking on the lead role. There is no word yet on who is in the running to play Pryor in this version. It also remains unclear how soon MGM hopes to get production up and running. We’ll be sure to keep you posted as further details are made available.

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by Xtreme HD IPTV

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