Director Lee Daniels and Oprah Winfrey have finally found their Richard. On Sunday, Aug. 24, Winfrey posted a on her Instagram of herself, Daniels, and stand-up comedian and actor Mike Epps taken after the trio completed a first read-through of the Richard Pryor movie. The TV mogul’s comment read, “Just finished a great 1st read session #RichardPryorMovie.” Daniels follower suit shortly after on his Twitter, confirming Epps’ starring role.
Epps then joined in by tweeting a picture of himself kissing the hand of “Richard Pryor’s wife, Jennifer Pryor, after the two met. It was Epps’s way of asking Jennifer for her blessing in his portrayal of her husband.
“Had to kiss the ring of @jennferLpryor for the blessing !you got to be stong to have been with the king!” read the comic’s caption. It is unclear exactly what role Winfrey has in the project, but her relationship with Daniels includes starring in a supporting role in the director’s previous film, Lee Daniels’ The Butler. Earlier reports claimed that Oprah was in talks to star as Pryor’s grandmother, who raised him in her brothel, but this has not been clarified.
Epps beat out a slew of comedians to star in the upcoming film, (reportedly titled Nina) including Eddie Murphy, Marlon Wayans, and Nick Cannon. The biopic of the late comic has long been in development, even while Pryor was still alive. The stand-up legend died in December, 2005. With the backing of Daniels and Winfrey and the confirmed addition of Epps, the film looks to be finally getting off the ground and into the spotlight. Epps’s previous films include Lottery Ticket, The Hangover, and Jumping the Broom.
(Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)