Filmmakers plan to project the legendary Richard Pryor’s storied life on the silver screen in the near future, and a new development on the creatives behind the biopic was recently announced.
During a press conference on Thursday (Oct. 6) for “TIME: The Kalief Browder Story,” which will air on Spike TV in January 2017, Harvey Weinstein announced that newly-minted TV/film partner, Jay Z — who serves as an executive producer on the story of Browder’s life during and after prison — will also serve as a producer on the Pryor biopic.
“His story is an American story,” the “Empire State of Mind” rapper said to the room full of media personnel. “You’ll understand how many lives he’s touched, from every single comedian to rappers like Biggie Smalls.”
Comedian Mike Epps is slated to step into his influencer’s shoes, and spoke briefly at a previous panel on how he prepared for the role. “Studying Richard Pryor for this role, I have learned so much about who he is,” he said. “I’ve learned so much about comedy. I learned that I’m not as crazy as I claim that I am. This dude was a genius and he sacrificed himself, I think literally, to make everyone laugh in the world.”
In 2005, Pryor passed away in Los Angeles, Calif., from a heart attack. For his game-changing comedic skills that’s influenced every other comedian after him, Pryor garnered five Grammy Awards for his comedy albums.