It has been a few years since Mike Epps' name is linked to the untitled Richard Pryor biopic. Oprah Winfrey finally confirmed the casting by sharing an Instagram photo of her, director Lee Daniels and Epps during the first rehearsal.
"...just finished a great 1st read session. #RichardPryorMovie," Oprah captioned the picture. Daniels later tweeted the same picture while Epps posted a photo of him having lunch with Pryor's widow Jennifer. "Had to kiss the ring of @jennferLpryor for the blessing !you got to be stong [sic] to have been with the king!" he wrote.
The film is a long gestating project that started even before Pryor's death in 2005. The late stand-up comedian reportedly personally wanted Epps to portray him in the biopic although producers were also auditioning Michael B. Jordan, Marlon Wayans and Nick Cannon. Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway were considered for the role of Jennifer.
At the same time, Entertainment Tonight reveals Oprah's role in the film. The talk show host is playing Pryor's grandmother, Marie Carter, who has a complicated relationship with the comedian. Marie owns a brothel in which Pryor grew up.
Had to kiss the ring of @jennferLpryor for the blessing !you got to be stong to have been with the king! pic.twitter.com/OxvbjvPqHc— Mike Epps (@TheRealMikeEpps) August 24, 2014