Mike Epps will get the opportunity to portray Richard Pryor in an HBO series about the Los Angeles Lakers.
As Deadline reported, the show is based on the 2014 book by Jeff Pearlman titled Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s, which documents the “professional and personal lives” of Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Pat Riley and fellow members of the 1980s Lakers squad who “defined its era both on and off the court.”
Epps will take on the role of Richard Pryor, joining the likes of Carina Conti, who will play then-Lakers choreographer Paula Abdul, Max E. Williams, who is set to portray Lakers super fan Jack Nicholson, and more.
Epps’ newly-announced role as Richard Pryor comes after years news spread that he would be playing the comedian in a biopic that was to be directed by Lee Daniels.
“I met Richard and felt like I was in Oz the whole time,” Epps said in 2014, per Deadline. “It’s hard to describe what he means to me or any stand-up comic. You could say he’s paid the dues for everything we do up there.”
Fans waited patiently for the film to come to life, but it never did. With a desire to pay homage to Pryor, Epps called on Kenya Barris to help in putting the biopic together; the “Black-ish” star later announced that he would serve as director in a Pryor film.
Unfortunately, battles within Pryor’s estate have presented challenges in the film’s production, and Epps doubts that it will be brought to fruition.
“Nobody understood that it wasn’t just me doing Richard Pryor,” he explained in May during an interview on Jeezy’s “Worth a Conversation” talk show. “It was walking into an estate that was confused.”
“I went down a long road with that project man, you know,” Epps added. “It’s been a rollercoaster, man.”
Fortunately, the Next Friday actor will finally be able to portray Pryor though it’s not in the way he might have imagined. “It’s such a great honor to be mention with the legend and this fantastic project,” he wrote on Instagram of his new role.
Check out the post below.