Just when we thought the long-awaited Richard Pryor biopic was finally making some progress, it faces yet another setback. Director Lee Daniels has been dropped from the project due to scheduling conflicts. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Oscar nominated director’s busy schedule is to blame.
A source close to the project said The Weinstein Co., which is behind the film, is said to have declined to wait further for Daniels’ schedule to clear up. The Precious and The Butler helmer came on board the project in 2013, but has since become extremely busy with his hit TV series Empire, and upcoming Fox pilot Star.
After languishing in development for years, the project was set to begin filming in March but was delayed in part due to Daniels’ busy schedule. The current start of shooting is set for October, but sources say he asked for a further delay and Weinstein Co. wasn’t willing to wait. Daniels has yet to comment, but sources say The Weinstein Co., is already on the hunt for a new director.
Richard Pryor: Is It Something I Said?, from a script by Bill Condon, chronicles the life of the groundbreaking comedian, who rose to prominence in the 1970s before enjoying a film and television career and succumbing to Parkinson’s disease. The project has been in development in various incarnations for more than a decade (Pryor himself had a hand in it before his death in 2005). The current version has a star-studded cast set, including Mike Epps as Pryor, Oprah Winfrey as his grandmother and Kate Hudson as Pryor’s widow Jennifer Lee Pryor.