Stand up comedians have not come much better than Richard Pryor and, since his passing in 2005, Hollywood have wanted to tell his story on the big screen. This project has been in the works for sometime and producer Bruce Cohen has talked with the press about the motivation behind the film and where it currently sits.
Being part of Bleed for This, Cohen has been doing the rounds with the press and explained that regardless of the on-again, off-again drama that is stalling the making of the movie, he knows that they have to get it right rather than get it done quick.
Diligence The Key To Success For Cohen
With Lee Daniels walking away from the project, Cohen was pressed on whether or not the biopic would become a reality.
"I hope so," he responded. "It’s one of the most brilliant scripts. Bill Condon did the initial draft and then Lee Daniels has done the rewrite and unfortunately, it’s hard to make the economics work in this landscape. It’s not a cheap movie: it’s period, it’s wide scope and it’s getting a cast together that gives you enough foreign value to let you make the movie. (That’s) the challenge."
Yet Cohen argues that they are going to get it as close to perfection as possible, or scrap it altogether. There will be no middle ground.
"The Weinstein Company and Lee and myself and Mike Epps, who’s been attached for a while to play Richard Pryor, all of us…as badly as we wanna make the movie, we feel even a little higher obligation to the subject matter, to do it right," argued Cohen. "So, we’re not gonna do it until we can do it the right way and I hope it comes together soon because it really is a project that needs to be made."
Epps At The Ready As Comedian Stays Connected To Stalled Project
While 46-year old Epps is best known for his role in the Friday franchise, Cohen states that the subject material will delve deep into the drama of the comics life off the stage. A prospect that will be a push for the performer and new territory we have not seen before.
"No, we’re tackling it full on," said Cohen. "The script is as dark, and raw, and sad, and scary in some ways but ultimately inspiring as well as a script can be. I wouldn’t say that’s really part of the problem because the financiers really they’re looking at the value of the film. They’re not concerned per se if something’s really dark, but we didn’t get any help from that."
"If it was a romantic comedy it would be easier to get our funding together. You know if you look at Lee Daniels’ work, if you look at my work and certainly if you look at Harvey’s work, you know these are filmmakers who do not pull punches and that’s certainly the case here."