Eddie Murphy is one of the true pioneers of stand-up comedy, but it's something he hasn't done for a very long time. That could all change very soon though, as it's come to light that the 58-year-old legend is eyeing a return to the stage in a series of specials for Netflix. If this does indeed come to pass, it's not going to come cheap, as the streaming service is about to shell out an unprecedented amount of money to get Murphy telling jokes on stage again.
According to several reports, Eddie Murphy is negotiating with Netflix for an unnamed number of stand-up comedy specials that would see him earn a whopping $70 million. Netflix has handed out some huge paydays to comedians in the past, giving Dave Chappelle $20 million each for his specials, and handing out $40 million to Chris Rock for a two-show deal. Amy Schumer also negotiated an $11 million payday for her special. But this is on a whole different level, considering the number Murphy could command surpasses the production budget of a mid-level action movie.
Eddie Murphy Raw and Delirious are considered to be amongst the best stand-up comedy specials ever made, which were released when Murphy was at the height of his powers in the 80s. Murphy, like many big-name comedians, shifted his focus to acting, where he starred in movies such as Beverly Hills Cop, Coming to America and Trading Places, in addition to lending his voice to the Shrek franchise as Donkey. Murphy has been more reclusive in recent years, but his efforts in the 2000s such as The Adventures of Pluto Nash and Norbit failed to recapture his earlier magic.
Recently, Eddie Murphy hinted that he intends to return to stand-up. Coincidentally, this happened on the Netflix series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. Host Jerry Seinfeld brought up Murphy's absence from the world of comedy, at which point he revealed his plans to do it again, when the time is right.
"I'm going to do it again. Everything just has to be right. You have to get up there and start working out. Still gotta go to the comedy club."
A cool $70 million might help provide the proper motivation. In addition to the possible specials, Eddie Murphy is also set to star in Dolemite Is My Name! for Netflix, which is expected to arrive later this year. Murphy is also reprising one of his most beloved roles in Coming to America 2, which was confirmed by Paramount earlier this year at CinemaCon and currently set to hit theaters next year.
When he's firing on all cylinders, Eddie Murphy is a force unlike any other in the world of comedy. Could this be the comeback we've all been waiting for? One can only hope, but Netflix is willing to shell out big money to be a part of it. This news was previously reported by TMZ.