/michael-b-jordan-marlon-wayans-and-eddie-murphy-circle-richard-pryor-biopic/Back in January, it was being widely reported that Michael B. Jordan and Marlon Wayans were the two front-runners to play comedian Richard Pryor in the upcoming biopic Richard Pryor: Is It Something I Said? (though the title may have now changed). While both are still in contention, it looks like comedian Mike Epps has found his way to the front of the pack after an explosive audition won over everyone involved with the film.

Originally set to be directed by Bill Condon, Lee Daniels is now at the helm of this drama that will look at the tumultuous early days of Richard Pryor and his meteoric rise to stardom. Eddie Murphy had been interested in taking the lead at one point. The movie is now set up at The Weinstein Company.

Nick Cannon has also come in for auditions, with Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway rumored to be up for the role of Richard Pryor's widow Jennifer Lee Pryor.

RELATED: Mike Epps Will Play Richard Pryor in Upcoming Biopic

Both Marlon Wayans and Mike Epps had previously been signed to star in different incarnations of the Richard Pryor biopic before those versions fell apart.

Marlon Wayans was set to play the late comedian when the biopic was to be directed by Bill Condon, back when the movie was set up at Sony through Adam Sandler's Happy Madison banner. Mike Epps's history with the project stretches back to 2005, when Richard Pryor was still alive and involved with putting the film together with his wife through their Indigo Productions house. At that point, Walter Hill was set to direct and co-write the screenplay.

Mike Epps had been handpicked by Richard Pryor to star in this version of the movie. About the casting, the comedian had this to say,

"I met Richard and felt like I was in Oz the whole time. 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."

Mike Epps had won the role over Damon Wayans because Richard Pryor didn't want an actor who had already made it as a big star. The late comedian passed away later that year, and this particular version of the movie fell apart. Jennifer Lee Pryor has continued to try and make the movie ever since.

B. Alan Orange at Movieweb
B. Alan Orange