The Humor Mill

The Richard Pryor Documentary Moves Forward; But Is The Biography Falling Apart?

Posted Apr 17, 2012

We discovered yesterday that the Richard Pryor documentary is moving forward on Showtime, and the possibilities of the Richard Pryor film set to star Marlon Wayans looks even slimmer. The documentary film got a nice jolt as word leaked that Marina Zenovich, a documentary film maker was finally able to secure the rights to the film. We also hear that the film will be broadcast on BBC early next year.

What’s not be reported anywhere is how this film is coming together, and that the family issues between Pryor’s family and his wife Jennifer are stalling the eventual biography film. No exact details are being stated, but we can say that since the documentary film is underway there may be progress on the biography starring Wayans… But insiders at the studio told us that the Pryors are being so difficult among each other some of the family members do not see this film being made at all. As it is now, the film was supposed to start filming in February and production has already been pushed back twice. So, we will see.

Check out some of the details reported by our friends over at;

Thanks to BBC ‘Storyville’ and Showtime, a documentary about the life of late comedian Richard Pryor will finally be made. Filmmaker Marina Zenovich, who is best known for her documentary on controversial director Roman Polanski, is taking lead on the untitled film for delivery to the BBC late this year or early next year. The film, commissioned by Showtime, is expected to air on that network, as well.

Showtime announced its involvement in the project this past January, but had no details at the time. As it turns out, BBC ‘Storyville’ editor Nick Fraser has been attempting to complete this project for some time, but it took a while to get Pryor’s family on board, reports

“We’ve wanted to do a film on him for a long time,” he said, adding that the film will feature “a lot of great archive” material. The film will not only delve into the world of Pryor’s legendary and lasting effect on stand-up comedy, but also take a deep look into the darker aspects of his life including drug abuse, multiple failed marriages and major health issues.

Despite the inclusion of dark material, comedy fans are sure to be excited to be able to get a look into the life of the late, great comic who has been a major influence to many in the stand-up world and beyond. With that in mind, let’s check out a clip from Pryor’s 1982 legendary concert film Live on the Sunset Strip, wherein he talks about the N-word.

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