Eddie Murphy Could Star In Marion Barry Biopic For HBO
Now that's he's no longer hosting the Oscars and Tower Heist has faded to the background, what was supposed to be Eddie Murphy's comeback now seems a lot quieter. The next film he has coming out is the long-delayed comedy A Thousand Words, and funny moments in Tower Heist aside, it's been unclear that the genuine comedic genius had any intention of making a good film again. But while a good comedy may still be out of reach, Murphy may have found a biopic role that could at least get us respecting him again.
No, it's not the Richard Pryor biopic he's been wanting to make forever. According to The Washington Post, Murphy is attached to star and Spike Lee is attached to direct a biopic about Marion Barry, the "mayor for life" of Washington D.C. who was memorably arrested for crack cocaine possession in 1990 but still was re-elected as mayor in 1994. Barry is a colorful character who still serves on the Washington D.C. city council, and though his reps claimed no knowledge of the film in the works, I have to assume they'd have Barry's approval to make the film. The Post writes that the biopic is in the works from HBO Films, and while it's possible it would see a theatrical release, more likely it would air on HBO-- which is no small feat, given the excellent made-for-HBO movies they air often.
Murphy may still be in search of his elusive Oscar, but a Marion Barry biopic seems like an easy bid for an Emmy, and maybe that comeback that seemed so guaranteed two months ago. With Spike Lee attached you know the film will have a high profile, and if Murphy brings an ounce of the commitment he brought to his role in Dreamgirls, he should have no problem playing a charismatic, troubled guy who couldn't stay out of the spotlight. There's no reason not to look forward to it if it happens; now we just have to hope Murphy sticks around and actually makes this one.
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