Although Eddie Murphy’s name still carries weight in the Hollywood sphere, it’s been a while since he’s been directly in the public eye, but that’s soon changing. Along with Coming to America 2 arriving in December 2020, last year he struck up a partnership with Netflix to start in Dolemite Is My Name, the biographical comedy about comedian and actor Rudy Ray Moore.
Now you can watch the first trailer for this Netflix original that shows off Murphy alongside a heavy-hitting cast. Take a look!
As you can see, Netflix, Eddie Murphy (who also produced the movie) and director Craig Brewer (who’s also working with Murphy on Coming to America 2) did not skimp on the talent for Dolemite Is My Name. Murphy is accompanied by the likes of Wesley Snipes, Keegan-Michael Key, Mike Epps, Craig Robinson, Titus Burgess, Da’vine Joy Randolph and Snoop Dog, as well as T.I., Chris Rock and Ron Cephas Jones, who weren’t present in this trailer.
Wow, what a stacked lineup!
As for the premise, Dolemite Is My Name (written by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski) follows Rudy Ray Moore’s journey to becoming a comedy star, initially hoping to accomplish that by putting out a comedy record. To that end, he creates the pimp character Dolemite, who loves to rhyme and spout out raunchy routines (“Dolemite is my name, and fucking up motherfuckers is my game!”).
Unfortunately for Rudy Ray Moore, while folks seem to like his live Dolemite shows, when it comes time to put out that comedy record, naturally it’s incredibly difficult to sell and promote in 1970s America given the filthy material. Not to be deterred, Mr. Moore decides to bring Dolemite to a cinematic setting, though that’s hardly an easy endeavor either. For instance, the only way he can gets Wesley Snipes’ D’Urville Martin to come aboard is if he also gets to direct.
From the blaxploitation to the kung-fu action, both of which were all the rage in the ‘70s, those Dolemite movies are wild, though hardly fine examples of smooth productions. In any case, it’s good to see Eddie Murphy back in a comedic role that simultaneously shines a light on a 20th century entertainer some folks might not have heard of before.
It’s safe to say that Netflix has had a mixed record when it comes to its original movies, certainly when compared to its TV offerings. Still, Dolemite Is My Name looks to be something special, and if it ends up being critically well-received, perhaps this could translate to awards consideration, namely for Eddie Murphy. He was previously nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as James “Thunder” Early in 2006’s Dreamgirls.
Dolemite Is My Name doesn’t have an official Netflix release date yet, but it will premiere on the streaming service and in select theaters this fall, as well as be shown at the Toronto International Film Festival next month. If you’re curious about what’s hitting the big screen for the rest of the year, look through our 2019 release schedule.