The creator of Black-ish and its spin-off series, Grown-ish and Mixed-ish, Kenya Barris, is going to direct a feature film about the famed comedian Richard Pryor. MGM has successfully nabbed the international rights to the movie following a highly competitive sale. He will be writing, directing, and producing the project that is yet to be titled.
This film will be marking his directional debut. The movie is centered on the life and the times of Pryor, who was one of the most influential comedians of all time. Over the course of his career, he has made his appearance in over 50 films, headlined the series, “The Richard Pryor Show“, and “Pryor’s Place.”
Richard Pryor Biopic | Kenya Barris Is The Perfect Person To Direct
He also wrote for the television shows, including Sanford and Sons, and among his numerous accolades, Pryor was the first-ever recipient of the annual Mark Twain Humor Prize. Barris said in a statement that the way Pryor did what he did, with truth and specificity, that was somehow self-aware and self-deprecating, and even said with an unmatched level of vulnerability, that was the impact and power of his work.
He added and said that he had a voice that was distinctly his, and in many ways, comedy since then has been a derivative of what he had created. To Barris, this is a film about that voice, the journey that shaped it, and what it took for it to come to be.
The film will also be produced by Jennifer Lee Pryor and her Tarnished Angel, and Tory Metzger for Levantine Films, in addition to Barris and his Khalabo Ink Society. Renee Witt of Levantine and Adam Rosenberg are the executive producers of the movie.
Richard Pryor’s widow Jennifer Lee Pryor said that having had a front-row seat to much of the life of Richard, she is excited that the mystery of his genius is finally going to be explored, and Kennya is the perfect person to do it. We would also like to tell you that Richard and Kenya are creative brothers.
Michael De Luca, MGM film group chairman and Pamela Abdy, MGM film group president added, “The NY Times has said of Richard Pryor, he was an ‘iconoclastic standup comedian who transcended barriers of race and brought a biting, irreverent humor into America’s living rooms, movie houses, clubs and concert halls.’