Black-ish creator Kenya Barris to write and direct new biopic of comedian Richard Pryor
Kenya Barris, the creator of megahit comedy Black-ish, is to write and direct a new biopic of comedy icon Richard Pryor.
According to Variety, Barris will write, produce and direct the yet-to-be-titled project. It will be his first feature film.
Pryor's widow, Jennifer Lee Pryor, is among the film's producers. MGM, makers of James Bond and Creed among many others, are producing the film.
Pryor is regarded as one of the best and most groundbreaking stand-up comedians of all time.
During his career, he won five Grammy’s, two American Academy of Humor awards and became the recipient of the first-ever Mark Twain Humor Prize award.
Before he sadly died in 2005, he starred in over 50 movies, including star turns in Blazing Saddles and Harlem Nights and had his own variety series, The Richard Pryor Show and Pryor’s Place.
Speaking about the project, Barris said: "The way Pryor did what he did — with truth and specificity that was somehow self-aware and self-deprecating, and said with an unmatched level of vulnerability — that was the power and impact of his work."
He continued: "Pryor had a voice that was distinctly his and, in many ways, comedy since then has been derivative of what he created. To me, this is a film about that voice, the journey that shaped it, and what it took for it to come to be.”
Barris began his career as creator of hit comedy Girlfriends, before launching Black-ish in 2014. The show has since spawned two spin-offs, Grown-ish and Mixed-ish.
Barris has also provided screenplays for Girls Trip, the new take on Shaft and the upcoming sequel Coming 2 America.