Mike Epps was on a panel for the Television Critics Association on Saturday promoting his new ABC series Uncle Buck, a remake of the John Candy movie. After the panel, Epps spoke with reporters about the Richard Pryor biopic Lee Daniels is directing. He had a very specific account of how much classic standup we will see in the film.
“50% of the script is performances,” Epps said. “I can’t give it all up but a lot of his bits and routines that we are familiar with is what we’ll be seeing in the film.”
Richard Pryor: Is It Something I Said? is set to shoot in May. The film has been in development for years and finally gained momentum when Daniels took the helm. That means it will distinctly be “a Lee Daniels film” and has drastically changed the tone through development.
“Lee Daniels is one of those directors, he likes it real, he likes it gritty,” Epps said. “The content has definitely changed. It’s a lot more dark, it’s a lot more fun. You know what Lee Daniels brings to a film.”
Epps himself is a standup comedian and came up in the business with Pryor as a role model. Delving deeper into Pryor’s history has informed Epps about the true stories behind Pryor’s scathing comedy.
“Studying Richard Pryor for this role, I have learned so much about who he is,” Epps said. “I’ve learned so much about comedy. I learned that I’m not as crazy as I claim that I am. This dude was a genius and he sacrificed himself, I think literally, to make everyone laugh in the world.”
Richard Pryor: Is It Something I Said? co-stars Eddie Murphy, Oprah Winfrey, Tracy Morgan and Kate Hudson with a script by Bill Condon. Uncle Buck premieres later this year on ABC.