Tracy Morgan to Play the Wonderfully Crude Redd Foxx in Richard Pryor Biopic


Tracy Morgan’s comeback following his accident is real, and seems momentous. After having hosted SNL, he’s set to appear in the Ice Cube/Christina Hendricks/Dean Norris-starring comedy, Fist Fight, and now, according to The Hollywood Reporter, he’s in talks to play the iconically crude standup comedian Redd Foxx — most known for starring in Sanford and Son — in Lee Daniels’ Richard Pryor biopic.

It was Foxx (who’s previously been portrayed onscreen by Damon Wayans and Aries Spears) who, to an extent, got Pryor on the radar when he enlisted him as his opening act. The two also co-starred in the movie Harlem Nights (alongside Eddie Murphy), which was Foxx’s last film appearance (and was widely panned by critics), and shared the split LP, Pryor Goes Foxx Hunting, the latter half of which contains side two of Pryor’s Craps (After Hours) album. As people continue to recognize Foxx’s importance in opening discussions of race and sex in comedy, The New York Times recently announced, oddly, that his hologram will soon be going on a standup tour along with Andy Kaufman’s hologram. (The non-hologrammatic Foxx died in 1991.)

The previously announced cast behind this film is pretty spectacular: Eddie Murphy (who, as a kid, idolized Richard Pryor, before then appearing in Harlem Nights with him) is interestingly role-reversing and playing Pryor’s father, with Taraji P. Henson playing Pryor’s mother, Oprah Winfrey playing his brothel-running grandmother and Kate Hudson playing his wife Jennifer Lee Pryor.

Morgan said in a statement — which makes it pretty clear that the role, while technically “in negotiations” — is pretty certain:

Mr. Foxx, I hope I do you justice! It will be an honor to portray an icon.

For a preview, here’s Redd Foxx on farting:

Check out an excerpt from Flavorwire Film Editor Jason Bailey’s Richard Pryor: American Id.