Kenya Barris, the acclaimed creator of Black-ish, has shared exciting updates on his directorial venture, the Richard Pryor biopic.
He is now revealing that it will now be presented as a 10-part limited biographical series. Barris provided insights into the project during an interview with VarietyStudio at the Sundance Film Festival, shedding light on the scope of the highly-anticipated production currently in development.
“It’s a 10-part, limited biographical series that takes a look from cradle to grave,” Barris, explained, emphasizing his focus on capturing the iconic comedian’s life arc. He delved into Pryor's early life, growing up in challenging circumstances, to becoming a global sensation, describing the comedian as "the biggest star in the world" at one point.
Barris, who considers the project his "baby," expressed a personal connection to Pryor, referring to him as his "comedy god." He acknowledged Pryor's profound impact on the comedy genre and highlighted how the comedian pioneered a brand of humor that continues to influence comedians, including the likes of Dave Chappelle.
“A super flawed guy, but who everything, to this day, the comedy that we remember — even including [Dave] Chappelle — is derivative of what he started. That honest, reflecting, observational look at what the world is and the differences between us that actually make us more similar than we are apart,” Barris remarked.
The California native shared his enthusiasm for bringing Pryor's story to life, expressing eagerness to unveil aspects of Pryor's life that may be unknown to the public.
In addition to the biopic, Barris discussed two other projects in the pipeline. He revealed details about his upcoming adaptation of The Wizard of Oz, set in Los Angeles and featuring a person of color in the leading role. Furthermore, Barris touched on his remake of the 1946 film It’s a Wonderful Life, which will also be told from a person of color's perspective.
While the cast for the Richard Pryor biopic is yet to be announced, Barris acknowledged the ongoing development and expressed excitement about the possibilities. Meanwhile, his film The Underdoggs, featuring a star-studded cast including Snoop Dogg, Tika Sumpter, Andrew Schulz, Mike Epps, and George Lopez, is set for release on January 26 via Amazon MGM Studios as a Prime Video exclusive.