It’s official! Jay Z is producing The Weinstein Company’s Richard Pryor biopic. During a press conference for his new Spike TV docu-series about Kalief Browder, the rapper and Tidal owner confirmed his involvement in the project.
“[Pryor’s] story is an American story,” Jay Z said. “You’ll understand how many lives he’s touched. I mean, from every single comedian to rappers like Biggie Smalls.”
Jay Z will be working along side director Lee Daniels for the project despite previous reports that he’d dropped out of the role. “No, Lee Daniels will be directing it,” Harvey Weinstein said. “I believe Lee Daniels is way in and never wanted to be out. Jay got involved a few months ago but we were working on our deal and couldn’t announce it. But I think it’ll be on the fast track now.”
The film boasts an all-star cast with Mike Epps set to star in the film as Pryor, Oprah Winfrey as his grandmother, and Kate Hudson as his widow. Shooting is scheduled to start early 2017 with the working title being “Richard Pryor: Is It Something I Said” which is taken from Pryor’s Grammy-winning live album, released in 1975.
They also discussed their upcoming Spike TV docuseries about Kalief Browder, a 16-year-old who was imprisoned on Rikers Island for three years without conviction and later took his own life after his release.