Director Lee Daniels Leaves Richard Pryor Biopic

Lee Daniels has left the directing gig for the Weinstein Company’s Richard Pryor biopic.

TWC is seeking another director for the project “Richard Pryor: Is It Something I Said?” in order to begin shooting in October. The cast includes Mike Epps as Pryor, Oprah Winfrey as his grandmother and Kate Hudson as Pryor’s widow Jennifer Lee Pryor.

The script has been written by Bill Condon. The title of the movie is taken from Pyror’s Grammy-winning live album, released in 1975.

TWC had no comment and Daniels’ rep did not respond to a request for comment. Sources indicated that Daniels, the showrunner for Fox’s hit series “Empire,” was not able to fit the movie shoot into his schedule.

Daniels had worked with TWC on the 2013 film “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” which had a successful run with more than $175 million in worldwide box office.

Pryor broke into the business in the early ’60s and had become the top stand-up comedian in the industry by the early ’70s. He won five Grammys for his comedy albums and starred in several concert films — the most lucrative being 1982’s “Richard Prior — Live on the Sunset Strip,” in which he memorably described catching himself on fire while freebasing cocaine in 1980.

Pryor died in 2005 in Los Angeles after suffering a heart attack.

News about Daniels’ exit was first reported by the Hollywood Reporter.

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