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Film News Roundup: Eddie Murphy to Star in Biopic ‘Dolemite Is My Name’ for Netflix

In today’s film news roundup, Eddie Murphy is starring in a Dolemite biopic for Netflix, Mark Ivanir joins Miranda July’s movie and the third Johnny English movie is set for October.

MURPHY MOVIE

Eddie Murphy is producing and starring in the biopic “Dolemite Is My Name” for Netflix, with production starting June 12 and Craig Brewer directing from a script by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski.

John Davis and John Fox are also producing. The project centers on the life of Rudy Ray Moore, who recorded the Dolemite comedy albums in the early 1970s and used the proceeds to finance the 1975 film “Dolemite,” in which he starred as a pimp and ghetto hero. Moore also starred as Dolemite in “The Human Tornado,” “The Monkey Hustle,” and “Petey Wheatstraw: The Devil’s Son-in-Law.” He died in 2008.

Murphy began performing stand-up comedy at the age of 15 in 1976 and gained acclaim in 1980 as a cast member of “Saturday Night Live.” He has limited his movie performances in recent years, last starring in the 2016 drama “Mr. Church” and the 2012 comedy-drama “A Thousand Words.”

Murphy and Brewer are repped by WME. Alexander and Karaszewski are repped by CAA.

CASTING

“Homeland” star Mark Ivanir has been cast in a supporting role in the upcoming Untitled Miranda July Feature for Annapurna Films and Plan B Entertainment, Variety has learned exclusively.

Evan Rachel Wood, Debra Winger, Gina Rodriguez, and Richard Jenkins are set to star. The film centers on a woman named Old Dolio (Wood), whose life is turned upside down when her parents (Jenkins and Winger), amateur con artists who must face the mistakes of their bad parenting, invite an outsider (Rodriguez) to join their biggest heist yet.

Ivanir has been cast in the role of the family’s stern landlord Stovik, who can never quite manage to get his hands on the overdue rent.

He’s currently shooting “Esau,” the first English-language film from Russian-French director Pavel Lungin, opposite Harvey Keitel and Lior Ashkenazi. He will be seen in true-life Mossad spy drama “Red Sea Diving Resort” this year. He’s also recurred on Amazon’s “Transparent” and recently on Bill Hader’s HBO comedy “Barry.”

Ivanir is represented by Abrams Artists Agency and managed by Sanders Armstrong Caserta Management.

RELEASE DATE

Universal has set an Oct. 26 release in North America for the Rowan Atkinson comedy “Johnny English Strikes Again.”

The story centers on the bumbling spy’s latest assignment: to find a mastermind hacker and overcome the challenges of modern technology. Ben Miller, Olga Kurylenko, Jake Lacy and Emma Thompson also star.

David Kerr makes his feature-film directorial debut. Producers are Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner along with Chris Clark. The film is written by William Davies.

Domestic grosses on the first two Johnny English movies are $36 million while the worldwide gross is $320 million.

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