2013 BET Experience - Comedy Stage: Mike Epps
Director Lee Daniels's Richard Pryor biopic has found its leading man: Mike Epps is set to play the late comedian in the long-awaited flick.

Daniels made the news official over the weekend, tweeting a photo of himself, Epps, and producer Oprah Winfrey to announce the casting. Epps was in some serious competition for the role, with actors including Michael B. Jordan, Marlon Wayans, and Nick Cannon all vying for the part. (Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson are currently said to be in talks to play Pryor's wife, Jennifer Lee Pryor.) But the comedian had some history on his side, with both Pryor and his wife giving Epps their blessing to play Pryor in a different biopic that was in the works nine years ago.

While that project never got off the ground, it seems that Lee Pryor's support for Epps ultimately helped him secure the part in Daniels's version. Epps himself also confirmed the news on Twitter, posting a photo of him kissing Lee Pryor's hand, and joking that he had to kiss her ring to get her approval.
Pryor, who was known for both his incendiary routines on stage as well as his (literally) incendiary antics off of it, died of a heart attack in 2005 at age 65.

[via: Lee Daniels, h/t Yahoo! Movies]

Photo credit: Getty Images for BET

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