There was a joke around the time Dreamgirls came out that Eddie Murphy took the role because – after years of bad movies - he needed to hit bottom to be forced to work hard. But even with an Oscar nomination, he followed Dreamgirls with Norbit and a string of forgettable comedies. Perhaps he’s being forced to do good work again as he’s attached now to an HBO bio-pic of DC mayor Marion Berry with Spike Lee set to direct, according to Deadline.
It’s been a weird year of Eddie Murphy. He was in to host the Oscars, then out. Tower Heist was supposed to be a comeback to the slightly nastier side of the star, but it didn’t do much business. There’s a generation of people that grew up loving the star, but haven’t seen him shine in decades. Working with Spike Lee is also an interesting choice as when Spike was coming up in the industry he called out Murphy for not hiring more black talent behind the camera. The two had a fascinating interview in Spin magazine where they aired out some of their beefs.
John Ridley (best known as the non-writer of Three Kings) is currently writing it. Marion Berry was notorious for his illicit behavior, having been caught smoking crack by the FBI. Even better, Berry was re-elected after it happened (as Chris Rock said “Smoked crack, got his job back.”)
What role should Eddie Murphy play?