Eddie Murphy is heading to HBO. The actor will re-enact the life and times of former Washington D.C. Mayor Marion Barry in a made-for-TV movie. The biopic will be a collaboration between Murphy, Spike Lee and HBO Films.
Barry is the former mayor of Washington D.C., who’s best known for his infamous drug bust in 1990. While at the Vista International Hotel, Barry was caught in a room smoking crack cocaine. The event was recorded on tape, leading to his arrest and conviction. Barry was found guilty of drug use and possession and sentenced to six months in a federal prison.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, HBO is developing a made-for-TV movie that will feature Murphy as Barry. And Spike Lee is on board to direct from a screenplay written by John Ridley. The trio will also serve as executive producers alongside their HBO counterparts.
Murphy isn’t the first actor to try to step into Barry’s shoes. In 2002, The Washington Post reported that Chris Rock was set to produce a film based on the mayor’s eventful career. At the time, Oscar-winner Jamie Foxx (Ray) was set to play the politician.
Today, Barry serves as a Washington D.C. Council member, and chooses to focus on his future and not the past. As for Murphy, he’s on the fast track to reviving his career. It’s been several years since he’s been able to pull off a successful hit based on his star power alone.
Most recently he appeared in the ensemble comedy Tower Heist, which opened on Nov 4. The film was directed by Brett Ratner and has only grossed $72 million domestically. Murphy was also slated to host next year’s Academy Awards but stepped down after Ratner exited as producer.
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