Eddie Murphy To Play Marion Barry

An untitled TV movie biopic about famed U.S. Democratic politician Marion Barry is in development at HBO Films with Eddie Murphy attached to star says The Washington Post.

Also reportedly onboard are Spike Lee as director and John Ridley as writer while all three will serve as executive producers.

Barry rose to national prominence as mayor of Washington D.C., the first prominent civil-rights activist to become chief executive of a major American city. In 1990 Barry was videotaped smoking crack cocaine and was arrested by FBI officials on drug charges.

After his release he was elected to the D.C. city council in 1992 and ultimately returned as for the second half of the 90’s.

D.C. journalists Harry Jaffe and Tom Sherwood are consulting on the project with their 1994 book “Dream City” said to be partly inspiring the project, as is Dana Flor and Toby Oppenheimer’ 2009 documentary “The Nine Lives of Marion Barry.”

HBO previously tried to make a similar project about Barry almost ten years ago with Jamie Foxx attached and a script by Chris Rock, that version however never coalesced.