Premium cable channel HBO is planning to produce a film based on the story of former Washington, D.C. Mayor Marion Barry.
Eddie Murphy, Saturday Night Live alum and current star of “Tower Heist,” is set to portray the controversial mayor.
Murphy recently made headlines for pulling out of the 2012 Oscar ceremony hosting job. He will be directed in the Barry movie role by Spike Lee and read lines written by John Ridley.
Hollywood is apparently quite intrigued with the whole Barry saga. In 2002 a Barry film was in the works, with Jamie Foxx having been cast as the mayor and Chris Rock having penned the script. As often happens in the movie business, the project was sidetracked.
HBO already filmed a documentary on the scandal-ridden former mayor titled “The Nine Lives of Marion Barry.” Dana Flor and Toby Oppenheimer produced the previous film for HBO.
Harry Jaffe and Tom Sherwood, who wrote a book on Barry titled “Dream City,” will serve as consultants for the new HBO project along with Flor and Oppenheimer.
Barry twice served as D.C. mayor during the years 1979 to 1991 and 1995 to 1999.
He was arrested on drug charges in January 1990 and spent six months in prison. He now serves as a D.C. City Council member.
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