The Washington Post

Marion Barry biopic in development with Eddie Murphy as star

Marion Barry in 1995, and the man who might play him on TV: Eddie Murphy. (Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post; Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

After years of talk, the unbelievable-but-true story of Marion Barry may be coming soon to a flat-screen TV near you — starring Eddie Murphy as D.C.’s former mayor-for-life.

We’re told that a still-untitled Barry biopic is in development by HBO Films, with the veteran comic and Oscar nominee attached as the star, Spike Lee as director, John Ridley as writer, and all three as executive producers.

D.C. journalists Harry Jaffe and Tom Sherwood have been tapped as consultants — “Dream City,” their 1994 book about D.C. politics, is among the source material the creators are eyeing — as have Dana Flor and Toby Oppenheimer, the filmmakers behind the 2009 documentary “The Nine Lives of Marion Barry.”

HBO officials would not comment. It’s not the first time the network has considered milking the Barry drama: In 2002, filming was reportedly due to start on a movie starring Jamie Foxx and written by Chris Rock that somehow never happened.

A rep for Councilmember Barry said he did not know about the latest project and had no comment.

Update, Friday: Marion Barry still has no comment, not even when The Root asked nicely

Read earlier: ‘Dream City’ revisited, 10/18/11

Marion Barry declines to discuss potential reality show all about Marion Barry, 3/25/10

“The Nine Lives of Marion Barry,” 6/18/09

Chris Rock script takes a crack at Marion Barry, 6/1/2002



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