Jay Z producing Richard Pryor biopic and Lee Daniels is back on board


— (CNN) — Jay Z is one busy man and on Thursday he announced his next project.

The rapper is producing The Weinstein Company’s Richard Pryor biopic.

“[Pryor’s] story is an American story,” Jay Z said at a press conference for his new Spike TV docuseries about Kalief Browder. “You’ll understand how many lives he’s touched. I mean, from every single comedian to rappers like Biggie Smalls.”

Harvey Weinstein told CNN that despite reports that director Lee Daniels had backed out of the project, he’s totally on board.

“No, Lee Daniels will be directing it,” Weinstein said. “I believe Lee Daniels is way in and never wanted to be out. Jay got involved a few months ago but we were working on our deal and couldn’t announce it. But I think it’ll be on the fast track now.”

The film is set to star Mike Epps as Pryor, Oprah Winfrey as his grandmother, and Kate Hudson as his widow.

“I hope we can shoot it in January, February at the latest,” Weinstein said. “It’s a great script from Bill Condon who wrote ‘Chicago’ for us, a wonderful director in his own right and Danny Strong who wrote ‘The Butler.’ It’s a combination and it’s terrific.”

The title of the movie — “Richard Pryor: Is It Something I Said” — is taken from Pryor’s Grammy-winning live album, released in 1975.