In their latest collaboration, director Spike Lee and writer John Ridley have teamed for an HBO biopic of Marion Barry, with Eddie Murphy attached to play the larger-then-life former Washington D.C. mayor. The HBO Films project, first reported by the Washington Post, is currently in development. Ridley is writing the script based on several pieces of source material, including the 1994 book Dream City by D.C. journalists Harry Jaffe and Tom Sherwood, who will serve as consultants. Lee is on board to direct. The two are executive producing with Murphy. HBO previously developed a Marion Barry biopic a decade ago with Jamie Foxx attached to star and Chris Rock to executive produce, but the project didn’t go forward. Barry, currently a member of the Council of the District Of Columbia, did two terms as a mayor of D.C., from 1979-91 and 1995-99, separated by a six-month stint in federal prison on drug charges that stems from a video of him smoking crack cocaine. Lee and Ridley, who have been developing a movie about the L.A. riots, recently partnered on HBO’s drama pilot Da Brick, which Ridley wrote an Lee is directing. The pilot is in consideration for a series pickup.
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