Comedian Tracy Morgan is bouncing back from the deadly car crash on the New Jersey Turnpike that left one dead, several injured, and him in critical condition with brain injury, and he’s not letting his road to recovery slow down his work efforts. In October, Tracy returned to the stage when he hosted Saturday Night Live, he recently filmed a Footlocker commercial, and now Variety reports Morgan will star as legendary comedian Redd Foxx in a Lee Daniels-directed biopic about Foxx’s friend Richard Pryor.
As the publication notes, while Morgan doesn’t resemble Foxx, both have a distinctive style and pearl-clutching cadence that should bold well with audiences. The same applies to Mike Epps, who has been cast to play Pryor, who co-starred with Foxx in the 1989 film Harlem Nights alongside Eddie Murphy.
“Mr. Foxx, I hope I do you justice!” said Morgan in a statement. “It will be an honor to portray an icon.”
Redd Foxx is best known for starring in the classic TV sitcom Sanford and Son, but many may not be aware that the colorful comedian is responsible for giving Pryor his start by allowing Richard to open for him at the comedy club he owned.
TV Guide reports that other stars attached to the Redd Foxx project include Oprah Winfrey, who’ll play Pryor’s grandmother as well as Taraji P. Henson and Eddie Murphy, who’ll play Pryor’s parents.
ET recently caught up with Tracy and his wife, Megan Wollover, on the set of his new Footlocker ad, where he revealed that his triumphant return from the deadly crash has given him a new outlook on life.
“I remember this time last year I was in a wheelchair wondering if I was gonna walk again. Now I’m doing a Foot Locker commercial,” Morgan shared. “The things that worried me and that were important before, aren’t so important now. When you spend weeks in comas, then you hear and see things differently. I see life differently. I embrace it more.”
Tracy also credited his wife and their 2-year-old daughter, Maven, with helping him recover.
“She made me laugh a lot during my therapy,” Morgan recounted. “She loved daddy, and she made daddy laugh a lot.”
After Morgan hit the SNL stage almost a year after his car accident, he called his return “magical.”
“It was magical. It was electric, the love and support,” Morgan said about his well-received SNL appearance. “It was great being back home hanging with the cast and crew. It was great. I’m gummy, goddammit.”
Tracy was a cast member on the long-running sketch comedy series for seven years, and he gushed about the support he received from his 30 Rock and SNL family, including Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Jane Krakowski, and Jack McBrayer.
“It was great being back home. Just hanging out with the cast, the crew. They were so supportive. It felt good, just to be funny.”
It seems Morgan takes advantage of any opportunity he has in front of a camera to express his gratitude to his fans and colleagues for their continued support, as he did when he made a surprise appearance at the 2015 Emmy’s back in September.
“When you have traumatic brain damage — at that moment it first happened – when I didn’t see any hope and I couldn’t walk, you don’t feel [like you’ll recover],” he told reporters backstage. “But as the months and the months and the months went by, part of my therapy was seeing TV and seeing my friends and saying that I’m coming back one day.”
Tracy Morgan is set to appear in Fist Fight, a comedy with Ice Cube, and he’ll hit the road on a stand up tour in February, telling his fans that he’s “glad I was able to come back and finish the job of making them laugh.”
Do you think Tracy Morgan can pull off Redd Foxx?
[Image Courtesy Alberto E. Rodriguez/Kevin Winter/Getty Image]