Marlon Wayans is Richard Pryor

Marlon Wayans has emerged as the unlikely front-runner to play comic great Richard Pryor in a new biopic from “Dreamgirls” director Bill Condon, according to Variety.

Condon had initially sparked the interest of his “Dreamgirls” star Eddie Murphy to play the stage and screen great. Unfortunately, Oscar Nominee Murphy wanted more cabbage than a skinny triathlete to participate.

Wayans, who despite being best known for his work in comedies like “White Chicks” and “Scary Movie”, has proved in the past that he does embody some T-bone size dramatic chops – via performances in such films as “Requiem for a Dream” and ‘’Behind the Smile” – so may actually be able to pull this off. And if he does, look for the 37-year-old actor to get a bump in his “G.I Joe 2” pay come 201o (Lorenzo is shitting himself!).

(Surprisingly – well, I guess not, suppose Sandler and Co. were hugely influenced by Pryor) Happy Madison and Columbia Pictures are behind the pic, with Adam Sandler and Jack Giarraputo, along with Chris Rock, Mark Gordon and Jennifer Pryor, producing. The project, budgeted at just under $20 million, is eyeballing a Spring 2010 launch.

Sandler will likely play Pryor’s first manager, Sandy Gallin, in the movie.