Considering how big of a star he is/used to be, Eddie Murphy hasn’t done much lately. In fact, he even got a lot of attention earlier this year specifically for not doing anything during the SNL 40 special. He has a few projects currently in the works—including a Richard Pryor biopic with Lee Daniels—but he’s definitely not as active as he was back in the day. According to a recent interview Murphy gave to The Washington Post, though, he’s hoping to change that soon—to an extent.
For starters, Murphy has a bunch of projects that are sort of in the works, including a new comedy album that he has been recording in a home studio “for years.” He says he wants it to be like Sgt. Pepper’s, “where the album is playing stuff,” and then there’s “a little vignette here,” followed by “a crazy song” and “little sketches.” It’s not necessarily ever going to come out, but it sounds like Murphy at least hopes it does someday.
Murphy also says he has written scripts for three movies, with one apparently a 12 Years A Slave/superhero parody called Buck Wonder, Super Slave, and another that’s “an R-rated talking animal movie.” On top of that—assuming those are real—he’s developing a TV series “aimed for HBO” that would see him playing former D.C. mayor Marion Barry. Murphy doesn’t specify just how far into development that is, but he’s hoping to work on it with Spike Lee.
Whatever he does acting-wise, Murphy says the movies he does just for a paycheck “are over,” and he referenced that he’d be interested in working with Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese. However, he does suggest that part of the reason he hasn’t is that there’s “a difference” between being a black actor and a white actor, comparing the number of movies Spielberg and Scorsese have made with Denzel Washington or Will Smith to the number they’ve done with Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Finally, Murphy is even considering a return to stand-up, though he hasn’t performed for a live audience since 1987. He says he’s not concerned about whether or not he’ll be funny or if he’ll be able to come up with jokes, but he is worried that his mindset has changed too much since the days of Raw. He wonders what his comedy will be like “without the leather suit and the anger” that defined that film, and it doesn’t sound like he really has an answer for that yet.
The article ends on a note that’s especially fitting for an interview that’s almost entirely about things that Murphy wants to do but might never actually do, revealing that Murphy was recently hanging out with Arsenio Hall and “a good bit emerged.” Hall wanted to do something with it, but Murphy said it was his bit to take. So what’s the bit? We don’t know, but now it’s yet another thing that Murphy is working on.