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Keegan-Michael Key has nabbed a key role opposite Eddie Murphy in Dolemite Is My Name!, Netflix’s biopic of pioneering comedian and blaxploitation film producer Rudy Ray Moore.
The movie is already shooting in Los Angeles with Wesley Snipes, Mike Epps, Craig Robinson, Tituss Burgess, Da’Vine Joy Randolph and T.I. on the call sheet. Craig Brewer is directing.
Moore has been referred to by some as the Godfather of Rap for his reciting of raunchy, sexually explicit rhymes in his comedy, often depicting pimps, prostitutes, players and hustlers, according to his obituary in the Los Angeles Times. (He died in 2008.) The son of a sharecropper, he broke through in 1970s Hollywood when his underground records became popular in black communities.
Moore used the proceeds to produce and star in Dolemite, a notorious blaxploitation movie featuring a pimp with a harem of kung fu-fighting prostitutes. The film was an underground sensation.
Key will play Jerry Jones, a playwright who is convinced by Moore to write the screenplay for Dolemite.
Davis Entertainment’s John Davis and John Fox are producing Dolemite Is My Name! along with Murphy. Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski wrote the script.
The movie will drop in 2019.
Key, who starred with Jordan Peele in the duo’s Comedy Central breakout, Key and Peele, next appears in Fox’s The Predator, the sci-fi action reboot from Shane Black, and returns for season 2 of Netflix’s Friends From College. He is also voicing a part in Disney’s CGI remake of The Lion King.
Key is repped by UTA and Bloom Hergott.
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