A Comprehensive Eddie Murphy Documentary From Oscar Winner Angus Wall Is Deep In Production Right Now

Eddie Murphy is one the most influential comedians of all time. Though his feature film output across the past couple decades has left something to be desired — with the exception of turns in Dreamgirls, Dolemite is My Name, and the surprisingly decent Coming 2 America — he was a comedic force of nature in the 1980s and even into most of the 1990s. Soon we'll get the whole story of Eddie Murphy's life and career in the form of a new comprehensive documentary that's now in production.

Collider reports that Angus Wall, the Oscar-winning editor behind The Social Network and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, is currently in the middle of shooting endless amounts of footage for an Eddie Murphy documentary that is being produced by John Davis and John Fox. The two producers revealed the project during press rounds for Jungle Cruise, and since they've produced Dr. Dolittle, Dr. Dolittle 2, Daddy Day Care, Norbit, and Dolemite Is My Name, they have plenty of trusted experience working with Murphy.

Davis and Fox said they've been working on the movie for about two and a half years so far. They haven't necessarily been shooting during that entire time, but the pandemic afforded them an opportunity to have Angus Wall spend an incredible amount of time interviewing Eddie Murphy for the film. Davis explained:

"There's already been hours and hours and hours and hours of footage shot with him talking about his early days in the business, his perception of comedy, people who influenced him, understanding what the life of a stand-up is, what makes him different from other stand-ups. It's really cool, interesting stuff."

Davis and Fox are also producing Eddie Murphy's anticipated return to the stand-up comedy stage. There have been rumblings of this happening at Netflix for awhile, but the pandemic pushed back those plans considerably. But when the time comes, Davis and Fox will also be shooting footage of his return to stand-up for the documentary, which is probably why the documentary currently has the title of The Last Stand.

Is This a Movie or a Series?

With a title that may have been inspired by last year's hit series The Last Dance, the Eddie Murphy documentary may end up being as expansive as the docuseries about the Chicago Bulls. Davis said:

"We're shooting hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of hours. Angus Wall, who's our director, has gotten unrestricted access to Eddie, and Eddie is home. He's got nothing to do. So he's gotten hours and hours and hours and hours of film of Eddie just opening up and speaking honestly and from his heart. We're going to get every major comedian who Eddie was inspired by and they're going to talk. And so, I think what you do is, you just see how long it should be once you're done. Maybe it's 10 episodes, maybe it's 15, maybe it's three. You'll see what plays."

So it sounds like they haven't figured out whether this will be a feature film or a documentary series. It would be a shame to short change the story of Eddie Murphy with only a feature film, especially when you have this much unprecedented access to the comedian. In a docuseries, you can have an episode focused on his star-making turn at Saturday Night Live and another for his rise in the world of stand-up, turning the performance into a blockbuster affair. Even his feature film career could be broken down into episodes, chronicling the highs of the 1980s with the lows of the 2000s. There's so much material to work with.

Angus Wall has plenty of documentary experience as the executive producer of Ava DuVernay's 13th and Bryan Fogel's acclaimed documentary Icarus, so this will certainly be an in-depth profile of one of comedy's biggest stars. We just hope it doesn't shy away from the missteps and low points of Eddie Murphy's career. The last thing we need is a glossy, starry-eyed documentary that doesn't tell the full story.