American comedian Richard Pryor he performs a stand-up act for his 'Live on Sunset Strip' special, Los Angeles, California, 1982. (Photo by Fotos International/Archive Photos/Getty Images)
Movies - TV
Brewster's Millions Was A Very Different Movie Prior To Casting Richard Pryor
Richard Pryor’s 1985 film “Brewster’s Millions” is perhaps his most famous film, finishing 16th at the box office in a year that also saw such classics like “Back to the Future” and “The Breakfast Club.” While it’s difficult to imagine the film without Pryor, “Brewster’s Millions” not only had another actor initially planned for the role, but the story was going to be very different.
The movie follows a washed-up minor-league baseball pitcher, Montgomery Brewster, who will inherit $300 million on the condition that he spends $30 million within a month while keeping the reason for blowing through the money a secret. Before Pryor was offered the role, Universal wanted John Ritter (“Three’s Company”) or Bill Murray to play the part.
The film would have been drastically different, especially if Murray had taken the role, as the character’s background would have changed from a baseball pitcher to “an unemployed astronaut selling knockoff jeans.” Although Pryor was a risk due to an incident where he set himself on fire while on cocaine, the comedian thrived in the role and gave Universal a financially lucrative hit.