Mike Epps will play comedian Richard Pryor in a forthcoming biopic of the US comedian.

The news has been confirmed on Twitter by Oscar-nominated director Lee Daniels, who posted a picture of himself with Epps - a stand-up comic - alongside talk-show host Oprah Winfrey at a script reading.

Winfrey - who also featured in another of Daniels' films, 'The Butler' - is set to play the role of Pryor's grandmother.

The TV personality also took to social media to confirm the casting, posting a picture of herself at the first script read session.

Epps, who has previously appeared in 'The Hangover' and 'Resident Evil', is said to have beaten off some stiff competition for the coveted role.

The likes of 'America's Got Talent' host Nick Cannon, Michael B Jordan and Marlon Wayans have all been linked to the part of Pryor, who is widely acknowledged to be one of the great stand-up comedians of all time and an inspiration for the likes of Eddie Murphy and Chris Rock.

Meanwhile, Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway are reportedly leading the race to play Jennifer Pryor - Richard's wife - in the much-anticipated film.