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LI's Eddie Murphy plays blaxploitation star in his comeback movie: Watch the trailer

Eddie Murphy as Rudy Ray  Moore in

Eddie Murphy as Rudy Ray  Moore in his new movie "Dolemite Is My Name." Credit: Netflix/Francois Duhamel

Roosevelt-raised comedian Eddie Murphy appears to be launching a comeback with the trailer for his new Netflix-produced film, "Dolemite Is My Name." (The trailer contains obscenities.)

The biopic casts Murphy as Rudy Ray Moore, an entertainer who transformed himself into a blaxploitation star under the name Dolemite in the 1970s. His self-financed film "Dolemite" (1975) became an unexpected hit and launched several follow-ups, including "Monkey Hustle" and "Petey Wheatstraw, the Devil's Son-in-Law." Though Moore's career faltered in the 1980s, he became an inspiration to young black entertainers and would later appear on albums by Snoop Dogg, Busta Rhymes and Big Daddy Kane, and on Martin Lawrence's sitcom "Martin."

“A man slam a door in my face,” Murphy’s Dolemite says in the trailer, “I just find another door.”

"Dolemite Is My Name" also features Wesley Snipes, Craig Robinson, Keegan-Michael Key and Tituss Burgess. The director is Craig Brewer, of "Hustle and Flow." Netflix is giving the film a fall release that includes select theaters, a rare red-carpet treatment that the streaming service typically reserves for Oscar contenders like Alfonso Cuarón's "Roma," Dee Rees' "Mudbound" and Martin Scorsese's upcoming "The Irishman."

Murphy has been absent from the spotlight for several years aside from the poorly received comedy "A Thousand Words" in 2012 and the little-seen drama "Mr. Church" in 2016. In July, however, he appeared in Jerry Seinfeld's Netflix series "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" and casually mentioned that he would to return to stand-up comedy. Around the same time came rumors that Murphy was considering a $70 million deal with Netflix to produce a number of specials.

Murphy's two concert films from the 1980s, the HBO special "Delirious" and the theatrical release "Eddie Murphy Raw," were major hits and remain widely regarded as among the best stand-up performances of all time.


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