Eddie Murphy In Marion Barry Film: Spike Lee To Direct Star In DC Mayor Biopic

Oscars or not, Eddie Murphy's campaign towards Hollywood prominence marches on.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the legendary funny man is slated to take on the more serious role of former longtime Washington, DC mayor Marion Barry. Murphy would play the mayor, who served from 1979 to 1991 and 1995 to 1999, in an HBO production directed by Spike Lee.

Barry has spent his public life as a prominent Civil Rights activist, leading marches on Washington before being elected to its school board and then city council. He controlled the political landscape in his city following his election in 1978, though corruption began rising and his personal demons, such as a drug habit, plagued his time in office.

Caught smoking crack cocaine in 1990, Barry served time in prison before returning to the city council -- in 1992, he ran under the slogan "He May Not Be Perfect, But He's Perfect for D.C." -- and then the mayor's office once again. He is now again a member of the city council. In 2009 he was arrested for stalking a former employee.

Currently, Lee is gearing up to shoot a remake of the Korean film, "Old Boy," while Murphy, who pulled out of his Oscar hosting duties following the resignation of producer Brett Ratner, just starred in Ratner's "Tower Heist," and will see his film, "A Thousand Words" hit theaters in the coming months.