Netflix has released the trailer for Dolemite Is My Name just before it makes its debut at the Toronto International Film Festival in early September. In film, we’ve last seen Eddie Murphy in the 2016 drama Mr. Church, where he starred as a humble, caring, and introspective man who patiently raised a young girl after the death of her mother. Yet with Dolemite Is My Name, Murphy is returning to his comedic roots with his portrayal of the 1970’s blaxploitation star Rudy Ray Moore (1927–2008).
Moore was a comedian and musician who was perhaps most recognized for his Dolemite character, the “uniquely articulate” pimp known for his obscene and crude stories. In the trailer, Murphy appears to be completely immersed in his role as Moore–and it’s a joy to remember how gifted he truly is.
Directed by Craig Brewer, the mastermind behind Hustle & Flow, the film features a star-studded cast aside from Murphy, including Wesley Snipes, Craig Robinson, Mike Epps, Titus Burgess, Keegan-Michael Key, and Da’Vine Joy Randolph. There’s also incredible talent behind the scenes, with Academy Award winner Ruth E. Carter as the costume designer.
Read the full synopsis, courtesy of Netflix, below:
“Stung by a string of showbiz failures, floundering comedian Rudy Ray Moore (Murphy) has an epiphany that turns him into a word-of-mouth sensation: step onstage as someone else. Borrowing from the street mythology of 1970s Los Angeles, Moore assumes the persona of Dolemite, a pimp with a cane and an arsenal of obscene fables. However, his ambitions exceed selling bootleg records deemed too racy for mainstream radio stations to play.
Moore convinces a social justice-minded dramatist (Keegan-Michael Key) to write his alter ego a film, incorporating kung fu, car chases, and Lady Reed (Da’Vine Joy Randolph), an ex-backup singer who becomes his unexpected comedic foil. Despite clashing with his pretentious director, D’Urville Martin (Wesley Snipes), and countless production hurdles at their studio in the dilapidated Dunbar Hotel, Moore’s Dolemite becomes a runaway box office smash and a defining movie of the Blaxploitation era. Comics and rappers have praised Moore as a pioneering influence over the past few decades, and Dolemite Is My Name is a hilarious celebration of a singular talent who made his own legend.”
Dolemite Is My Name will premiere on Netflix and in select theaters this fall. Below, watch the wildly entertaining trailer.