Eddie Murphy to play Marion Barry in Spike Lee flick (Video)

Eddie Murphy has been picked to play former D.C. mayor Marion Barry.

D.C. Councilmember and former mayor Marion Barry is one of the most famous local politicians in the country and it looks like his life story is coming to the small screen.

The man known as D.C.'s "Mayor for Life" is the focus of a new HBO film. Eddie Murphy will star as Barry and Spike Lee will direct.

The movie is in the early planning phases right now, but we know HBO has hired a writer, John Ridley, and several consultants, including two D.C. reporters.

Murphy, the former Saturday Night Live star became famous himself, by impersonating famous characters.

And Murphy will have lots to work with when he takes on the role of Barry--from 1977 when Barry was thrust into the local spotlight after being shot in city hall to the 1990 FBI bust for smoking crack cocaine, which thrust him into the national spotlight.

Murphy has played dramatic roles and has even played a politician with questionable ethics in "The Distinguished Gentleman."

But the casting of Murphy as Barry has some people scratching their heads, wondering if he can pull it off.

Some say they would definitely see the movie, some say no.

Councilmember Barry wouldn't talk to ABC7 today about the new movie, but a source with knowledge of the production says that Barry met with HBO representatives last week to talk about the movie.

The movie will be based on the book Dream City written by two local reporters, Harry S. Jaffe and Tom Sherwood . It's not known if the movie will air on HBO or be released in theaters.

{ }

Barry, a 75-year-old Democrat, served four terms as mayor. Barry has represented Ward 8 since 2005, when he returned to the Council after six years away from politics.

In 1990, during his third term as mayor, Barry was videotaped smoking crack cocaine in an FBI sting operation. He served six months in federal prison.