"Tower Heist" disappointed at the box office, and the Oscar-hosting gig didn't pan out, but Eddie Murphy has found his next gig: Playing notorious Washington D.C. mayor Marion Barry for director Spike Lee and HBO.

After years as a prominent figure in the Civil Rights movement, Barry served as mayor to the nation's capital from 1979 to 1991. In 1990, he made the national news when he was caught smoking crack cocaine on videotape in a hotel room. After serving six months in prison, Barry was eventually voted back into the mayor's office again from 1995 to 1999. He's currently serving as a city councilman.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the as-yet-untitled biopic will be written by John Ridley ("Red Tails") with journalists Harry Jaffe and Tom Sherwood and "The Nine Lives of Marion Barry" filmmakers Dana Flor and Toby Oppenheimer acting as consultants.

Murphy will next be seen in the comedy "A Thousand Words."

Lee is signed to direct an American version of "Old Boy" with Josh Brolin in the lead.