Nick Cannon did everything but say the words … he's playing Richard Pryor in an upcoming biopic. Cannon was a guest on "TMZ Live" Wednesday, where he said the movie was not yet in production and he didn't want to jinx it.

Cannon said he's been meeting with director Lee Daniels about the project and has been doing all sorts of things to get ready ... like growing out his hair and taking up smoking. He wouldn't directly say he's got the part.