Eddie Murphy, the comedy legend whose performance in Bruce Beresford‘s drama Mr. Church, which opens Sept. 16, is earning him some of the best reviews of his decadeslong career, will be promoted for awards consideration in the category of best supporting actor rather than best actor, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

It’s a somewhat unexpected, but fully justifiable, move for the A-lister, who last appeared on the big screen four years ago in A Thousand Words. In Mr. Church, Murphy plays the title character — a black man who helps to raise a white girl after her mother is stricken with cancer — but the story is told through the eyes and narration of the character Charlie, played by Britt Robertson.

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