Tyler Perry to star in HBO biopic about Oscar Micheaux, groundbreaking filmmaker

NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 09: Tyler Perry speaks at the Jackie Robinson Foundation Awards Dinner at Waldorf Astoria Hotel on March 9, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for Jackie Robinson Foundation)

This was posted Thursday, June 29, 2017 by Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio and TV Talk blog

Tyler Perry, who already keeps a packed schedule, will set aside a chunk of his valuable time starring in an HBO biopic as pioneering black filmmaker Oscar Micheaux.

Variety broke the story. 

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Tyler Perry to bring Oscar Micheaux’s inspiring and trailblazing life story to HBO,” said Craig Zadan, an executive producer. “There are so many parallels between the groundbreaking work that Micheaux pioneered and Perry’s achievements as an artist that it feels like a natural fit.”

The screenplay will be based on the 2007 biography “Oscar Micheaux: The Great and Only: The Life of America’s First Black Filmmaker” by film historian Patrick McGilligan. 

Micheaux, working outside the traditional film industry, created an estimated 40-plus films with largely black casts and targeting segregated black audiences between 1919 and 1948. Many of his films are lost to history. The biopic will cover much of his life.

Perry will be an executive producer. This project is on top of his motion pictures, his TLC drama “Too Close to Home,” and several OWN scripted shows including the network’s top-ranked program “The Haves and the Have Nots.” Like Micheaux, he created his empire outside of the Los Angeles bubble and developing a base in Atlanta where he now owns a large studio where the Fort McPherson Army base used to be.


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