Tyler Perry To Portray Filmmaker Oscar Micheaux
Tyler Perry, winner of the Favorite Humanitarian Award poses in the press room during the People’s Choice Awards 2017 at Microsoft Theater on January 18, 2017 in Los Angeles, California – Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images North America.
Actor/director Tyler Perry is stepping into the shoes of pioneering African-American filmmaker Oscar Micheaux for a TV biopic.
The Gone Girl star, who is also well known for his cross-dressing role as Madea in comedy movies like Madea Goes to Jail, will put his acting talents to the test for the new project, which will be made for U.S. cable network HBO.
It will be produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, with Perry also serving as an executive producer.
“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Tyler Perry to bring Oscar Micheaux’s inspiring and trailblazing life story to HBO,” Zadan tells Variety.com.
Meron adds: “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.”
A director has yet to be appointed, but the script will be written by Sons of Anarchy‘s Charles Murray, and based on film historian Patrick McGilligan’s 2007 biography Oscar Micheaux: The Great and Only: The Life of America’s First Black Filmmaker.
The son of freed slaves, Micheaux rose to prominence in the early 20th century after making the transition from author to movie maker as he adapted his 1917 book The Homesteader for the screen.
The late star often used all-black casts to tell stories about the lives of his fellow African-Americans, and personally delivered reels of his projects to black communities around the U.S. to combat the racism issues he faced from mainline Hollywood distributors.
He made more than 40 films between 1919 and 1948, with notable releases including 1920’s Within Our Gates, 1931’s The Exile, and 1938’s Swing!.
Micheaux passed away in 1951 at the age of 67.