Tyler Perry To Play Pioneering Black Filmmaker Oscar Micheaux In HBO Biopic

The thought of Tyler Perry in anything other than a Madea movie used to give me chills, but he's been quite good in both Gone Girl and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2. And it's goo timing because Perry is about to take on his most challenging, and significant, role to date as pioneering black filmmaker Oscar Micheaux in an HBO biopic.

The untitled film is based on Patrick McGilligan's 2007 biography, which Charles Murray (Sons of Anarchy, Roots) will adapt. Micheaux was a self-made jack-of-all-trades in the entertainment industry. He was an author of multiple books and the most prominent producer and director of what were called "race films" around the Depression-era. His first movie, 1919's The Homesteader, was based on his own novel and produced entirely by Micheaux after another studio refused to let him direct. He would take matters into his own hands for the rest of his career, producing or directing more than 40 films, most of which have been lost over time.  Considering his prominence to cinematic history it's a little crazy there's never been a major biopic on Micheaux before.

At the very least, one has to appreciate how Micheaux laid the groundwork for Perry, who also refused to play by Hollwood's rules and found success by doing things his way.  It will be very interesting to see who HBO taps to direct because it won't be Perry. As an exec-producer on the project he may have a say in who is ultimately chosen, though. [Variety]