Tyler Perry is gearing up for a very busy 2018. Along with his upcoming film, Tyler Perry’s She’s Living My Life, starring Taraji P. Henson, Perry is also headed to HBO. Based on Patrick McGilligan’s 2007 biography Oscar Micheaux: The Great and Only: The Life of America’s First Black Filmmaker, Perry will star as Oscar Micheaux and executive produce the film for the cable network.
Netflix’s Luke Cage scribe, Charles Murray, is set to pen the script while Craig Zadan and Neil Meron will serve as executive producers. Zadan told Variety, “We’re thrilled to be partnering with Tyler Perry to bring Oscar Micheaux’s inspiring and trailblazing life story to HBO.” Meron added, “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.”
Between 1919 and 1948, Micheaux directed well over 40 films. Unfortunately, many have been lost over time. All-Black cast films countered racist stereotypes of the time while giving realistic and fully fleshed out depictions of Black life. Micheaux’s most renowned works were 1920’s Within Our Gates, which was a direct response to D.W. Griffith’s racist epic melodrama Birth of a Nation. Micheaux’s first sound film was 1931’s The Exile. Afterward, he directed 1938’s Swing! and 1940’s The Notorious Elinor Lee. Since Black cast films were almost never distributed during that time, Micheaux would drive his films around from city to city, screening them in Black communities.
Micheaux died in 1951. In 1986, the Directors Guild of America finally rewarded his efforts with a posthumous award for directorial achievement.
There is no director attached just yet for this film, but when once there is, we’ll let you know.