Republican presidential candidates have campaigned in Georgia repeatedly this primary season. Now President Obama follows. Last night he visited supporter Tyler Perry’s film and TV studio for a pair of Atlanta fundraisers. But in 2008 when Barack Obama was first campaigning for President, he declined Perry’s invitation to the grand opening of his Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta. Had he not back then, the Democrat endorsed by many labor unions would have been met by picket lines thrown up by the Writers Guild of America and supported by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Prior to that incident and after, Perry has remained one of Obama’s staunchest supporters and prized campaigners and even film biographer…
The first 5 PM gala featured a performance by singer Cee Lo Green and was sponsored by the African American Leadership Council. It sold tickets for $500-$2,500 per person. A photo with the president cost $10,000. About 1,000 people attended, according to a spokesperson. Local news reports said Obama spoke to the crowd for 30 minutes and kept to many of his campaign points such as healthcare and increasing taxes on the wealthy. He took a friendly jab at host Perry on that score. “Tyler can afford to do a little more. He knows that,” said Obama. Grammy-winner Green, who is a judge on NBC’s The Voice, made news when he flicked off the audience before asking, “Can I curse in here?” and let out a loud “Fuck you!” Cee Lo then switched to cleaner “Forget You” lyrics.
Then an 8 PM elite dinner followed at Perry’s private estate with an estimated 40 guests — including Perry’s gal pal Oprah Winfrey — paying for tickets costing $35,800 per person. The money will be split between the campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
Back in 2008,the Writers Guild Of America called a labor action against Tyler Perry Studios over his two television series, House Of Payne and Meet The Browns which weren’t WGA-covered shows at the time. Obama chose not to cross the WGA picket line outside Perry’s big new production studio after the Guild filed charges of unfair labor practices with the National Labor Relations Board. It accused Perry of firing more than half his writing staff on the TBS sitcom House Of Payne because of their union activity, and bargaining in bad faith with the Hollywood guild. Dozens upon dozens of the biggest producer, writer and showrunner names in scripted television even went so far as to sign an open letter bashing Perry for his anti-WGA activity. Soon after Obama wouldn’t visit Tyler Perry Studios, Perry settled with the WGA. Meanwhile, there’s no recent word on Perry’s announced plans to write, direct and produce ”a love story inspired by the relationship between Obama and his wife Michelle” after meeting them through Oprah. Perry had said he dreamed of casting Denzel Washington and Angela Bassett in the lead roles.
Here is video of Perry welcoming Obama to the filmmaker’s Southwest Atlanta studios:
Summit Entertainment announced today that it will premiere Alex Cross wide on October 26, 2012, joining Dimension’s Halloween 3D and Fox’s surfing pic Of Men And Mavericks on that date. The adaptation of the James Patterson novel stars Tyler Perry … Read More »
When Deadline broke the story that Kim Kardashian would star in Tyler Perry’s The Marriage Counselor, an avalanche of comments resulted, some so barbed that Kardashian even chimed in. Perry isn’t immune to the polarized reaction to his casting Kardashian–whose recent marriage ended so suddenly there was barely time … Read More »
Producers of Summit Entertainment’s upcoming release I, Alex Cross, directed by Rob Cohen with Tyler Perry stepping into the role created by Morgan Freeman, have filed suit against other producers who claim they should receive compensation and screen credit for the movie. Bill Block and Paul Hanson are partners in QED, which produced the project that Summit has acquired for distribution. QED claims in the suit that prolonged negotiations that began in 2008 with potential producers Jan Korbelin and Marina Grasic (who with Mark Lindsay have launched Cargo Entertainment) and their company Visitor Pictures failed to come to an agreement on Visitor’s involvement with the development of I, Alex Cross. QED claims it drafted and redrafted multiple memorandums of understanding for Visitor’s involvement that were all rejected and no agreement was reached or signed. In 2009, QED says it formally notified Visitor that all previous offers were withdrawn. QED asserts that development of the movie proceeded without Visitor, who “indeed sought to have no involvement,” according to the suit.
Now that principal photography on I, Alex Cross has finished and the movie is expected to be released next year, QED claims that Visitor has resurfaced and is demanding compensation and screen credit, probably in preparation for legal action of their own. QED and other plaintiffs Suejack Inc and JPB Businesses are seeking a court ruling in the case to remove the “cloud” cast over I, Alex Cross by Visitor’s claims before the movie is released. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Arnold Schwarzenegger is set to star in Black Sands, an action film that will be directed by Scott Waugh and Mike McCoy. Financed by Bill Block’s QED, the film will begin production April 1, 2012. In the script that … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: In what amounts to her most substantial acting role so far, Kim Kardashian has signed on to costar in The Marriage Counselor, the Lionsgate film Tyler Perry will next direct, based on his stage play. Shooting begins October 26 … Read More »
Forbes has come out with its annual list of the highest-paid men in entertainment. Tyler Perry leads the pack this year with $130 million earned between May 2010 and May 2011, with five movies and two TV series to … Read More »
Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer sure talks as though the company’s looking to create a TV channel around Tyler Perry — Tyler TV – even though he says he “can’t comment” on a report about it. He told analysts this morning that “we strongly support” the idea of bringing Perry to “exciting new platforms.” That could include a “not fully distributed (cable) channel that we could buy” or nesting Perry at “a channel we already have. … We have a lot of options if we choose to go down that path.” The New York Times says this morning that the company is considering rebranding its struggling TV Guide Network, buying a channel such as Gospel Broadcasting Network, or teaming with Comcast, which promised federal officials who approved its acquisition of NBCUniversal that it would beef up programming for minority audiences.
Also on the call, Lionsgate executives talked up their plans for The Hunger Games. The first film in what’s likely to be a four-film series completes principal photography on Labor Day weekend ahead of a March 2012 release. But the studio says it won’t release the second film until Thanksgiving 2013 because it wants to take advantage of the big holiday season audiences — and to give itself time to work on the script and marketing plans. The productions won’t necessarily be filmed back-to-back, although there’s a chance that the second and third installments will be. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Voltage Productions has set Rob Cohen to direct Bullet Run, an Andrew Hilton-scripted action film that puts Cohen back on the fast car track he was on when he helmed The Fast & The Furious. Voltage Productions producers Nicolas … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Matthew Fox and Ed Harris are in talks to join Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos and James Badge Dale in the Marc Forster-directed World War Z for Paramount and Skydance Productions. Forster has also set Julia Levy-Boeken, the French actress who stars in the Israeli series alufa Ha. The film is an adaptation of the Max Brooks novel that looks back on a global zombie infestation 10 years after the fact. Fox, who just wrapped a West End stage turn in the Neil LaBute play In a Forest Dark and Deep, is separately slated to play a vicious serial killer opposite Tyler Perry in the Rob Cohen-directed I, Alex Cross for Summit Entertainment, with production starting in August. Harris just starred in the Asger Leth-directed Man on a Ledge for Summit. Fox is repped by WME and Management 360, Harris by CAA and Levy-Boeken by Weiner Management. Read More »
TBS can now officially be renamed The Tyler Perry Network. TBS has given a straight-to-series order to a third sitcom from Perry and his Tyler Perry Studios. The network , which carries Perry’s House of Payne and Meet the Browns, … Read More »
Tyler Perry has set Rebecca Romijn for Good Deeds, the film that Perry will next direct for Lionsgate for 34th Street Films. Shooting starts April 25 in Atlanta. Romijn will play a former corporate executive who prefers motherhood. Perry plays … Read More »
Lionsgate said today that Tyler Perry has signed on to direct and star in his original screenplay Good Deeds, a romantic drama that will begin production at the end of April in Atlanta. Perry will play Glen Deeds, a successful entrepreneur who is about to get married but falls for a down-on-her-luck … Read More »
Tyler Perry’s monogamous relationship with Lionsgate will be interrupted this year when he stars in I, Alex Cross for Summit Entertainment. But Perry and Lionsgate have renewed their vows with a new multi-year deal that will see him continue as … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Summit Entertainment has acquired domestic distribution rights to I, Alex Cross, the reboot of the James Patterson franchise. Tyler Perry stars as the title character, with Rob Cohen directing. Lost‘s Matthew Fox was just set to play Michael Sullivan, a psycho serial killer who viciously murders Cross’s wife when the detective thwarts his earlier attempt to commit a murder. The drama becomes a mano a mano battle between cop and the killer who is one of the most memorable villains in Patterson’s novels. Ed Burns will play Cross’s partner Tommy Kane.
Three distributors chased the picture. One was Lionsgate, which has the long relationship on all the hit films that Perry has directed and starred in. But Summit Entertainment had an “in” as well: Summit co-chairman/CEO Rob Friedman. Friedman, former Vice Chairman and COO at Paramount Pictures Motion Picture Group, had an active hand in Paramount’s release of the first two Alex Cross films, Kiss the Girls and Along Came A Spider, which starred Morgan Freeman. He personally oversaw the acquisition and has a relationship with the author. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: In his first major film role since leaving Lost, Matthew Fox has signed on to play an assassin in I, Alex Cross, the reboot of the James Patterson franchise character that’s being put together by QED with Tyler Perry … Read More »
I don’t understand why any movie studio today would announce a production deal with Janet Jackson’s jdj Entertainment “to select, develop, and produce a motion picture” since she has zero following among filmgoers. Because her last name is Jackson? Because she’s a favorite of Tyler Perry? (His movies with her … Read More »