Tyler Perry To Portray Filmmaker Oscar Mischeaux
Tyler Perry will star in a new HBO biopic about pioneering African-American filmmaker Oscar Micheaux, according to a report. Craig Zadan and Neil Meron are producing the project, along with Perry. The film is based on the 2007 biography “Oscar Micheaux: The Great and Only: The Life of America’s First Black Filmmaker” by film historian Patrick McGilligan.
Early on, Micheaux tackled the problem of distribution by personally driving prints of his films to black communities around the country, where they played to segregated audiences. His films largely featured all-black casts and were an effort to counter racial stereotypes with humanistic portrayals of black life. His notable works included 1920’s “Within Our Gates,” a response to D.W. Griffith’s epic “Birth of a Nation”; 1931’s “The Exile,” his first sound picture; 1938’s “Swing!” and 1940’s “The Notorious Elinor Lee.” Many of Micheaux’s films have been lost to history given the lack of preservation and the decomposition of film stock of the era. Micheaux died in 1951 at the age of 67.