Tyler Perry has been working nonstop for pretty much 20 years now, starting with his stage plays and now directing two movies a year, starring in most of them as the trash-talking granny Madea. But he seems to be going for a slight change of pace with some future projects, and during today's press conference for I Can Do Bad All By Myself, he told us a few vague details about what's happening.
First of all, if you're reading this on Wednesday September 9, you might want to watch tonight's hour-long Tyler Perry special with an eye toward the future. Perry talked about the plans for the show, which includes interviews with I Can Do Bad stars Taraji P. Henson and Adam Rodriguez and musical performances from Gladys Knight and Marvin Winans, and said the format was something he was "thinking about doing every week." Not sure exactly what he means by that, given that he doesn't have a movie to promote every week, but the Tyler Perry Variety Hour might be something coming up on the horizon.
At the end of the press conference he mentioned that his next film is Why Did I Get Married 2, a sequel to the 2007 film that features the original cast, including Janet Jackson. "I can't wait for you guys to see it," Perry told the assembled press. "Janet was going through all the stuff with Michael at the time. She needed the work, so she brought everything she had into the film."
Finally, Perry talked about his newest project, an adaptation of the 1970s stage play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf. First of all, though the play is about women of color, "Don't worry, there will be no Madea in it." I'll let Perry tell you about the rest of his ideas in his own words:
"I really really embrace the material and listen to the stories. The cast I think is going to blow peole away. It is the most incredible cast of women of color that has ever been assembled in film, ever. [People who have read the play know that] there's no story there. What I did was, each woman has their own story, and all of their lives cross, and they tell their story. It's kind of like Crash. They pas through each others' lives, and they're all living their own lives, and nobody knows that they're all on a collision course to meet each other. In the middle of the film, one of the women has started a 'For Colored Girls' center, where women go through a 12-step program of healing. A lot of the poems happen in the center, when all of these women come together."
As for that mention about the "incredible" cast? Perry wasn't ready to name any names, but says that he's spoken to five actresses who have all committed. There are 16 major roles in the film, he says, and they'll all be filled with members of the "dream cast." You can start your bets now for who that will include, but my guess is any black actress would jump for a role, considering Perry's track record of giving great leading roles to otherwise underused black actresses (check out Taraji P. Henson in the new movie this weekend if you don't believe me).
We'll have more later this week from the I Can Do Bad press day, including an exclusive interview with Taraji P. Henson. The movie opens this Friday.