On the eve of Tyler Perry's biggest mainstream push ever (the nearly all-white Madea's Witness Protection opens Friday while his shot at action movie stardom, Alex Cross, just released its first trailer the other day) I've been worried that perhaps he'll finally leave his weird days behind him. I lie awake at night, afraid that in a couple of years he'll just be another mediocre filmmaker rather than the beautiful, untouched scientific experiment we have today.
Today I am ashamed at my lack of faith. Tyler Perry will be weird until the day he dies. If there really is a God, he truly is one subversive motherfucker.
In an interview with blackfilm.com, Tyler Perry revealed that he's writing a science fiction film. Once again: Tyler Perry is writing a science fiction film. Here's the pertinent excerpt:
What kind of movies did you used to watch growing up and how did they influence you?
TP: The first movie I ever saw was The Wiz and I danced all the way home. I was 5 or 6 years old and I danced all the way home from The Gallo Theatre down in New Orleans to my house. But when it comes to movies, I never really saw them in the theater. We didn’t have that kind of money so we would always have to wait for them to come on television. I love Sci Fi, I love the Alien movies and the Alien franchise. I was very disappointed with Prometheus, but I love that whole franchise. Those are my favorite movies. I’m actually working on a sci-fi movie right now.
Can you tell us a little bit about that?
TP: No but I’m writing a sci-fi movie that I’m really excited about.
What a goldmine. I always though that if I had five honest minutes with the guy, all my questions would focus on Pat and Gavin's fucked-up story in Why Did I Get Married Too? But I wouldn't be able to resist having a long-ass conversation with Tyler Perry about Prometheus. I didn't even think he watched movies beyond The Color Purple, What's Love Got to Do With It? and Forrest Gump.
What kind of film fan is Tyler Perry? Here he claims Science Fiction as his favorite film genre. I know he weaseled his way into a Star Trek cameo, but of all the genres, that's the last one I'd expect. What's his take on the Predator franchise? Is he one of those guys who found Avatar groundbreaking? Does he shake his head or does he slap his knee laughing at stuff like Tremors? I need to know.
So now I'm left with the torturous knowledge that there will someday be a Tyler Perry science fiction film, and that day is not tomorrow. Surely it won't be a Madea film. Given his oeuvre's focus on relationship woes, perhaps this one will someday sit on the shelf next to Solaris and The Fountain.
As an added bonus, how do you like Tyler Perry's complete shut down of the topic he himself brought up? "I'm making a science fiction movie." "Oh, can you tell us anything about it?" "No. Fuck off." Seriously, how can you not love this guy?