Oscar Micheaux, a pioneering African-American screenwriter, filmmaker, director, and journalist, whose movies challenged racial segregation, is the focus of a developing HBO biopic.
Born in 1884 in Illinois, Micheaux relocated to Chicago by the age of 17 where he worked as a porter. His experiences as a porter later became the subject for his novel, The Homesteader. He later moved to South Dakota to farm and write.
Micheaux raised the money to create an adaptation of his novel, The Homesteader launching his career from an author to a screenwriter, filmmaker, and director. This was the first full-length feature film by an African-American filmmaker, thus creaking an outlet for African-American moviegoers.
He succeeded against the odds by becoming the first best-selling African-American author. In addition, while working outside of the Hollywood scene, he also became the first African-American independent filmmaker writing, producing, and directing more than 40 films.
Set to play Micheaux in this powerful biopic is another powerhouse African-American filmmaker, screenwriter, director, playwright, and actor, Tyler Perry. The similarities between Tyler Perry's achievements and Oscar Micheaux's makes this pairing a no-brainer.
The script is being written by Charles Murray while Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, of Storyline Entertainment, are working through Sony Pictures TV to produce the project under their own banner.
According to storyline-entertainment.com, Tyler Perry is set to executive produce with Zadan and Meron but has no plans to direct. “We’re thrilled to be partnering with Tyler Perry to bring Oscar Micheaux’s inspiring and trailblazing life story to HBO,” said Zadan.