Angelique Jackson | Variety
Tyler Perry has formalized a new creative partnership with Netflix to write, direct and produce feature films under a multi-year, first-look deal. The pact spans eight pictures over four years.
Perry already has five films under his belt at the streamer: “A Fall From Grace,” “A Madea Homecoming,” the period drama “A Jazzman’s Blues” (his longtime passion project produced from his first screenplay, written 27 years prior), the upcoming World War II-set drama “Six Triple Eight” and the thriller “Mea Culpa.”
Endeavor and TKO CEO Ari Emanuel teased the new pact at Bloomberg Media’s Screentime conference on Oct. 11. During the talk, Emanuel revealed that he’d just closed deals at Netflix for David Ellison (the Skydance Animation move, announced last week) and Perry. Pressed about the partnership in his own Screentime conversation, Perry played coy.
“He talks too much,” Perry joked, noting that the deal hadn’t been announced yet. “I’ll wait for them to announce it. But yeah, Netflix has been an incredible partner to work with, and so is Amazon. It’s been really, really, really incredible, and that’s all I’ll say about it.”
As the news the Netflix deal becomes public, Perry already has two projects in the works. “Six Triple Eight” tells the inspiring true story of the 6888th Postal Directory Battalion, the only all-Black, all-female battalion to serve overseas during World War II. Producer and star Kerry Washington leads a stellar ensemble cast including Oprah Winfrey, Ebony Obsidian, Milauna Jackson, Kylie Jefferson, Shanice Shantay, Sarah Jeffery, Pepi Sonuga, Jeanté Godlock, Moriah Brown, Dean Norris and Scott Daniel Johnson. Perry wrote the screenplay based on an article by Kevin M. Hymel, published in WWII History Magazine by Sovereign Media, which helped bring the story of 6888th battalion to more prominent attention.
“Mea Culpa” — starring and produced by Kelly Rowland — centers on a criminal defense attorney who, in the hopes of becoming partner, takes on the case of an artist who may or may not have murdered his girlfriend. The thriller’s cast also includes Trevante Rhodes, Sean Sagar, Nick Sagar and RonReaco Lee.
The multi-hyphenate creator’s new agreement with Netflix was signed separately from his four-picture deal with Amazon Studios, inked in 2022. Amazon has announced the first two films under that agreement: “Black, White & Blue,” a police brutality drama, and “Divorce in the Black,” which focuses on a broken marriage. Perry is also the subject of the documentary “Maxine’s Baby,” which chronicles his unlikely rise from homeless playwright to billionaire media mogul. The documentary makes its world premiere on Friday at AFI Fest before launching on Prime Video on Nov. 17.
In 2021, Perry revived his most famous character, Mabel “Madea” Simmons, for the comedy, “A Madea Homecoming.” The gun-toting grandma’s 12th movie spent four weeks in Netflix’s global top 10 and clocked more than 1 billion minutes watched in its first week of streaming per Nielsen.
“I was done with Madea, completely done with it,” Perry told Variety when he was honored as 2020’s Showman of the Year. “But as I’ve been looking at the state of the world … and the amount of joy and laughter that it brought to so many people, that’s what I think is missing. We need that laughter and that joy.”