Tyler Perry Nixes Huge Film Studio Expansion, Says He Can Just Green Screen in Backgrounds From OpenAI's Sora

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Open and Shut

Filmmaker and actor Tyler Perry says he's so taken by the power of OpenAI's video generation tool Sora that he's paused the $800 million expansion of his gigantic Atlanta studio.

The "Precious" producer dropped the bomb about the studio pause in the middle of an interview this week with The Hollywood Reporter, in which he expressed amazement at the power of the text-to-video Sora.

"I no longer would have to travel to locations," Perry rhapsodized. "If I wanted to be in the snow in Colorado, it’s text. If I wanted to write a scene on the moon, it’s text, and this AI can generate it like nothing."

He did spare a thought for those whose jobs would be lost, though.

"It makes me worry so much about all of the people in the business," he told the outlet. "I think of all of the construction workers and contractors who are not going to be employed because I’m not doing this next phase of the studio because there is no need to do it."

The Coverup

But the online peanut gallery shot down Perry's public lamentations.

Some users on X-formerly-Twitter proffered that AI is just a scapegoat for Perry, pointing to his past reputation for being anti-union and alleged shoddy treatment of workers.

"Tyler Perry has always been about pumping out minimally acceptable content at the cheapest expense," seethed one X user. "This is on brand for him unfortunately."

"He can’t afford it," wrote another. "That’s why he’s bailing. AI is just an excuse."

Another reason Perry's Sora rationale rings hollow? The tool isn't even publicly available yet, and the more we see of it the less impressed we are.

And regardless, some critics blasted that his movies and TV shows are terrible, even without crappy AI video.

Summing up this view is best-selling novelist S.A. Cosby, who snarked on X that "his movies can't get much worse."

More on OpenAI's Sora: OpenAI's Video-generating AI is "Doomed to Failure," Says Meta's Top AI Scientist