Tyler Perry halts $800m studio expansion due to AI advancements

Tyler Perry has stunned the industry with his decision to indefinitely halt the $800 million expansion of his Atlanta studio, citing groundbreaking advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) technology, particularly OpenAI’s text-to-video model known as Sora, per complex.com.

The Hollywood mogul’s move follows the recent unveiling of Sora by OpenAI on February 15, just ahead of the premiere of Perry’s latest Netflix film, “Mea Culpa.” Sora is touted as capable of generating minute-long videos while maintaining high visual quality and adhering to user prompts.

The four-year expansion plan for Perry’s studio, which aimed to add 12 soundstages to the existing 330-acre property, has now been put on hold. Perry expressed profound amazement at the capabilities of Sora, noting that it could potentially revolutionise production methods by eliminating the need for physical sets and location shoots.

“I don’t have to put a set on my lot. I can sit in an office and do this with a computer,” Perry revealed in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

HOLLYWOOD, CA – APRIL 19: Director/Writer Tyler Perry arrives at the Lionsgate premiere of “Madea’s Big Happy Family” at ArcLight Cinemas Cinerama Dome on April 19, 2011 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

Despite acknowledging the benefits AI offers to streamline production processes, Perry expressed concern for the broader impact on the film industry, foreseeing potential job losses across various sectors including actors, crew, and post-production teams.

“The industry is running a hundred miles an hour to try and catch up, to try and put in guardrails and to try and put in safety belts to keep livelihoods afloat,” Perry remarked.

While Perry’s studio remains financially robust, he said the need for industry-wide collaboration and unionisation to safeguard jobs in the face of advancing AI technologies was paramount.

Perry’s studio, located on the historic grounds of the former Fort McPherson army base in Atlanta, boasts 40 soundstages, sprawling greenspace, and a backlot. Since its acquisition in 2015, it has become one of the largest production facilities in the United States.


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