Tyler Perry Halts Studio Expansion After Discovering New AI Capabilities

Tyler Perry has decided to put his planned $800 million expansion of his Atlanta studio on hold. His decision stems from concerns over the rapid advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and their potential impact on the film industry.

In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Perry expressed his apprehensions about the unchecked progression of AI and the need for regulatory measures to safeguard against its negative consequences.

“There’s got to be some sort of regulations in order to protect us. If not, I just don’t see how we survive,” he emphasized.

Perry specifically pointed to OpenAI’s text-to-video tool, Sora, as a major factor behind his decision to halt the studio expansion.

“I have been watching AI very closely and watching the advancements very closely. I was in the middle of, and have been planning for the last four years, about an $800 million expansion at the studio, which would’ve increased the backlot a tremendous size, we were adding 12 more soundstages. All of that is currently and indefinitely on hold because of Sora and what I’m seeing,” he revealed.

Despite acknowledging the potential benefits of AI in filmmaking, such as creating sets through text prompts rather than physical construction, Perry expressed grave concerns about the job losses that could result from automation. He reflected on the wide-ranging impact AI could have on various roles within the industry, from actors to crew members, emphasizing the importance of preserving human employment amidst technological advancements.

Perry’s decision to pause the studio expansion aligns with his observations of AI’s capabilities during the interview. He marveled at how AI could eliminate the need for physical travel by generating scenes based on textual descriptions. However, this newfound efficiency came with a sobering realization for Perry, who feared the potential displacement of numerous crew members.

“If you could spend a fraction of the cost to do a pilot that would’ve cost $15 [million], $20 million or even $35 million if you’re looking at HBO, of course the bottom line of those companies would be to go the route of lesser costs,” he remarked.

Perry also emphasized the need for collective action within the industry and advocated for government intervention to address the challenges posed by AI. He emphasized the rapid pace at which AI is evolving and its far-reaching implications across various sectors, stressing the importance of a comprehensive approach to navigate the changing landscape.

“I think we’re all trying to find the answers as we go, and it’s changing every day—and it’s not just our industry, but it’s every industry that AI will be affecting, from accountants to architects,” Perry stated.

While grappling with these concerns, Perry continues to push forward with his creative endeavors. His latest film, Mea Culpa, premiered on Netflix, showcasing his ongoing commitment to storytelling amidst the evolving technological landscape.

In Mea Culpa, Perry explores themes of justice and redemption through the lens of a criminal defense attorney navigating a high-stakes case. With his characteristic blend of suspense and drama, Perry’s film serves as both entertainment and a reflection of the complex issues facing society today.