Tyler Perry Stops £630M Studio Construction Due to AI Concerns

Film Industry Icon Alarmed by AI's Advancing Capabilities.

by Nouman Rasool
Tyler Perry Stops £630M Studio Construction Due to AI Concerns
© Noam Galai/Getty Images

In a surprising move that has the entertainment industry buzzing, Tyler Perry, the renowned filmmaker and mogul, has announced the suspension of his ambitious $800 million expansion of his Atlanta-based studio. This decision stems from his growing apprehensions about the emerging artificial intelligence technology, particularly the new AI-powered video generator, Sora, developed by OpenAI.

Perry's original plan included adding twelve state-of-the-art sound stages to his sprawling complex. However, his encounter with the capabilities of Sora has led to an indefinite pause in these developments. At 54, Perry, a celebrated figure in the film and TV world, expressed his concerns in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter.

He highlighted the potential loss of numerous jobs in the industry due to AI's rapid advancement. Sora, which represents the latest innovation from the creators of ChatGPT, was introduced in a limited capacity earlier this month.

Though not widely available for public use, demonstrations of its abilities have been showcased on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. These demonstrations, involving the generation of realistic video footage from simple text prompts, have been eye-opening and somewhat alarming for industry professionals.

Perry's AI Concerns

Perry, known for his roles in acclaimed films like "Don't Look Up" and "Gone Girl," shared his unease about the technology's potential to make traditional filmmaking practices obsolete. "The idea that I could replicate complex location shoots or create intricate sets from an office using a computer is astonishing," he remarked.

His concerns extend to the broader implications for employment in the industry, fearing significant job losses for actors, editors, sound technicians, and even transportation crews. Interestingly, Perry himself has utilized AI technology in filmmaking, notably to age his appearance for a scene, circumventing hours of makeup.

This experience underscores the dual-edged nature of AI in cinema — its utility versus its potential threat to traditional jobs. The Hollywood strikes of 2023 brought these concerns to the forefront, with AI being a critical issue.

Writers and actors alike voiced worries about AI encroaching on their roles and fundamentally altering the nature of their work.