Tyler Perry halts $800 film studio build over AI fears

Tyler Perry attends the premiere of Tyler Perry's "Mea Culpa," (Photo by CJ Rivera/Invision/AP)

Tyler Perry, renowned US film and TV mogul, has decided to halt an $800 million expansion of his studio in Atlanta due to new Artificial Intelligence AI technology concerns.

Perry, 54, had plans to add 12 sound stages to his complex but has been deterred by the emergence of OpenAI’s video generator, Sora.

Expressing his worries, Perry stated that he fears significant job losses in the film industry due to artificial intelligence. He described Sora’s capabilities as “shocking” and expressed disbelief at its recent demonstrations.

OpenAI’s CEO showcased Sora’s abilities by taking requests from followers on social media platform X (formerly Twitter), and generating videos based on their suggestions. Although the tool is still in limited release and unavailable to the public, it has already demonstrated its capacity to produce realistic one-minute-long footage with minimal input.

As a result of these developments, Perry has put his expansion plans on hold indefinitely, citing the impact of Sora as a primary factor in his decision-making process.

Perry said the technology could make travelling to locations and building sets redundant: “I can sit in an office and do this with a computer, which is shocking to me,” he said.

He added that he was “very, very concerned” that this could mean jobs for actors, editors, sound specialists and transporters could be lost.

Perry, who has starred in films such as Don’t Look Up and Gone Girl, said that he had recently used AI on set to make himself older for a scene, which meant he “avoided having to sit through hours of ageing makeup”.

AI is already on the minds of many in the industry and was one of the main sticking points during the 2023 Hollywood strikes.

Many writers were concerned about their jobs being taken by AI, whilst actors were concerned that the technology could be used to replace them on set.

Despite an agreement being reached between studios and Hollywood workers, Perry said the “whole industry” needs to come together to protect people’s livelihoods.