When Tyler Perry was just 22 years old, he used his life savings of $12,000 to finance his first stage production at a community theatre in Atlanta. Now, almost 20 years later, that investment has certainly paid off, as Tyler has just been named the highest paid man in entertainment by Forbes. Read full story after the jumpAccording to the magazine’s website, Tyler has earned $130 million dollars between May 2010 and May 2011, which includes him creating and/or starring in five movies and two television series. Since 2009, he has helped bring successful films such as ‘Precious,’ ‘Why Did I Get Married, Too,’ ‘For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf,’ and ‘Madea’s Big Happy Family,’ to the big screen which have all aided in him surpassing other industry professionals such as producer Jerry Bruckheimer who follows at #2 and Steven Spielberg, who closes out the top three.
Meanwhile, Tyler Perry is currently in Cleveland filming the prequel to I, Alex Cross which will help him appeal to a crossover audience. He was chosen over actor Idris Elba for the role in the adaptation of the popular book series because of his huge fanbase and track record of success at the box office (even if most of the films he has starred in, involved him acting as ‘Madea’). A rep for the film explained to EW
“Sure, Idris is a great actor; Tyler Perry is a phenomenon. Tyler Perry is one of the most significant entertainers in all of media. He is a huge cross-media talent and presence — and he’s a terrific actor whose range is going to be shown here. You’re going to see Tyler Perry like you haven’t seen him. He’s 6’5″, he is a linebacker. He is an awesome physical presence and is just going to tear it apart here. It’s an intense, dramatic role.
This is going to be the new Tyler Perry franchise, a worldwide one. That’s the other thing: Tyler Perry is going to take this to the worldwide audience. It’s just a very different, much bigger opportunity. We went to him! If you can get Tyler Perry or Will Smith, you try.”