Push Gets Oprah and Tyler Perry

by Melissa Silverstein on February 3, 2009

in News

pushWhen Push won the big awards at Sundance over a week ago I posited that it would be an awesome opportunity for Tyler Perry to use his mailing list and developed audience to promote a film outside his comfort zone which is pretty much himself.  Here’s what I wrote on January 25th:

Film doesn’t yet have distribution, but hopefully now someone will sign on.  I think this would be a great opportunity for Tyler Perry.  I know that he is pretty much focused on his own work but he has a built in list and if he (or even Oprah) would put their names and muscle behind this film I bet it could get a release.  Even though I have not seen the film I would guess that from the reception and reviews and awards that the issue with this film will be its hard content especially in this market.  Full post

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that this would happen.  I am shocked and thrilled.  The film was bought by Lion’s Gate for approx $5.5 million making it the biggest deal of the festival.  Since it won both the audience and jury prize it make sense to me that it got the biggest deal.  (Things should work this way yet hardly ever do.)  Oprah and Tyler Perry are both going to put their muscle behind the film to get the word out.  Props to Lion’s Gate for really thinking outside of their comfort zone on this film.  They do very well with Tyler Perry and it makes sense that this film also has potential, but Tyler Perry’s films sell themselves and this one will take a lot of work.

Here’s what Oprah and Perry had to say about the film

“I’ve never seen anything like it. The moment I saw ‘Push: Based on the Novel by Sapphire,’ I knew I wanted to do whatever I could to encourage other people to see this movie. The film is so raw and powerful — it split me open,” Winfrey said.

“I am honored to join Oprah Winfrey and Lionsgate in releasing Lee Daniels’ exceptional film,” Perry said.
Lionsgate, Winfrey, Perry push ‘Push‘ (Variety)

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

UGLY DEAF MUSLIM PUNK GURL! February 3, 2009 at 8:58 AM

Ok I’m bloody confused. Aren’t there two new movies called PUSH this year?????????? One with Dakota Fanning, and this one with a black actress?

I googled “Push” and all I came up was the Dakta Fanning movie on IMDB.

Ugh, they need to change those titles. I’m confused!!!!

d February 3, 2009 at 3:05 PM

Hey There!

There are indeed two movies called Push. Someone in the industry can correct me, but I think that you can’t copyright a name, so I don’t think there’s anything to be done. Heck, Push is coming out this weekend! But if the indie uses the longer name it should help differentiate it from the other one.

Wow, I almost thought about tearing, what perfect synergy! Considering how many accolades it received, I was disheartened to see all these other films get distribution and not this one. Yay! Sometimes things work out. Now the tough part – marketing. Maybe if they hold out ’till November it would be good enough for Oscar nods??? What a joy! And Melissa you’re virtually clairvoyant! :)

d

ps – in speaking of clairvoyance, I am hoping that the other Push is good too! It looks like another version of Heroes, or X-Men light, but has two strong females at the center of all the action (Dakota Fanning and Camilla Bell); and seeing women at the forefront of action is something quite rare these days…I just wish they actually showed up on the poster…I hope that is not a sign…

Thomai February 3, 2009 at 7:46 PM

DO you know who is producing it more specifically?
If so, please email me, I’d love to work on this one.
resume is ready…

Terry McCall February 4, 2009 at 5:07 AM

wow. I just finished reading Push (picked it up at 6am… couldn’t put it down till 7:30 & the last page), after years of putting it off.

I can’t wait to see Precious’ story.

Thomai February 4, 2009 at 8:23 AM

Sorry, I was multi-tasking when I posted my last comment. I meant to say the next one. I read the list of Producers at the IMDB site and wonder if they have a co. or if they only formed one for Push?

bka February 7, 2009 at 6:33 AM

the novel “Push”, according to Barnes & Noble is the “most often stolen” book. Interesting that Sapphire’s name is on the title which so refers to the book that a teen seeing the movie first, might actually read the book afterwards. The book came out of Sapphire’s experiences as a teacher. Wonder if she gives props to the kids who gave her the materials she shaped. Looking forward to this one. A film that is actually “about” something important.

Rhonda March 5, 2009 at 9:05 AM

I have never been so anxious to read a book. Just the previews alone make me want to inhale the story. I have been in education for some years now and I have seen the ill-effects of a torn home life. I am also very proud of the industry for straying away from the ultra-glamorous roles of portrayed beauty to bring some real-life to film that is worth seeing and worth my time and money at the theatre.

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