Tyler Perry gets serious, casting Janet Jackson and Mariah Carey

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The Independent Culture

Atlanta-based American filmmaker Tyler Perry, best-known for his brand of comedies, such as Madea Goes to Jail and most recently I Can Do Bad All By Myself, announced that he will adapt the 1975 play by Ntozake Shange, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf.

The film will feature Janet Jackson, Whoopi Goldberg and Mariah Carey for the film, who will join Phylicia Rashad ( The Cosby Show), Kerry Washington ( Ray), Loretta Devine (in the upcoming Death at a Funeral), and singer Macy Gray.

The landmark stage performance featured a series of poems for African-American women about black feminism and identity politics. Perry will re-interpret the stories so that the women's lives interconnect. It begins production in June.

Marking a departure for the director from his usual raucous comedies, For Colored Girls will be produced through his new art-house division, 34th Street Films, named for the film Miracle on 34th Street, in an arrangement with Lionsgate.

With a half-dozen films about Madea, his gun-toting grandma character, and other movies, Perry has earned $400 million. He also executive produced the award-winning Precious.

The director-writer-actor-producer made the announcement at the premiere of Why Did I Get Married, Too?, which stars Janet Jackson, Lou Gossett Jr. and Perry, due out April 2 in the US.