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Perry, Lionsgate visit ‘Marriage Counselor’

Feature version of Perry's 10th play starts production next month

Tyler Perry is in pre-production on a feature version of his play “The Marriage Counselor” through his deal with Lionsgate, marking the 13th feature project between the multihyphenate and studio.

Production will begin Oct. 25, with Perry and partners Ozzie Arau and Paul Hall producing. No cast has been attached.

“The Marriage Counselor,” the 10th play by Perry, opened in 2008. Storycenters on a married couple — an accountant and his wife, an Ivy League-educated marriage counselor who gives marital advice but finds it difficult to address issues with her own marriage.

In March, Lionsgate extended its first-look pact with Perry for film and homevid for at least two years, continuing a partnership that dates to 2005. The deal calls for Perry to deliver at least two more “Madea” movies, among other possible pics.

Perry’s 11 films for Lionsgate over the past six years have grossed nearly $600 million at the North American box office, and his DVDs have sold more than 40 million units. Their 12th project, romantic drama “Good Deeds,” opens Feb. 24 and tells the story of a successful, soon-to-be-married businessman who falls in love with a down-on-her-luck single mother.

The most recent Perry film, “Madea’s Big Happy Family,” opened April 22 and took in $53 million.

Perry’s debut play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” was first performed in 1992. He bowed the Madea character in the 2000 play “I Can Do Bad All by Myself,” leading to his first film, 2005’s “Diary of a Mad Black Woman.”

Perry followed on the film front with “Madea’s Family Reunion,” “Daddy’s Little Girls,” “Why Did I Get Married?,” “Meet the Browns,” “The Family That Preys,” “I Can Do Bad All by Myself,” “Why Did I Get Married Too?” and “For Colored Girls.”

Perry also produces the TV series “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne” and “Meet the Browns” for TBS and firstrun syndication. Both skeins are distribbed by Lionsgate’s Debmar-Mercury syndication arm.

Perry’s repped by WME.

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