Tyler Perry Wants Someone Else To Play His Most Popular Character

By Erika Hanson | 3 months ago

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Tyler Perry has spent the past two decades playing his most notorious character, Madea. Now, it seems the man of many hats is looking to finally fill the no-fuss badass’ shoes with a more suitable, female actress. This Friday, Netflix will release A Madea Homecoming, and it looks like this might be the last opportunity to see the great Tyler Perry don the floral dresses and pearls that first throttled the filmmaker to stardom. 

While Tyler Perry will premier as the titular character on Friday for the iconic character’s 11th jaunt on screen, the director revealed it will likely be the last time he portrays the beloved character inspired by his real-life mother and aunt. Previously, Perry had plans to retire from his portrayal of Madea after 2019’s A Madea Family Funeral. However, the 52-year-old celebrity had a change of heart following the gloom and doom of the pandemic. Citing the need for more laughter and joy, Perry wrote his last stint as the outspoken character for the impending Netflix movie. However, as it seems even Madea can outlive death, the character will make her way to Showtime for a prequel series. 

Called Mabel, the prequel series will follow a younger Madea in the 1970s. This time around, Tyler Perry plans to have an “actual” actress playing the younger Madea. “[I want] an actual actress playing the role of Madea in the ’70s and see what story would be like. It’s totally different.” To further concrete his decision, Perry also said, “Listen, I’m 52 years old. I’m looking at the exit here coming up soon, so I’m totally able to hand it off.”

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With her triumphant return to film, A Madea Homecoming will center around the character’s great-grandson’s graduation from college. Chock-full of the typical comedic storylines strewn within the character’s longstanding franchise, fans will be treated to other beloved characters through a family reunion and flashbacks. Cora (Tamela Mann), Mr. Brown (David Mann), and Aunt Bam (Cassi Davis Patton) will all reprise their roles once again for the upcoming movie.  Once again completely written and directed by Tyler Perry himself, the movie was entirely filmed at Perry’s studio in Atlanta on a budget of $20 million. 

Tyler Perry first debuted Mabel “Madea” Earlene Simmons in 1999 through a series of plays. Gaining popularity, Perry created the hilarious characters’ first film in 2005’s Diary of a Mad Black Woman. An instant success with comedy fans, the iconic character went on to star in nearly a dozen films after. The beloved character even has a deeper connection to Perry himself, who claims that Madea is based on his own family. According to Perry, Madea is “exactly the PG version of my mother and my aunt, and I loved having an opportunity to pay homage to them. She would beat the hell out of you but make sure the ambulance got there in time to make sure they could set your arm back” about the beloved character.”

As somber as Tyler Perry’s retirement from the iconic character he created may seem, it’s also compelling to think of who the prestigious entrepreneur will find to fill Madea’s very big shoes. When first discussing his step-down in 2019, Perry was asked who would next portray the icon. Responding that he wasn’t sure, he did mention he had some people in mind. While Madea fans eagerly await the casting for a new and fresh Madea, Perry remains as busy as ever at his Atlanta studio. Recently, Perry has been hiring for Ruthless, his new BET+ project. And on the other scale of genres, Tyler Perry and director Jason Blum are set to team up and helm an upcoming thriller, Help.