Boo 2! A Madea Halloween marks the tenth feature film appearance of the character that Tyler Perry created 18 years ago for the stage play, I Can Do Bad All By Myself . Its predecessor, last year’s Boo! A Madea Halloween, was born out of a parody from Chris Rock’s 2014 film, Top Five, and went on to gross $74.8 million with a budget of $20 million. The numbers don’t lie, the fans still enjoy watching Madea’s on screen antics. In Boo 2! Madea, Bam, Viv, and Hattie take a vacation to a campground with their family members, unaware that the grounds are haunted. When monsters, goblins, and the boogeyman are unleashed, Madea and company must fight it out with them.
Screen Rant had the pleasure of speaking with movie mogul, Tyler Perry, where we discussed Madea’s swan song, the criticism in the industry with casting social media stars, and his interest level in doing a mash-up of Big Momma’s House with Martin Lawrence.
SR: What is it about the Halloween holiday that made you want to come back to doing it, because you covered Christmas, you covered Halloween you could have done another holiday?
Tyler Perry: Well listen this is because of Chris Rock doing that Boo movie in Top Five. His spoof on the Madea Boo and I thought, ok. Lionsgate’s like ‘Let’s do it’. I said ‘Ok, let’s do it. So I do the movie and here we are the first one worked so well we’ll see what happens with this one. Also the timing is just great with everything that is going on ain the country, around the world. I think people just need to laugh. Don’t go in there looking for anything deep, meaningful, philosophical, just go and laugh, relax, have a good time. Take a hundred minutes to just enjoy yourself.
SR: Yeah, cause it seems these days that people are too critical of movies these days. It’s just like, ‘let’s go to the movies for fun’.
Tyler Perry: Yeah, let’s go to the movies for what it is. It’s a movie.
SR: There are a number of horror influences in this film, a number of icons, can you touch base on that? And how that influenced you?
Tyler Perry: Tell me which ones.
SR: Like The Ring, like the girl? It reminded me of The Ring, Friday the 13th, Texas Chainsaw.
Tyler Perry: I’ve never seen any of those movies, because I don’t do scary movies. But I pulled up all of their trailers to just take a look at them so yeah the little girl, cause that’s creepy as all get out. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, creepy as all get out.
SR: That’s the thing at Universal [Horror Nights] they never fail with the guys with the chainsaws, because having a chainsaw coming at you...
Tyler Perry: Right. Nobody ever wants that.
SR: So from a marketing standpoint it’s probably smart to cast social media stars these days. But there is a lot of criticism in the industry that filmmakers are casting based off their instagram followers. What do you have to say to that? Is that unlike comedians getting discovered during standup?
Tyler Perry: Well here’s the thing though if you ignore this digital platform and where the world is moving then you’re ignoring a whole group of talent. It’s like saying someone who won American Idol is not a real singer. There’s a whole new way of people introducing themselves to the world. So if people are loving what they’re doing, and you bring them on then great. But also, they’re talented. They’re very talented. I was pleasantly surprised to see that when I brought them down they were very talented. They’re very good actors.
SR: Is there anyone that you’re looking at now in particular in the social media spectrum that you’d like to cast in the future?
Tyler Perry: I have to have help with it, because I’m resistant to social media. I try to lay back on it as much as I can because I feel like it’s consuming too much of our lives. I have people to keep me informed on who’s doing something funny and I get all these crazy, funny things like Joanne the Scammer. I put Joanne in the funeral movie, and Shirleen who does all of these crazy things. These kids are so funny that I’m like I gotta work with them.
SR: I just discovered Joanne the Scammer too, like a week ago.
Tyler Perry: Yeah, he’s hysterical.
SR: Many years ago you mentioned that you were working on a sci-fi script, what’s the status on that?
Tyler Perry: I got discouraged because I wrote this scene, I kid you not, I wrote this scene about being on a plane and this contagion was happening and people were transforming into all these walking dead type folks, and I saw my favorite movie now, the Brad Pitt movie, World War Z. I was like, ‘well that’s the scene from the movie i gotta start all over’.
SR: Oh no.
Tyler Perry: Haven’t been inspired yet.
SR: That was a good movie, but go for it Tyler! Do it.
Tyler Perry: Ok.
SR: Alright I have something for Madea, on a scale from 1-5---
Tyler Perry: Five!
Tyler Perry: Sorry go ahead, go ahead.
SR: From blacklist to greenlight tell me Madea’s interest level in the following mashups.
Tyler Perry: From Blacklist to greenlight?
SR: Yeah, you know how scripts go to the Blacklist to like I'll do it.
Tyler Perry: Cool.
SR: Madea and The City, a Sex in the City spinoff, Madea, Aunt Bam, and Hattie, fierce ladies in the concrete jungle where dreams are made of.
Tyler Perry: Greenlight.
SR: You think Madea would have any interest in taking over the role of Samantha?
Tyler Perry: My gosh, how funny would that be? [laughs] That would be hysterical. I don’t think anyone else would have it. Sarah Jessica Parker wouldn’t have it.
SR: Alright, how about Madea’s Rush Hour ? Madea pounds the mean streets of LA with Jackie Chan.
Tyler Perry: Greenlight [laughs] Greenlight.
SR: And then Big Momma’s House, Madea’s an undercover---
Tyler Perry: Greenlight. Greenlight. Greenlight all day long.
SR: But! Who dresses up like Martin Lawrence.
Tyler Perry: Greenlight man! Greenlight I love it.
SR: I wanna see that mashup really come to light.
Tyler Perry: I love it. Listen Martin’s amazing. I’d love to work with him.
SR: Nice! So is it true that this movie was rated R and you had to make multiple cuts?
Tyler Perry: Yeah, well it’s just for language cause you know who did it is You [Yousef Erakat]. He’s trifling man. He just kept ratcheting it up. He’s ratchet and so we had to dial back some of the language because of him.
SR: Yeah, cause I watched the movie and I couldn’t imagine what they could have cut out. I know the type of filmmaker you are.
Tyler Perry: Language. Language. So the next one, the funeral is a rated R movie. I’m just going for it. Language is gonna be there. I’m just going for it.
SR: And when does that come out?
Tyler Perry: Next year.
SR: Perfect. So there’s a lot of scares in this film. Seriously there was somebody screaming the film last night.
Tyler Perry: Really? It’s not scary.
SR: Everytime the girl would pop up someone would be like, ah!
Tyler Perry: Really. It’s not that scary. That’s pretty cool. That’s pretty cool to know.
SR: So many fans have been excited to see you in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, in Star Trek, what other pop culture film would you like to pop up in next?
Tyler Perry: What I’m doing next is playing Colin Powell in the new Cheney movie so I’m really excited about that. Just a chance to show some range cause you know Madea is what it is. These movies, they are what they are. Just big silly fun, so to have a chance to sink my teeth into something dramatic is pretty awesome.
SR: And I know that you always answer this question, ‘how long can you do Madea for?’ , but I’m going to ask you have you written her swan song yet? Is there a script sitting in a vault somewhere so when you’re ready....
Tyler Perry: No, there isn’t. There isn’t. And this is totally predicated to the audience’s reaction. When they’re done with it. I’m done with it. You out, I’m out, thanks. Thanks, been great. Thanks for coming.
SR: What other genre hybrid would you like to create with Madea?
Tyler Perry: I think I’ve examined as much as I can examine with Madea. I think I’m all the way in.
SR: So we’re 17 years into the future if he were to lie and sneak out to a party you forbade him to go to? Tell you son what you would do to him.
Tyler Perry: First of all I would punch him in his throat if it’s this kind of party [from the movie], but my hope is what we’re doing right now is putting all the right values in him that he wouldn’t do something like that, but we all were teenagers we all did our own thing. That scares me to even think about cause I’ll be 60. Scares me to think about.
SR: No way. You look so good.
Tyler Perry: Thank you I appreciate that. Thank you.
SR: You look really really good. That’s crazy.
Tyler Perry: Thank you.
SR: I know you said the superhero genre is not your thing you never want to helm one, but have you ever been approached by Marvel or DC to do one?
Tyler Perry: I’ve had a couple conversations, but I would always say, ‘I’m not the guy to do this’. I’m not the guy that can bring this vision to life cause it takes such a village to pull it together, and I’m not a guy that can work with fifty other directors and producers telling you what to do, how to do it, when to do it. That doesn’t work for me. I saw that in a couple of the sci-fi movies that I’ve been apart of and I think, ‘uhh i’m not doing that’.