Hollywood's most famous grandmother heads for retirement, as Tyler Perry announces the last appearance of his signature character Madea. Perry's female alter ego, whose onscreen debut occurred back in 2005's Diary of a Mad Black Woman, has been featured in ten plays, more than ten movies, and several television appearances – including House of Payne - during her onscreen tenure.
Though the inception of his character occurred onstage in plays, Perry adapted his elderly, maternal character to suit the big screen, and found surprising success. Although the critical reception of the franchise is generally rather dismal – rarely breaking a 30 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes – fans consistently flock to theaters to watch Madea's next adventure. Within the past twelve years, Madea has gone to jail, hosted a family in the witness protection program, celebrated holidays, starred in two horror films - the woman did it all, and fans loved to watch her. In fact, throughout the years Perry's Madea films alone have raked in over 500 million dollars.
Vanity Fair reported Perry's announcement, that Madea's final appearance would be in a film that wrapped two years ago and will hit theaters March 1, 2019 - Tyler Perry's A Madea Family Funeral. Perry would not expand upon the plot, refusing to acknowledge whether the funeral mentioned in the title was Madea's or not. Though it seems likely, as it would be an easy way for Perry to rid himself of the character. Courtney Burrell and Patrice Lovely will star alongside the famed Madea in her swan song.
Perry had long partnered with Lionsgate for the distribution of his films, however the last Madea film will also be the last of that long-running agreement. In July 2017, the filmmaker singed a deal with Viacom under which he'll be creating TV programming and feature films alike. Paramount Pictures maintains first-look rights on any upcoming Perry film, beginning after A Madea Family Funeral.
Though Madea's time onscreen is coming to a close, the future appears to be full of Tyler Perry's original content. Now fans will have to wait and see if Perry decides to lay his famous matriarch to rest, or leave open the possibility of Madea cameos in the far future. Either way, twenty years after she first appeared onstage, Madea has polarized audiences everywhere, and won't soon be forgotten – whether that's for better or worse.
Source: Vanity Fair