Madea is back! Kind of.
Tyler Perry officially hung up the iconic character’s gray wig and colorful robes after the 2019 movie Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral, but he’s not done with her yet. The filmmaker is developing a prequel series based on Madea’s early life, before she became the foul-mouthed, gun-wielding, foul-mouthed grandmother who has appeared in numerous plays, television shows and feature films.
The series, titled Mabel, is currently in development with Showtime and follows the title character as a smart, fierce, irresistible, dangerous, and insane twentysomething living in 1972 in Atlanta. Perry and Tim Palen are the series creators and executive producers, with JaNeika and JaSheika James scheduled to write and executive produce.
Although Perry has played Madea in all of her past appearances, her retirement from playing the character is true and she will not be wearing the costume again for the show. As he said in October 2018 during an appearance on Bevy Smith’s SiriusXM radio show, Bevels, “I just don’t want to be her age, playing her.”
Whoever takes on the role will have some big shoes to fill!