Turns out, Tyler Perry isn’t done with Madea. Well, not completely. You see the headline—it looks like Perry is attempting to take Marvel’s crown and make his own MCU...the Madea Cinematic Universe, that is.
In a retirement comeback reminiscent of Jay-Z’s short-lived bow-out (actually, Perry has him beat!), Perry is developing a prequel series based on the life and shenanigans of a young Madea (government name: Mabel Earlene Simmons) with Showtime.
Showtime has ordered multiple scripts for the projects, which is titled “Mabel.” Per the official description of the project, long before she was the force of nature known as Madea she was a smart, fierce, irresistible, dangerous, crazy 20-something Black woman named Mabel Simmons. When she moved to Atlanta in 1972 she set the city—and the world—on fire.
Perry and Tim Palen are the creators and executive producers of “Mabel,” with JaNeika James and JaSheika James attached to write and executive produce.
Oh, well it looks like Perry is improving upon his previous “All Tyler Perry All The Time” writers’ room by adding the James sisters, who have credits such as Empire, True Story and the upcoming Gossip Girl reboot.
Now, given this upcoming series’ synopsis, it does look like Perry is living up to his word, as he won’t be stepping back into the now-popular character’s suit—but, anything is possible during sweeps!
In October 2018, Perry announced that he would be hanging up his wig, costume titties and housecoat to retire the character of Madea. Of course, a character as big as that gun-toting grandma went out with a big bang in 2019, equipped with a whole stage play tour (where she originated) and a final film, A Madea Family Funeral.
“I just don’t want to be her age playing her,” Perry said at the time, noting that he wanted to “kill that old bitch.” Well, the bitch is back—retroactively.
Now that fans have a prequel series to look forward to, I wouldn’t be surprised if Perry pulls a Kenya Barris and milks Madea all for she’s worth, with a few spin-offs based on the other characters he portrayed, such as Madea’s snarky brother Joe. After all, making a whole franchise and brand centered around Madea made him the billionaire he is today.