After 13 years and 10 films, Tyler Perry is finally retiring Madea, the character he's been playing ever since he created her in 1999, long before she went on to anchor her own series of films. That's almost two decades of the same character, so it's hardly a surprise that Perry actually sounds more than ready to say goodbye to the role. At least, that's what he's saying now. In a conversation with SiriusXM, the director sounded worn down by his years of playing the spirited grandmother, telling his host, "It's time for me to kill that old b*tch," before adding: "I'm tired, man. I'm tired."
And understandably so, because when Perry dons that gray wig, the trademark glasses, and pearls, he has to pull on a few more hats in addition to the costume — not onscreen, of course, but behind the camera. For most of the Madea projects that Perry has worked on, he's not only starred in the feature, often picking up several other roles as well, but also plotted the story, written the screenplay, and directed the film. That's a whole lot of responsibility, especially in addition to the rest of his career; it's no wonder that Perry might want to spend some time on sets where he isn't playing every single role. (And in a padded costume, to boot.)
The famed director revealed that the series will get an ending befitting the character. Instead of just fading away, or ceasing to be written into new projects, Madea will be officially killed off — she'd demand nothing less than her creator, we suspect. And unfortunately for fans, her demise is coming sooner than you might think. "We're going to say goodbye in '19," Perry revealed to Sirius XM, adding, "I just don't want to be her age playing her." (The director is closing in on 50 years old, while Madea is generally understood to be in her early 60s during her first appearance.)
But even though the final offering in the series won't premiere until next year, Perry revealed during his interview that the farewell tour has already been shot. The 49-year-old explained that he shot the character's last big screen appearance — which is set to be titled A Madea Family Funeral — two full years ago. But he didn't want to march straight from 2016's Boo! A Madea Halloween and 2017's Boo. 2! A Madea Halloween into another Madea movie, even if it was going to be the last one. Instead, he gave himself and the film a little room to breathe, electing to release the Taraji P. Henson-starring Acrimony and the Tiffany Haddish vehicle Nobody's Fool first.
Acrimony was released earlier this year, and Nobody's Fool will premiere on Nov. 2, thus clearing the way for Madea's final bow in early 2019. The A Madea Family Funeral premiere date is currently set for Mar. 1, 2019, at which point Perry will hopefully feel a long awaited sense of closure.
No matter how much you love the character and wish it could stick around forever, Perry has more than put his time in with Miss Mabel Simmons. He's turned her into a character as beloved by his fans as she once was by the director himself, and he deserves to be able to free up that space in his brain to work on other projects. RIP Madea.