Hey Madea fans! You think you could handle Orlando Jones rather than Tyler Perry playing the character? Well, if a blog entry (posted on April 1 at Huffington Post) is to be believed, you’ll have no choice.
Yep, this is one serious head scratcher. We’re not sure what to believe. Basically because what’s said to be Tyler’s commitment to his partnership with Oprah’s OWN, and the fact that Perry has said on more than one occasion that he really wants to stop playing the character, this whole thing has a ring of truth to it.
Anyway, if by chance it really is true, Tyler is handing the reigns over to Jones to play Mabel “Madea” Simmons in the next installment, “Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas.”
“It is with mixed emotion that I announce that I will be unable to portray Madea in the next chapter in her journey,” Perry said. “The character has been such a gift and it was my hope and intention to play this role again in the upcoming film. But due to my commitments to the exciting new venture I am launching with OWN and Discovery Communications, I must now put all my energy into our new slate of shows that will launch on the network later this year”
“Tyler and I are obviously very sad that he won’t be able to continue,” new director Bill Duke said in a statement. “Working with him on this project has been a delight and has brought us both so much joy and laughter. Right now Tyler needs to focus on the health of his new venture and the future. We love and respect him immensely and support him during this time. We are very grateful to Orlando for stepping in so quickly.”
Jon Feltheimer, CEO of Lionsgate said, “While we are saddened to hear that Mr. Perry won’t be appearing in the next film, we are still eager to have A MADEA CHRISTMAS in theaters this holiday season and look forward to Orlando Jones giving a great performance.”