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If you’ve ever wondered how Mabel Earlene Simmons became the tough, outspoken, and no-nonsense having woman we’ve all come to know as Madea, then Tyler Perry has both the series and the cinematic universe for you.
The 51-year-old multi-hyphenate is developing a drama prequel series about Madea’s origin story with Showtime.
Created by Perry and Tim Palen, the network has ordered multiple scripts for Mabel, according to Variety. Written by twin TV writers JaNeika James (Desperate Housewives, Empire) and JaSheika James (Empire), the show will follow Madea before she was a force of nature and was a smart, fierce, irresistible, dangerous, and crazy 20-something Black woman named Mabel Simmons. When she moved to Atlanta in 1972 she set the city — and the world — on fire.
Set to executive produce the project are Perry, Palen, and the James sisters.
In 2018, the New Orleans native announced that he would retire Madea during an interview with Radio Andy on Sirius XM stating, “I just don’t want to be her age playing her.” The following year he went on a farewell stage tour and released the final film, A Madea Family Funeral.
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