Madea, the gun-toting grandmother who can rock a house arrest ankle bracelet like no one else, is making her Netflix debut next month.
Tyler Perry’s beloved character is emerging from retirement after 2019’s “Madea’s Family Funeral” and returning for “A Madea Homecoming,” which is scheduled to premiere on Feb. 25.
Perry will write, direct and star in the movie, the 12th installment in the long-running film franchise. The latest chapter in the commercially successful Madea Cinematic Universe centers around the character’s great-grandson’s college graduation. However, the celebratory moment hits a halt as hidden secrets and family drama threaten to destroy the happy reunion.
Neither Perry nor Netflix has offered up specifics about said “hidden secrets” and “family drama,” though the filmmaker hinted to Entertainment Weekly that it’ll involve an LGBTQ+ storyline. Perry hopes the message will encourage audiences to be more inclusive.
“Even if you don’t understand, be open… I just think that if everything gets accepted in love, then you get a chance to see the person for who they are rather than what you think they are,” Perry told the publication.
“A Madea Homecoming” brings back familiar faces, including Tamela Mann as Cora, David Mann as Mr. Brown and Cassi Davis Patton as Aunt Bam, as well as a guest appearance from Brendan O’Carroll as Agnes Brown.
Since Madea first hit the stage in the 1999 play “I Can Do Bad All by Myself,” Perry has spent more than 20 years in heavy makeup and intense padding as the devil-may-care matriarch, who doles out tough love and occasionally does hard time. Madea made her big-screen debut in 2005’s “Diary of a Mad Black Woman,” and over the course of 11 films, the franchise has grossed more than $550 million at the box office. “A Madea Homecoming” marks the first installment to skip theaters and land directly on streaming.
Perry initially intended to close the casket on Madea in 2019 after the release of “Madea’s Family Funeral.” But given the pandemic that won’t die, Perry surmised that laughter — perhaps second to the COVID-19 vaccine — is the best medicine.
“I was done with Madea, completely done with it,” Perry previously told Variety. “But as I’ve been looking at the state of the world — and I finished a tour in January, just before the pandemic started to break in the country — and the amount of joy and laughter that it brought to so many people, that’s what I think is missing. We need that laughter and that joy.”