Photo: Lionsgate

Look, we’re no fans of Tyler Perry’s gleefully cantankerous Madea, and you can’t say we didn’t give her a shot. Still, you’ve got to respect the commitment the writer, director, producer, and performer has put into the long-running character, which he introduced onstage 20 years ago and subsequently played in 11 films. That’s why we offer a hearty handclasp and a fond farewell to the matriarch, who Perry has announced he’ll be retiring next year.

In a new interview with SiriusXM’s Bevy Smith, Perry revealed that Madea Family Funeral, a movie he’s been sitting on since filming it two years ago, will be the character’s final outing. “We’re gonna say goodbye in ’19,” he said. “I just don’t want to be her age playing her.”

This, of course, changes the tone of the film, which he assumed would center around Madea berating a corpse or something but could very well end with her buried six feet under. In the above interview, after all, he says through laughter that “it’s time for me to kill that old bitch, I’m tired.” Frankly, we’d have loved to see her go down swinging a bulky purse at homicidal clowns in 2016's Boo!: A Madea Halloween, but alas.

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Along with the film, Perry will send off the character with a stage tour in which he’ll play the character one final time. After that, he’ll head to Viacom, with whom he’ll develop more films, TV shows, and, fingers crossed, that Alex Cross sequel we’ve been clamoring for.

[via Vanity Fair]