Lionsgate has today announced plans to re-team with Tyler Perry for Madea's Witness Protection, the 14th collaboration between the talent and the studio in seven years.
Eugene Levy (American Pie, Best in Show) will star as George, a high level CFO at the center of a Ponzi scheme in New York City who is enrolled in the Witness Protection program along with his family in the one place that absolutely no one will think to look for them: Madea's house down South.
Perry wrote the script and will again direct, produce and star as Madea, Madea's indelicate cousin Joe, and as plain-spoken attorney Brian, who places the family with Madea, resulting in the hilarious scenario that unfolds under her roof.
Rounding out the cast are Emmy-winning actress Doris Roberts as George's mother, Tom Arnold as his business associate Walter, Denise Richards as his younger wife Kate, and Danielle Campbell and Devan Leos as the family's youngsters – for whom Madea has plenty of valuable lessons lined up. Actor and rapper Romeo also has a role in the film, playing Jake, a friend of Brian who was affected by the scam. John Amos plays Jake's father in the film, and Marla Gibbs appears as Madea's neighbor.
The film began principal photography today in Atlanta, Georgia, at the filmmaker's own 200,000 square foot studio compound, Tyler Perry Studios.
"This is the ultimate fish out of water story, and I believe the funniest Madea story yet," says Mike Paseornek, Lionsgate's President of Motion Picture Development and Production. "We loved the witness protection concept from the second we heard it, but when Tyler cast comedy icon Eugene Levy and put him under the same roof with Madea and Uncle Joe, he took this movie to a whole new level."
The press release also includes the following "official statement" from Madea herself:
"Auh hell, now they want me to work with these white folks. Next thing you know they will be asking me to go on 'Dancing With The Stars'. I need to talk to my agent."