Ireland’s favorite Mammy Agnes Brown is making her way to Hollywood.
Already the star of a hit TV show and Irish film, the character’s creator and the man who plays the Dublin mother, Brendan O’Carroll, is set to team up with American comedian Tyler Perry for a new film project with Perry’s character Madea.
For anybody who has yet to meet with Mrs. Brown and her madcap family, you’ll find a good introduction in this video:
Foul-mouthed matriarch Mrs. Brown has been a massive hit in England and Ireland especially, drawing in record numbers of viewers and selling out live shows worldwide. O’Carroll first created Mrs. Brown for radio station 2fm in 1992, and he’s continued to play his drag persona for the past twenty plus years, while other members of his family, including his wife and sister, also play other roles in the fictional Brown clan.
After the success of Mrs. Brown’s Boys D’Movie in 2014, which brought in $26 million (£20 million) worldwide, plans were underway for a sequel, but the rising costs for filming in the UK after Brexit means O’Carroll has been forced to postpone the follow-up.
"We were planning to do it this year, but the numbers weren't right," O'Carroll said.
"The Brexit drop in Sterling makes it a lot more expensive for the studio than it would have been previously."
Instead, Agnes is off to crack America with the help of another no-nonsense old lady with her own show. Now starring in Love Thy Neighbor on the Oprah Winfrey channel, fellow powerful matriarch Madea is the creation of Perry, believed to be worth $130 million (£100 million), and has featured in many plays, films, and TV shows since Perry first brought her to the stage in “I Can Do Bad All By Myself” in 1999.
O’Carroll and Perry have been massive fans of each others work for several years and are excited at the prospect of bringing Agnes and Madea together, with talks underway for the past month on the prospect of a movie starring the two TV powerhouses.
“Tyler is a fantastic writer and performer,” O’Carroll told The Sun newspaper.
“We are exploring what a movie would look like with both Mrs. Brown and Madea and we are laughing a lot.”
Tyler added: “The very thought of the brilliant Brendan O’Carroll and I working together has got me beyond excited. And the thought of Mrs. Brown meeting Madea . . . hysterical!”
Mrs. Brown’s Boys has almost always divided critics’ opinions and those of the public, and despite the mixed reviews when the first film was released, it brought in $1.1 million (€1.02 million) in its first weekend in the Irish box office, the biggest opening weekend on record for an Irish film, beating out Angela’s Ashes, Michael Collins, and The Guard.
Although it took 20 years for O’Carroll to bring Agnes Brown to TV because of such critics, it was dubbed an overnight success when it first aired on the BBC in 2011.
A live episode of the sitcom was aired in July as part of BBC England's sitcom season. It pulled in 6.5 million viewers.