How Chris Rock Inspired Boo! A Madea Halloween

Boo! A Madea Halloween

Tyler Perry's Madea has been on a number of cinematic adventures since making her big screen debut in 2005's Diary of a Mad Black Woman - but there is one thing that is distinctly different about the character's latest movie, Boo! A Madea Halloween. Specifically, while the film is once again written and directed by Tyler Perry, it is the first to be made based on a kernel of an idea that was not his own. It was, in fact, comedian/filmmaker Chris Rock who actually first came up with the title, as he originally featured it as a parody in his 2014 dramedy Top Five.

Last week, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Tyler Perry during the Los Angeles press day for Boo! A Madea Halloween, and having learned about the strange origins of the new comedy I felt compelled to ask the filmmaker about it. Perry explained that Lionsgate became keen on the idea of making a Halloween-themed Madea after seeing the parody in Top Five and approached him about -- but, surprisingly, it was an idea that he originally rejected out of hand. That is, until he found a way in that interested him:

When I got the call from Lionsgate saying, 'Tyler, have you ever thought about a Halloween movie?' I was like, 'There's no way.' I don't do Halloween -- witches, demons... I don't do that kind of thing. But one day I was watching YouTube videos of people getting pranked, and I thought, 'Oh, I found a way to do it.' And that's how it all evolved for me.

It's pretty rare for a fictional movie featured within another movie to actually become a real movie itself - with Robert Rodriguez's Machete and the Coen brothers' O Brother Where Art Thou? being a couple of other examples -- but that's exactly what Boo! A Madea Halloween is. Packaged with my question about the film's origins, I also asked Tyler Perry if he thinks that the movie he's made in reality is the same one that is playing in theaters in Chris Rock's Top Five, and he had a pretty funny response:

I would hope so, because in the film it was tremendously successful! So I would hope so.

You can watch Tyler Perry and me talking about Boo! A Madea Halloween and its connection to Top Five in the video below!

Hit the comments section below if you can think of any other real movies based on fictional titles in other films -- and look for Boo! A Madea Halloween in theaters this Friday, October 21st.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.