Orlando Jones to Replace Tyler Perry as Madea?

Statement claims Perry will focus on other projects.

Is Tyler Perry ready to retire his muumuu?
If a recent press release is to be believed, Perry is handing over his wig, dress and padding to actor Orlando Jones. A statement purportedly from Perry and Lionsgate studios says that Jones is taking over playing the beloved character from Perry, who wants to focus on other projects, including a venture with Oprah Winfrey
"It is with mixed emotion that I announce that I will be unable to portray Madea in the next chapter in her journey," Perry said in the statement. "The character has been such a gift and it was my hope and intention to play this role again in the upcoming film. But due to my commitments to the exciting new venture I am launching with OWN and Discovery Communications, I must now put all my energy into our new slate of shows that will launch on the network later this year."
Perry offered praise for Jones, stating, "In my opinion, Orlando is the perfect choice to take over this role. He is extraordinarily talented and will make one terrific Madea! I have given him my blessing and I urge everyone to go out and see [A Madea Christmas] and support Orlando's participation."
A picture of Jones doing his best Madea impression accompanied the release, which first appeared on the Huffington Post. Jones later tweeted the announcement. 
The news has fans scratching their heads wondering if it's for real, or part of an elaborate coordinated prank. If true, Jones will have some big orthopedic shoes to fill. 
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(Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

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