Marlon Wayans is one of the youngest trailblazers of the legendary Wayans comedy clan. Along with older brothers Damon, Keenan and Shawn, he has built a comedic playground that thrives on the ridiculous and never pulls any punches. Ranging from TV’s “In Living Color” to the first two “Scary Movie” parodies, Marlon has honed his skills as a performer and has even tried dramatic work on screen in films such as “Requiem For A Dream.”
His latest project is still in the comedic realm but has him striking out on his own. The movie is aptly titled “A Haunted House” and it’s the first time Marlon was written and produced a movie without the aid of his family. The film is a parody of the supernatural genre that takes no prisoners and has foul language and bodily fluids to spare. Marlon loves working in this genre and make no apologies for it.
On a recent promotional stop in San Francisco to get the word out on “A Haunted House,” Marlon had the following to say about his new film and being blamed for other people’s shoddy comedic work.
Q: You’ve talked before about making sure that all of the writers on your movies get credit. How hard is it to accomplish that with the writer’s guild?
Marlon Wayans: Well, when you have six guys here, they did all the work. Some people pay you off and you don’t get credit, you’re basically a ghostwriter. We’ve never done that. That’s why when people try to sue us for certain things we make sure only the people who did the work get credit. If you did the work we will fight to get you credit because it’s fair. At the end of the day I want people to feel good about working with us.
Q: That same mentality could also apply to the “Scary Movie” franchise.
Wayans: Absolutely. The thing about the “Scary Movie” franchise is we only made the first two but they keep selling them as if we’re still involved. We will take credit for the first two movies but the rest of them have nothing to do with us. I feel like I have to set the record straight because people keep asking us about “Scary Movie 5” and that’s not our thing anymore. “A Haunted House” is me because I wrote it, I produced it, I star in it and if you hate it, that’s cool. If it’s a piece of shit, that’s my shit. I made it, I smelled it, I created it. Like if I fart in an elevator, I’m the first guy to say, “yeah that was me.”
Q: This movie was made independently with Open Road coming on board afterwards to distribute it, right?
Wayans: Yeah, this company IM Global was our financier and they let us do our thing. They came on set a few times but they trusted us to do what we do best. That kind of freedom helped us to put these jokes together. It was a lot of work to make this movie in 20 days. Everyone gets a chance to tell their joke. The cast tells their joke. The wardrobe people get to tell their wardrobe joke too. The hair people tell their joke. Everyone gets a chance to step up to the plate and tell their joke.
Q: Did Open Road have any notes after they picked it up?
Wayans: None. They saw how it played with an audience and that was it. A lot of people were scared of it because it’s a hard R rating. It’s crazy but it’s fun. It’s naughty but it’s nice.
Q: You guys got away with quite a bit with the fist “Scary Movie” and its R rating.
Wayans: There was so much sperm flying around in that movie I’m surprised the theatre didn’t get pregnant.
“A Haunted House” is now playing in theatres nationwide.