With the release of the highly popular “Scary Movie,” Marlon Wayans and his uber-talented family cemented the Wayans name in Hollywood.
The film, which was released in July 2000, spawned a whole franchise parodying classic horror films. However, the Wayans family was notably absent from the third and fourth sequels after the first two film installments.
According to Marlon, his family’s lack of continued involvement with the films stemmed from sour deals with Dimension Films, a division of Miramax Films, which is owned by brothers Harvey and Bob Weinstein. Marlon opened up on what he claims contributed to his family’s exit from the movies when speaking with Kevin Hart on the “Comedy Gold Minds” podcast.
He explained, “We didn’t walk away from a franchise; they didn’t want to make our deal, so they snatched it.” Marlon and his brother Shawn appeared in the first two films, directed by their eldest brother Keenan Wayans.
“They was like, they just did, Weinstein did some really terrible, like rape and pillage villages type of business,” he elaborated. “That’s just the way they did their business, so it wasn’t that we, we ever walked away from our franchise that we created, it was taken and us being the creatives that we are was like ‘alright, bet. F*ck you, now watch what I create.’”
According to IMDB, the first film had a budget of $19 million but grossed more than $270 million at the global box office. A year later, the Wayans family spent an estimated $45 million on the sequel. The film was a commercial and critical success for the parody genre, grossing about $141 million worldwide.
Despite the laughs and profits, Marlon clarified that his family’s relationship with The Weinstein Company had deteriorated.
“The second one they rushed us into, and by the third one, they didn’t want to pay the money, so they snatched it. We found out on Christmas that they hired somebody else to go do it, like n*gga write a book about this sh*t,” he said. “You can take that, we probably should sue for hundreds of millions of dollars because they probably owe us a sh*t load of money, and maybe one day we will, but that, we didn’t walk away from our franchise, them n*ggas took it.”