Marlon Wayans has claimed “evil” Harvey Weinstein fired him from the Scary Movie franchise he co-created after refusing him a pay rise.
Wayans and his brother Shawn helped develop the long-running horror spoof franchise, and starred in and co-wrote the first two installments in the series.
Wayans has now alleged that he was “abruptly fired” from Scary Movie 3 while on holiday, after Weinstein and his brother Bob, who produced the franchise via his studio Miramax Films, declined the terms of a new deal.
“[The Weinstein’s are] not the best or the kindest people to be in business with,” Wayans told Variety in a 20th anniversary oral history of the first film. “They’re very much an evil regime, I guess. They do what they want to do how they do it – and it can be rude and quite disrespectful. We couldn’t come to terms on the deal. It’s like, ‘If you don’t want to pay for the jokes, have somebody else do it.’”
Wayans was on holiday when he found out he was no longer involved with the third film.
“We read on Christmas Eve that they were going with someone else for [Scary Movie 3],” he claimed. “We probably could have sued or whatever, but part of us was like, ‘All you can do is allow us to create something new.’ I could write a book on that whole thing, honestly. They definitely still owe us money, lots of money. What they did was really bad business.”
Scary Movie, which spoofed teen slasher films including Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer, was a surprise smash in 2000, grossing $278m worldwide on a $19m budget. Scary Movie 2, which was released a year later, grossed $141m worldwide.
While Scary Movie would continue for three more sequels without the Wayans brothers, they would remain in the spoof business with films including A Haunted House and Fifty Shades of Black.
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