To veteran comedian and parody filmmaker Marlon Wayans — who stars in Open Road’s “Fifty Shades of Black” — the ingredients of a successful parody are a great story, characters with intentions, funny dynamics and infusions of pop culture.
“It has to be organic. There’s a science to it, but you just have to be smart about your approach,” Wayans told Variety on Tuesday at the Los Angeles premiere of “Fifty Shades of Black,” a parody film he also co-wrote and produced.
The film, a spoof on “Fifty Shades of Grey,” follows the developing relationship of shy, inexperienced college student Hannah (Kali Hawk) and shady businessman Christian Black (Wayans).
Adding to the discussion of developing well-received parodies, “Fifty Shades of Black” co-writer and producer Rick Alvarez said that it’s important that audiences are ready to find the humor in whatever subject is being spoofed.
“Then of course you have to bring in a great cast — people who are really funny, but are in on the joke and want to tell it,” he added.
“Fifty Shades of Black” marks the third joint film venture for Wayans, Alvarez and director Michael Tiddes, who first collaborated for “A Haunted House” (2013) and then again for “A Haunted House 2” (2014).
“We make a great team,” said Alvarez of the dynamic trio. “We’re this three-headed-monster, and it just works.”
“We’re always there for the same reason, and that’s to make the best comedy that we can,” added Tiddes.
Wayans, Alvarez and Tiddes were joined at the premiere by “Fifty Shades of Black” co-stars Hawk, Affion Crockett, Fred Willard, Florence Henderson, Andrew Bachelor, Jenny Zigrino, Kate Miner and Jane Seymour–who palled around with Wayans at the after-party. Russell Simmons, Vivica A. Fox and “Workaholics'” Anders Holm and Blake Anderson were also in attendance.
“Fifty Shades of Black” hits theaters Jan. 29.
(Pictured: Marlon Wayans and Jane Seymour)