Fueled by the success of his hit ABC sitcom “My Wife and Kids,” Damon Wayans is poised for a bigscreen resurgence.
Fox is near a greenlight for a June start on “Homey the Clown,” a comedy Wayans will star in after writing the script with Dean Lorie. Keenen Ivory Wayans will direct him.
MGM is also getting into the Damon Wayans business, optioning for high six-figures “Till Seth Do Us Part,” a pitch that was written by Wayans and Lorie.
Lorie wrote the Wayans starrer “Major Payne,” and Wayans drafted him to help write the ABC sitcom. The duo revived “Homey,” a character Damon birthed on “In Living Color,” the groundbreaking sketch show that was created by Keenen. Homey, a moody and militant clown who rebelled at the whole happy thing when he played birthday parties, was among several indelible characters played by Damon on a show that launched the Wayans clan, Jim Carrey, Jennifer Lopez, Jamie Foxx and David Alan Grier.
Mulled in 1993
The early success led to talk of a “Homey” movie way back in 1993. At that time the plan was to do a “48 Hours” riff by having Homey sprung from prison by the toughest cop around, to solve a crime at the circus. The toughest cop happened to be a midget. The pic didn’t happen and Damon went on to star in dramas like “The Last Boy Scout.”
As conceived by Damon and Lorie, the new “Homey” has a different plotline that sparked both Keenen and Fox executives.
Keenen has also enjoyed a resurgence, thanks to his work directing the first two installments of the spoof “Scary Movie.” He and brothers Marlon and Sean moved over to take a two-picture Revolution deal that starts with a spoof of sci-fi films. While Dimension rushed to do “Scary Movie 3,” Keenen will do “Homey” first, with a June start date planned so Wayans and Lorie can return to the series.
The MGM deal is worth high six-figures for Wayans and Lorie. They’ll craft a comedy about a guy who wants at all costs to avoid paying alimony by getting his ex-wife remarried as quickly as possible. Of course, he falls back in love with her and finds himself in competition with other suitors. The pic will be produced by Arthur Sarkissian, who befriended Damon when he sold him his Hollywood home. The MGM deal should help those mortgage payments.