Was Scary Movie Stolen From Wayans?

In the late 1990s, a new comedy genre emerged that would later be known as the “spoof” film. These movies took popular genres and poked fun at them by parodying their most iconic scenes and characters. One of the most successful films in this genre was “Scary Movie,” released in 2000.

However, there has been a long-standing debate over whether “Scary Movie” was stolen from the Wayans family, who are known for their work in comedy and have been credited with creating the spoof genre.

The Origins of “Scary Movie”

“Scary Movie” was directed by Keenen Ivory Wayans, and written by several members of the Wayans family, including Marlon, Shawn, and Keenen. The film parodied popular horror movies like “Scream,” “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” and “The Blair Witch Project.”

The movie was a commercial success, grossing over $278 million worldwide. It spawned four sequels, with each film poking fun at different genres like action movies and superhero films.

The Allegations of Theft

Despite its success, some have accused the Wayans family of stealing the idea for “Scary Movie.” The allegations stem from a script written by two writers named Phil Beauman and Jason Friedberg.

The script, titled “Scream If You Know What I Did Last Halloween,” was pitched to Dimension Films in 1996. The studio passed on it, but it eventually made its way to the Wayans brothers.

According to Beauman and Friedberg, they were approached by Marlon Wayans in 1998 to rewrite their script as a spoof movie. The writers claim that they were promised credit and compensation for their work but were ultimately left out of the production process.

The Wayans family has denied these allegations. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly in 2000, Keenen Ivory Wayans said, “We never read that script.

We never heard of it. And we didn’t steal anything.”

Despite the denials, many have noted similarities between “Scary Movie” and Beauman and Friedberg’s script. Both films feature a group of teens being stalked by a masked killer, and both parody popular horror movies like “Scream” and “I Know What You Did Last Summer.”

  • The Verdict

Ultimately, it’s impossible to know for sure whether the Wayans family stole the idea for “Scary Movie.” The allegations made by Beauman and Friedberg are compelling, but there is no definitive proof that the Wayanses saw their script.

Regardless of its origins, “Scary Movie” remains a beloved classic in the spoof genre. Its success paved the way for other movies like “Not Another Teen Movie” and “Epic Movie,” which also parodied popular films.

While it may never be clear where the idea for “Scary Movie” came from, there’s no denying that it has left an indelible mark on movie history.