Marlon Wayans’ new comedy inspired by his life and career is on the move. Starz has taken in for development Book of Marlon, with Wayans set to star, co-write and executive produce. The project, which was previously in development at HBO Max, hails from Sherman’s Showcase and South Side creators Diallo Riddle and Bashir Salahuddin, Wayans’ longtime producing partner Rick Alvarez (Marlon), Michael Rotenberg, Warner Bros. TV and Lionsgate TV.
Book of Marlon was originally set up at HBO Max in 2020. There was chatter that the project at some point had been unofficially greenlighted to pilot but it never went to production. I hear the comedy was eventually put on hold and ultimately into turnaround in early 2022 when the producers took it out and found a new home for it at Starz.
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In the half-hour project, Wayans will play a fictionalized version of himself, exploring his professional life as a comedian and actor, as well as his personal life as he attempts to reconcile being a good person and loving father with being Marlon.
Riddle and Salahuddin will serve as showrunners and executive produce through their overall deal with Warner Bros. Television. Alvarez and 3 Arts Entertainment’s Rotenberg also executive produce. Wayans, Riddle, Salahuddin and Alvarez will co-write the pilot episode.
“We are beyond thrilled to develop this sophisticated and hilarious series with Marlon, Diallo, Bashir and Rick, who each bring their own level of artistry and authenticity to everything they touch,” said Kathryn Busby, President, Original Programming at Starz. “I’ve long admired Diallo’s and Bashir’s work, and I’m excited to be working on a project as special as this with the incomparable Marlon Wayans at the center.”
This marks Wayans’ followup to his eponymous comedy Marlon which had a two-season run on NBC.
“We’re excited to be in business with such enthusiastic partners,” Wayans said. “Starz is a big brand, and we are happy to bring some smiles to the table,” said Wayans. “It’s great to know that we can push the envelope and get into some good, fun trouble with this project on this platform. Diallo and Bashir are good friends and great collaborators. Book of Marlon will be smart, fun and twisted with a dash of heart and a whole lot of unapologetic humor.”
Book of Marlon is produced by Warner Bros. Television, which boarded the project with Riddle and Salahuddin after it had been set up at HBO Max, for Starz. Lionsgate TV has now joined as a co-producer.
“We believe Marlon is a once-in-a-generation talent and we’re thrilled to finally be working with him in this capacity on a show,” said Riddle and Salahuddin. “We can’t wait for people to get a glimpse of what his real life is like and we can’t thank Starz enough for allowing us to do so in an unflinchingly honest way.”
Wayans can be seen this fall in Netflix’s The Curse of Bridge Hollow in which he produced and stars in. He recently wrapped production on Ben Affleck’s Nike drama for Amazon Studios, Skydance Sports and Mandalay Pictures. Wayans is repped by WME, 3 Arts and Morris Yorn.
Denise Petski contributed to this report.
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