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healthy lifestyle and fitness concept with mount bike man outdoor

MAJOR PAYNE behind-the-scenes: Part 2

If you haven’t read “Part 1: Meeting Damon Wayans” you can find it here.

Writing Major Payne

Before Damon and I start writing MAJOR PAYNE, we decide we need to do some research at the Camp Pendleton marine base just outside San Diego. The marines are very accommodating (they’re Damon fans) and they invite us to come down and watch some basic training with a squad of new recruits.

We drive through a gate guarded by marines with automatic weapons and we both realize, “this is serious.” We’re shocked when we meet the recruits, because they seem so young. They’re bald and covered in pimples.

healthy lifestyle and fitness concept with mount bike man outdoor

MAJOR PAYNE behind-the-scenes: Part 1

Meeting Damon Wayans

I first meet Damon Wayans in his cold, dark office on the Sony lot while he clips his toenails in silence. He does not seem pleased to see me. I’m very uncomfortable and I think: how did I end up here?

Months earlier, a Universal executive by the name of Barry Isaacson hires me to do a rewrite of a Charlton Heston movie from the fifties called THE PRIVATE WAR OF MAJOR BENSON. It’s a comedy about a tough major in the military who finds himself in charge of a group of kids. We talk about who could play Major Benson and think we’ve come up with the perfect person:

Clint Eastwood.