It’s been a while since Damon Wayans was showing up on either the big or small screens regularly. Now the former In Living Color funny man is coming back to acting, and he’s bringing the woman that Quentin Tarantino called the world’s first female action star with him. Wayans and Pam Grier (Jackie Brown) will star in the upcoming thriller Cinnamon.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Cinnamon will be coming to the free streamer Tubi. The Tony-winning and Grammy-nominated Hailey Kilgore (Respect) has been cast in the lead role as aspiring singer Jody Jackson. Still working hard to make her dreams a reality, her life gets a lot more complicated when the gas station where she works is robbed. The robbery happens just as owner Wally (Damon Wayans) is in debt to the last kind of person you want to be in debt to — a crime boss. That crime boss is Mama (Grier), and her righthand man is her son James, played by Jeremie Harris (Legion). Also appearing as Jody’s boyfriend and manager is David Iacono (The Flight Attendant). No release date for Cinnamon has been announced, but it’s expected to premiere later this year.
Damon Wayans has been a no-show on the screen ever since his surprise exit from Fox’s Lethal Weapon television series. Wayans played Roger Murtagh, the role originated by Danny Glover in the films. While the show was well-received, behind the scenes there were issues with its two leads.
Initially, Damon Wayans played opposite Clayne Crawford as Martin Riggs — the role made famous by Mel Gibson. After Crawford was fired for allegedly bad behavior on set, Sean William Scott (American Pie) joined the series in season 3 as Wesley Cole. It would prove to be the series’ final season. In October 2018, Wayans announced he was leaving the show, citing both his family and his health as reasons. “I’m a 58-year-old diabetic and I’m working 16 hour days,” Wayans said in a video recorded interview. “I’m done.” He also mentioned the cruel irony that he played a wholesome family man while, in real life, he had been forced to not be present at surgeries for both his mother and daughter. You can watch that interview below.
After being fired from Saturday Night Live for improvising during a live show, Damon Wayans and his brother Keenen Ivory Wayans created the new sketch show In Living Color, where his most popular character was the abrasive clown Homey D. Clown. Like Jim Carrey, Damon Wayans’ career arched upwards fast after In Living Color. He enjoyed leading roles in a number of comedy films like the 1992 dramedy Mo’ Money, the 1994 superhero spoof Blankman, and the following year’s Major Payne. He even dipped his toe into the action genre opposite Bruce Willis in 1991’s The Last Boy Scout.
Whether or not Damon Wayans is poised for a bigger return to show business remains to be seen, but it’s likely he’ll have to confront some of his more controversial moments if he makes such a lunge. In 2015, Wayans defended Bill Cosby against the many sexual assault allegations against the comic. He said he thought the accusations were a cash grab, and called Cosby’s accusers “unrapeable.”