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Monday, May 27, 2024

“Not Another Church Movie” in theatres May 10

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From the mind of director and writer Johnny Mack, “Not Another Church Movie” brings a new and refreshing take to parody movies and represents Indiana hometown heroes through multiple actors and crew members who worked on the film.

The film follows talk show host Hoprah Windfall, whose show ratings are declining, so she calls on God for help. God then decides to bring Taylor Pherry into her life. Pherry is a hardworking man who helps his “dysfunctional but lovable” family with their problems, according to the movie’s website. Through the movie, he will help Hoprah accomplish her mission to revive her career by telling the stories of his family.

Vivica Fox during courtroom scene in Not Another Church Movie. (Provided/ Jaron Marquis)

According to Jaron Marquis and Luc Ashley, two of the film’s producers and Indianapolis natives, the movie will make light of some of director and writer Tyler Perry’s first movies while also bringing back parody movies that were popular during the early 2000s, like the Scary Movie franchise. Ashley also plays the role of Hoprah Windfall, a parody of the esteemed talk show host and businesswoman Oprah Winfrey.

“So, the rule of comedy is that we’re not making fun of something or someone where they’re ill, or they’re suffering with something, or they’ve gone through something that they can’t fix or change, you know?” Ashley said.

When the script came across Marquis and Ashley’s desk, the married couple had to decide whether to be a part of this movie. It pokes fun at one of the most known Black writers and directors in the world, but they both agree it was time for a film like this, and it’s all in good fun.

“What you see on screen is nicer than what was on paper, so we were able to kind of help pull it back a little bit. It [the movie] does bring its toe close to the line where it’s like, whoa, that was close. But we just say, ‘Hey, we’ll come here, but let’s not cross the line,’ and you’ll see that in the movie,” Marquis said.

As producers, Marquis and Ashley were willing to do anything needed to ensure the movie made it from script to screen. Whether helping with the tone of the film, calling in actresses and actors to play in the film, or just helping get food for cast members, the duo was involved with everything.

“From my perspective as just someone always watching producers, they carry a very heavy load because they’re making sure every department is doing what needs to be done,” Ashley said. “They’re the problem solver. They’re coming in with solutions.”

Vivica Fox during courtroom scene in Not Another Church Movie. (Provided/ Jaron Marquis)

The cast includes Jamie Foxx, Tisha Campbell, Kyla Pratt and Indianapolis native Vivica Fox, whom Marquis says he called to get her involved in the film.

Naptown is definitely represented in this movie. With Luc and I and Vivica, Naptown is definitely in the building,” Marquis said.

The movie will premiere in theatres on Friday, May 10, 2024.

“I think this is a great movie that ushers in our comedy legends and our upcoming comedy newcomers. We’ll see a revival of comedy films because there have not been many in the last few years and I think this is a good movie to start it off,” Marquis said.

Contact Racial Equity Reporter Garrett Simms at 317-762-7847.

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