There are some interviews that you look forward to more than most, Scotty Mullen is one of those. If you need refreshing, Mullen is the mind behind King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, The Fast and the Fierce, Sinbad and the War of the Furies, Zoombies, The Coed and the Zombie Stoner and now he brings his talents to Sharknado 5. The guys also responsible for all those cameos and casting the last few Sharknado’s and Z-Nation.
I could on and on, but let’s jump in the questions…
Hey Scotty, thanks for doing this! How’d you wrangle this series away from Thunder-was an Over The Top style arm wrestling tournament involved?
I wish it was an exciting story – like that Thunder and I were married and I got Sharknado out of a nasty divorce settlement. But there’s really no drama to share. Before this film, I wrote five other movies and was also casting the Sharknado films. I guess after four years of “thunder” the guys wanted some lightning, so they approached me about writing #5. I had to work for it. It didn’t come easily and wasn’t just handed to me. I had to pitch concepts and write out a treatment for Syfy to approve. And when I got the gig, I was blown away. It’s the biggest movie I’ve written so far. I am beyond amazed and humbled by the opportunity they gave me and it was a blast to write and collaborate with the team on this script.
Is there a time lapse between part 4 and 5?
This just picks up maybe a week after #4. Everything definitely flows closer together from the ending of #4.
These movies have always been about Fin and April (and cameos and killing sharks) – how have these characters changed?
April was the most interesting role for me to write – just because her character arc is so insane. She goes from being a simple mom in Santa Monica to a jet-propulsion power-packed superhero. Also I was able to touch on her distrust of Nova, which Tara Reid praised me for because she always wanted the chance to explore that.
Also fan-fav Nova is back-I hear she has a wolverine claw?
Yes, she has a wolverine claw. And some other fun gadgets, too. Since the audience last saw her in #3, she has developed a “Sharknado Sisterhood” of women around the globe dedicated to fighting and stopping the Sharknado threat. That was a lot of fun to write (and also cast!)
What’s the reading/viewing material to get you in the mindset to write a Sharknado? What do you pull from?
I reviewed the other movies, but I also explored a lot of fun mythology. I had no idea that in Fiji, the culture there used to worship a shark god. That really spurred on my imagination and helped open up all the possibilities of how to incorporate the Sharknado mythos into a global worldwide phenomenon. (Man – I sound like I should be teaching a course at Harvard. Or Taco Bell.)
I’ve been following your Twitter for a while now and I know your boyish crush for Olivia Newton John–how fanboy to you go working with her? Was there signing? Leather jackets, Roller skates? Did u show up in “Get Physical “cosplay?
LOL! No I didn’t show up dressed as a T-Bird when she got on set. That was a dream come true to write words for her and I still can’t quite believe it all happened. Olivia and her daughter Chloe are just two of the dearest people I have met, worked with, and laughed with. I hope our friendship continues to blossom. After she was done shooting, Olivia gave me a shark-tooth necklace. I wear that around my neck when I go into an intimidating meeting or just need a nudge of encouragement to get me through the day. It’s like a magic amulet you would win in a video game – so fun!
Other than ONJ what other cameos should we look for?
Everyone was so much fun to work with. I did have to keep pinching myself during filming. It was like; is this real? All of these heroes and idols of mine since childhood were now bringing this script I wrote to life. Margaret Cho, Chris Kattan, Nichelle Nichols, Geraldo Rivera (who is so fun!), Samantha Fox, even diving star Greg Louganis! Although it is a huge franchise film, the film does feel very personal to me simply because all of these people I admired from afar for so many years were now playing in the “Sharknado Sandbox” and bringing it to life. I’m still flabbergasted by it all. And in case anyone wonders: yes, Bret Michaels is just as cool as you think he is. Can’t wait to work with him again.
I love the international-global pandemic thing–how does this change The Sharknado mythology and did it allow you guys to a little more crazy with the story?
I think it definitely evolved the mythos and made it “grow up” a bit more. Instead of just being a natural phenomena, we get to see that perhaps these Sharknados have a “purpose.” What that purpose is? I’m not even sure yet. But I guess we’ll find out if I get to write #6!
Where will part six take us? Other dimensions? Time travel? Reboot?
Well, it will probably take me to a bar. Because some heavy drinking will be involved if they ask me to write that one. 🙂
David Micheal Latt-genius? I thinks he’s the blender result of Russ Meyers, Corman and Ed Wood–when does he get his just due?
David Michael Latt is the salt to my pepper. The ying to my yang. The Sharon to my Stone. The Aqua to my Man. I just could go on and on about that man. In fact, all of the partners at the Asylum. There will be times where we will be screaming at each other about a casting choice or a plot device, but then we always end up laughing and having so much fun with what we are creating. I owe him and the partners at the Asylum the chance to reinvent my life and give me a new career (I used to just be a publicist). I remember when I met Latt and I was first brought on to work at the Asylum, he said – “I’m not sure what I should do with you, but I know I should do something. So let me hire you and we’ll figure it out.” But it’s not just David Michael Latt – it’s everyone at the Asylum. They are the family I never knew I needed, and I am beyond grateful for every day I get to play with them.
Besides the S5–what else do you have in the works? More King Arthur, more Zoombies?
Well, I am going completely opposite from what people may be expect me to write next. I am writing a very heavy and dark World War II war drama for another producer. It’s totally against my type which is why I jumped at the opportunity. But the sharks will always have a special place in my heart. I would write about them for the rest of my life if they’d let me. And perhaps they will. 🙂
Thanks again Scotty, can’t wait to watch!
Sharknado 5 chomps its way into our hearts August 6th on Syfy!