Eddie Murphy attends the 80th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton on January 10, 2023 in Beverly Hills, California. PHOTO: MATT WINKELMEYER/FILMMAGIC
Four decades into his career, Eddie Murphy is trying something new.
On Tuesday, Prime Video announced that Murphy, 62, will star in his first-ever holiday movie this December when his new comedy Candy Cane Lane releases on Amazon’s streaming service.
The new movie is described as a “holiday comedy adventure about a man on a mission to win his neighborhood’s annual Christmas home decoration contest,” according to an official synopsis.
“After Chris (Murphy) inadvertently makes a deal with a mischievous elf named Pepper (Jillian Bell) to better his chances of winning, she casts a magic spell that brings the 12 Days of Christmas to life, and wreaks havoc on the whole town,” the synopsis reads. “At the risk of ruining the holidays for his family, Chris, his wife Carol (Tracee Ellis Ross), and their three children must race against the clock to break Pepper’s spell, battle deviously magical characters, and save Christmas for everyone.”
Eddie Murphy attends the Los Angeles Premiere of Netflix’s “You People” at Regency Village Theatre on January 17, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. PHOTO: AXELLE/BAUER-GRIFFIN/FILMMAGIC
Murphy’s new movie reunites him with director Reginald Hudlin and producer Brian Grazer, filmmakers he previously worked with on his 1992 movie Boomerang. Murphy himself is also listed as a producer on the project, in addition to Ron Howard.
“I can’t wait for the world to see Candy Cane Lane,” Hudlin, 61, said in a statement. “I’ve wanted to make a Christmas movie my whole life, but I wanted to do something fresh and surprising.”
The filmmaker added that Murphy “and this hilarious cast really bring the funny, it’s super Christmas-y, and it will hit you right in the feels.”
Candy Cane Lane will mark Murphy’s second movie appearance of 2023 after he starred in the Netflix movie You People earlier this year. The Hollywood Reporter noted in May that Murphy was in talks to play Inspector Clouseau in the next adaptation of the detective comedy The Pink Panther.
Eddie Murphy in the 1992 movie ‘Boomerang’. PHOTO: PARAMOUNT/KOBAL/SHUTTERSTOCK
The new holiday film was written by screenwriter Kelly Younger, inspired by his experiences growing up on a real-life street in El Segundo, Calif., unofficially known as Candy Cane Lane.
The movie’s cast also includes Thaddeus J. Mixson, Ken Marino, Nick Offerman, Robin Thede, Chris Redd, Genneya Walton, Madison Thomas, D.C. Young Fly, Riki Lindhome, Anjelah Johnson-Reyes, Lombardo Boyar, Danielle Pinnock, and Timothy Simons. Candy Cane Lane begins streaming on Prime Video on Dec. 1.
Directed by Reginald Hudlin, “Candy Cane Lane” follows Murphy as Chris, a man who is determined to win his neighborhood’s annual Christmas home decoration contest. After unintentionally striking a deal with an elf (Jillian Bell) to improve his odds of winning, she casts a spell bringing to life the 12 Days of Christmas, and chaos ensues for the whole town. Chris must then work to save Christmas for his family and community, an endeavor that entails battling magical creatures. The screenplay is written by Kelly Younger and inspired by his childhood experiences on Candy Cane Lane in El Segundo.
Ross stars as Chris’s wife, Carol. The movie also stars Thaddeus J. Mixson, Ken Marino, Nick Offerman, Robin Thede, Chris Redd, Genneya Walton, Madison Thomas, D.C. Young Fly, Anjelah Johnson-Reyes, and Nancy Lenehan.
Hollywood veteran Hudlin has worked on films spanning many genres. He is known for helming the 1990 comedy “House Party,” and he recently directed “Sidney,” a documentary about the iconic Sidney Poitier, and “Marshall,” a 2017 biopic starring Chadwick Boseman as Thurgood Marshall. He has previously worked with Murphy on the 1992 romantic comedy “Boomerang.”
“I can’t wait for the world to see ‘Candy Cane Lane,’” Hudlin said in a statement. “I’ve wanted to make a Christmas movie my whole life, but I wanted to do something fresh and surprising. Eddie Murphy and this hilarious cast really bring the funny, it’s super Christmas-y, and it will hit you right in the feels.”
“Candy Cane Lane” marks Murphy’s first holiday film. He recently starred in the comedy films “Coming 2 America,” a follow-up to the beloved comedy classic “Coming to America,” and the Netflix original “You People,” opposite Jonah Hill, Lauren London, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
“Candy Cane Lane” is executive produced by Doug Merrifield. The film is produced by Brian Grazer, Eddie Murphy, Karen Lunder, and Charisse Hewitt-Webster.
I appear several times in the fourth episode of SEE IT LOUD, which focuses on Black sci fi and horror shows. I talk about MANTIS, my beloved STATIC SHOCK and I describe the origin of my BLACK PANTHER animated series. Here’s a clip! #m.a.n.t.I.s. #staticshock#blackpanther#seeitloudtv
Writer Reginald Hudlin succeeded Priest in 2005. Hudlin had already made a name for himself in Hollywood for his role in creating the popular “House Party”and “Boomerang”movies. A childhood fan of the character, he was invited to write a six-issue miniseries for T’Challa that became a five-year run. In his first volume for the series, Hudlin revised T’Challa’s origin story, fleshing out the details that led to his father’s demise and T’Challa’s path to the throne. Furthermore, Hudlin helped cement Wakanda’s might; rather than frame the country’s technological development as the result of colonial intervention, he established Wakanda as an isolationist world power that’d been undefeatable for centuries if not millennia.
Hudlin’s approach to the title was partially based on the reception of Priest’s own work. He used core elements of T’Challa’s first appearance as the foundation for his interpretation and focused on creating the kind of book he would enjoy. His run saw T’Challa interacting with several black superheroes including Luke Cage, Blade, Brother Voodoo, and Photon. Hudlin also created T’Challa’s sister Shuri and married him to Ororo Munroe, better known as Storm of the X-Men.
What was particularly unique about Hudlin’s run was the fact that his position as BET’s president of entertainment made it significantly easier to adapt his work. Though it was short-lived, BET produced an animated adaptation of Hudlin’s first volume on his run in 2011 and recruited talented voice actors like Djimon Hounsou, Kerry Washington, Alfre Woodard, and even Stan Lee to bring it to life. T’Challa has appeared in a plethora of Marvel’s media content including television shows like “The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” (2010) and “Avengers Assemble” (2013)as well as the video game “Marvel: Ultimate Alliance” in 2006 and the animated movie “Ultimate Avengers 2” the same year. He did have an earlier appearance in the 1994 “Fantastic Four”animated TV show, but the variety of content the character has appeared in since Priest and Hudlin worked on him attests to how influential he became in just two decades.
Later in his run, Hudlin shared writing duties with Jonathan Maberry. After that title concluded, T’Challa’s presence was felt across numerous books including David Liss’ “Black Panther: The Man Without Fear” where he briefly took over Daredevil’s responsibilities as the guardian of Hell’s Kitchen and especially in Jonathan Hickman’s “New Avengers” where he summoned a secret group of heroes to deal with a crisis that threatened the entire multiverse.
Star Cast: Jay Reeves, Javien Jackson, Thaddeus J. Mixson, Corinne Foxx, Matthew Glave
Director: Reginald Hudlin
Writer: Reginald Hudlin
Run time: 2h 2m
Year of release: 2020
OTT Platform: Hotstar
IMDb rating: 6.8/10
“Safety” (2020) is a moving drama based on the true story of Ray McElrathbey, a former Clemson University football safety. Despite tough situations, Ray’s determination leads him to overcome numerous challenges and achieve success. This empowering film showcases his unwavering dedication and triumph over adversity. With Jay Reeves portraying the inspiring lead, “Safety” captures the heartwarming journey of a young man’s resilience and persistence. This heartfelt story resonates with viewers as it unfolds the power of courage and the strength of the human spirit.
Disney doesn’t make sports movies like it used to—with one exception. 2020’s Safety tells the true story of former Clemson Tiger Ray McElrathbey, who faced incredible challenges during his collegiate career. If you need to microdose some Disney-fied inspiration, Safety is your movie.
Me with Juanita Poitier, the first wife of Sidney Poitier. I could not have finished the film without her jaw dropping insights into the early days of her husband’s career. If you haven’t seen SIDNEY yet, it’s available on Apple TV. It’s just been nominated for a Hollywood Critics Association Award and the shortlist for the British Documentary Awards. Thanks to the entire Poitier family for their invaluable contributions to the film. Thank you Oprah for being a producer who makes dreams come true. #sidney#sidneypoitier#appletvplus
SEE IT LOUD is a docuseries about the history of Black television airing on CNN. So far, I’ve appeared in two episodes. I did my interview a long time ago, so I can’t remember what I talked about and I don’t know how much of it they will use. But it’s nice to see so many legends of Black Hollywood tell their story in the series. #cnn#seeitloudtv