Eddie Murphy Sets Holiday Comedy Film ‘Candy Cane Lane’ For Prime Video; Reginald Hudlin Helms & Imagine Produces First Film Under Star’s 3-Pic Amazon Deal
Mike Fleming Jr | Deadline
EXCLUSIVE: Eddie Murphy is set to star in Candy Cane Lane, a Reginald Hudlin-directed holiday comedy for Prime Video. Produced by Amazon Studios, Imagine Entertainment, and Eddie Murphy Productions, the comedy was acquired as a spec script written by Kelly Younger and inspired by Younger’s childhood holiday experiences. Production begins this winter in Los Angeles.
Murphy is producing alongside Imagine’s Brian Grazer and president of features Karen Lunder, and Charisse Hewitt-Webster. The film reunites the team behind the 1992 hit Boomerang. It marks the seventh collaboration between Grazer and Murphy. Plot details are being kept under wraps, and production will begin this winter in Los Angeles.
Candy Cane Lane will premiere on Prime Video in more than 240 countries, as the first film under Murphy’s three-picture and first-look film deal with Amazon Studios. That deal came on the heels of Coming 2 America, a film that moved from Paramount to Amazon during the pandemic and became the #1 streamed movie its opening weekend, per Amazon, and had the biggest streaming film opening weekend in 2021. Per Nielsen, it was the top streamed movie among Black audiences that year.
Said Hudlin: “The holiday season is my favorite time of year—just ask my family about my nine-hour Christmas playlist. I‘m excited to be working again with Eddie Murphy, Brian Grazer, and Amazon.”
Said Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke: “As we know firsthand with our hit Coming 2 America, Eddie is someone who brings global audiences together, and we can’t wait to make it happen again. We look forward to seeing the multi-talented Reggie Hudlin take the helm in bringing this future holiday classic to life!”
Murphy is coming off an Emmy win for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy series for his return in hosting Saturday Night Live, 35 years after he left the show to become one of the biggest movie stars in Hollywood, with 48 Hours, Beverly Hills Cop and Trading Places among his successes. Those were all theatrical releases but lately he has been thriving in the streaming world, drawing strong reviews for playing Rudy Ray Moore in Dolemite Is My Name for Netflix. He’s producing and starring in Beverly Hills Cop 4 and opposite Jonah Hill in the Kenya Barris-directed You People, both for Netflix.
Younger’s credits include writing/developing several projects for The Muppets Studio. He co-created and co-executive produced Muppets Now, and wrote and co-executive produced Muppets Haunted Mansion, and has story credit on Disney Animation’s Ralph Breaks the Internet. He also contributed to Frozen 2, Moana, and Raya and the Last Dragon during his time serving as a member of the Disney Animation Story Trust.
Murphy is repped by WME, ML Management and Ziffren Brittenham; Hudlin is repped by CAA and Younger is Verve and Myman Greenspan.