Jordan Peele’s upcoming supernatural horror film Candyman has horror fans anxiously awaiting its arrival in Summer 2020. The film is a direct sequel to the 1992 supernatural horror classic of the same name that was written and directed by Berard Rose, who based his film off of the short story “The Forbidden” by Clive Barker. Peele’s project will be the fourth film in the Candyman franchise and has the original Candyman, Tony Todd, reprising his iconic role as the hook wielding urban legend killer.
To celebrate the film’s brand new trailer and upcoming release, let’s take a look at five of the most surprising things about the original film that you may not know about.
Tony Todd was stung 23 times and got a bonus of $1,000 for each sting
Bees play a hugely important role in the story and since Candyman was filmed far before the introduction of CGI to film making, lead actor Tony Todd had to get up close and personal with the real thing. Todd allowed filmmakers to cover his entire body with bees, including his face and inside his mouth. Seriously, he legitimately had a mouthful of bees in one iconic scene. To prevent any bees from sliding into his throat he wore a dental dam, but that doesn’t mean that he didn’t get stung. Todd got stung quite a bit, 23 times to be exact, over the course of three Candyman movies. But the savvy actor managed to make it worth his while by negotiating a clause into his contract that saw him paid $1,000 per sting.
Real gang members from the infamous Cabrini-Green housing projects were used as extras
Exterior, hallway, and stairway scenes were actually filmed for a few days in the infamous Cabrini-Green housing projects. To ensure the cast and crew’s safety during filming the producers made a deal with the most powerful local gang in which the gang would protect the crew and actors in exchange for being used as extras in the film. While no one was injured during filming, things did get quite scary at one point when a bullet went through the window of one of the production vans.
Eddie Murphy was considered for the lead role
We all know Tony Todd as the iconic Candyman, but there was another famous actor that almost stole the role from him — Eddie Murphy. A number of reports indicate that Murphy was originally the producer’s top pick to play the hook wielding killer, but due to his average height of 5’9″, it was felt that he wouldn’t be intimidating enough. It also may have had something to do with the large salary Murphy could command. Regardless, Todd’s 6’5″ frame won the day and the rest is history.
Virginia Madsen is allergic to bees and had to be covered in them repeatedly
Virginia Madsen had to be repeatedly covered in bees for long periods of time, a fact which almost forced her to pass on the role.
“When Bernie was first asking me to do the role I said, ‘Well, I can’t. I’m allergic to bees.’ He said ‘No you’re not allergic to bees, you’re just afraid.’ So I had to go to UCLA and get tested because he didn’t believe [me]. I was tested for every kind of venom. I was far more allergic to wasps. So he said, ‘We’ll just [have] paramedics there, it will be fine!’ You know actors, we’ll do anything for a paycheck! So fine, I’ll be covered with bees.”
“So we a had a bee wrangler and he pretty much told us you can’t freak out around the bees, or be nervous, or swat at them, it would just aggravate them. They used baby bees on me. They can still sting you, but are less likely. When they put the bees on me it was crazy because they have fur. They felt like little Q-tips roaming around on me. Then you have pheromones on you, so they’re all in love with you and think you’re a giant queen. I really just had to go into this Zen sort of place and the takes were very short. What took the longest was getting the bees off of us. They had this tiny ‘bee vacuum,’ which wouldn’t harm the bees. After the scene where the bees were all over my face and my head, it took both Tony and I 45 minutes just to get the bees off. That’s when it became difficult to sit still. It was cool though, I felt like a total badass doing it.”
There was a real life serial killer known as the Candyman
Before Tony Todd donned the mantle of Candyman, there was also a killer with the same exact name. Dean Corill was a notorious serial killer in the Houston, Texas area, infamous for the rapes and murders of numerous boys between 1970 to 1973. Corill would lure children into his home using candy from his family’s factory and thus earned the moniker of “Candyman.”
Shortly before production began on Candyman: Day of the Dead, Artisan, the company producing the film, discovered that Sony, who distributed the first film in the US, had legal right to any sequel. Someone in the legal department almost got fired that day, but lucky for them Sony passed on any involvement with the project and thus the film was free to move forward.