Published On: Thu, Nov 30th, 2023

‘Candy Cane Lane’ Interview: Director Reginald Hudlin

‘Candy Cane Lane’ Interview: Director Reginald Hudlin
‘Candy Cane Lane’ Interview: Director Reginald Hudlin


'Candy Cane Lane' director Reginald Hudlin.

‘Candy Cane Lane’ director Reginald Hudlin.

Premiering on Prime Video beginning December 1st is the new Christmas movie ‘Candy Cane Lane,’ which stars Eddie Murphy (‘Trading Places,’ ‘Beverly Hills Cop’) and was directed by Reginald Hudlin (‘Boomerang’).

Moviefone recently had the pleasure of speaking with director Reginald Hudlin about his work on ‘Candy Cane Lane,’ his first reaction to the screenplay, reuniting with Eddie Murphy and if his process has changed at all since ‘Boomerang,’ the challenges of mixing live-action with VFX and animation, making a Christmas movie and if he is ready for the film to become a holiday must-watch.

Director Reginald Hudlin and Eddie Murphy as Chris Carver on the set of 'Candy Cane Lane.'

(L to R) Director Reginald Hudlin and Eddie Murphy as Chris Carver on the set of ‘Candy Cane Lane.’ Photo: Claudette Barius. © AMAZON CONTENT SERVICES LLC.

Moviefone: To begin with, what was your first reaction to Kelly Younger’s screenplay, and can you also talk about the challenges of making a Christmas movie?

Reginald Hudlin: When I first read Kelly Younger’s script, I loved it. My only real note was, as crazy as this is, we don’t go far enough. So, I said, “Let’s make it even crazier.” We had a great time. Whenever you make a Christmas movie, there’s certain expectations, right? So, you’ve got to have great Christmas music, you’ve got to have an emotional impact on people, and you’ve got to have amazing decorations. So, I doubled down, if not tripled down on all that stuff. Then we added elements that you would never normally see in a Christmas movie to make people go, “Whoa, I’ve never seen anything like this before.” So, have your cake and eat it too.

Eddie Murphy as Chris Carver in 'Candy Cane Lane.'

Eddie Murphy as Chris Carver in ‘Candy Cane Lane.’ Photo: Claudette Barius. © AMAZON CONTENT SERVICES LLC.

MF: What was it like reuniting with Eddie Murphy, what does he bring to a role like this, and has his process as an actor changed at all since you worked with him on ‘Boomerang’?

RH: Eddie was perfect for this because he’s a family man. He’s like the rest of us. He’s decorating the house and making sure that all the family have great presence. So, we were both very much in the same mindset of we love Christmas, we love Christmas movies, and here’s our contribution. So, we’re doing it from a point of view of, we relate to this character 100%, which is key to me when you make a movie like this. Eddie just keeps getting better, honestly. When you’re sitting in the editing room and you’re watching his performance, both comedically and dramatically, you just go, “Boy, he’s great at his job.” Eddie Murphy is an amazing actor. When people do comedy, they go, “Oh, that’s easy.” It would be the opposite of easy. It’s harder.

Related Article: Eddie Murphy’s Dealing With Christmas Chaos in the First Pictures From ‘Candy Cane Lane’

Robin Thede as, Cordelia, Nick Offerman as, Pip, and Chris Redd as, Gary, in 'Candy Cane Lane.'

(L to R) Robin Thede as, Cordelia, Nick Offerman as, Pip, and Chris Redd as, Gary, in ‘Candy Cane Lane.’ Photo: Courtesy of Prime Video.
© AMAZON CONTENT SERVICES LLC.

MF: Can you talk about your use of VFX in the movie and mixing live-action with computer animation?

RH: It was so much fun. I’ve been dying to work with ILM, Industrial Light & Magic, all those amazing folks. Man, they had so much fun. We were just feeding off each other like, “What about this? What about that?” We had these great vocal performances from these world-class actors, Nick Offerman, Robin Thede, Chris Redd, and then they took that stuff and then added the physical comedy on top of it. So, we were just like, “Oh my God.” We’re all having the best time.

Thaddeus J. Mixson as Nick Carver, Genneya Walton as Joy Carver, Madison Thomas as Holly Carver, Tracee Ellis Ross as Carol Carver, and Eddie Murphy as Chris Carver star in 'Candy Cane Lane.'

(L to R) Thaddeus J. Mixson as Nick Carver, Genneya Walton as Joy Carver, Madison Thomas as Holly Carver, Tracee Ellis Ross as Carol Carver, and Eddie Murphy as Chris Carver star in ‘Candy Cane Lane.’ Photo: Claudette Barius. © AMAZON CONTENT SERVICES LLC.

MF: Finally, how do you feel about the idea of ‘Candy Cane Lane’ becoming a holiday tradition and a movie that audiences watch year after year?

RH: When we made the movie, we were like, “Look, let’s pack it with so many jokes, so many visual things going on that you’ve got to see it more than once just to catch all the stuff.” So, it’s all there for you. We start December 1st, but you can watch it all 25 days.

“Be careful what you wish for.”

PG1 hr 57 minDec 1st, 2023

A man is determined to win the neighborhood’s annual Christmas decorating contest. After making a pact with an elf to help him win, the elf casts a spell bringing… Read the Plot

What is the plot of ‘Candy Cane Land’?

A local neighborhood hosts an annual contest over who has the best decorated home for Christmas; desperate to win, Chris Carver (Eddie Murphy) makes a deal with a charismatic stranger, Pepper (Jillian Bell), for the use of magic to make his home the most festive. He soon learns that Pepper is an evil elf who has made similar deals in the past, with her victims being transformed into plastic dolls. Chris must rally his family to stop Pepper from unleashing misery upon his friends and neighbors and break the deal before he loses everything.

Who is in the cast of ‘Candy Cane Lane’?

Jillian Bell as ‘Pepper,’ Eddie Murphy as ‘Chris Carver,’ and Madison Thomas as ‘Holly Carver’ star in 'Candy Cane Lane.'

(L to R) Jillian Bell as ‘Pepper,’ Eddie Murphy as ‘Chris Carver,’ and Madison Thomas as ‘Holly Carver’ star in ‘Candy Cane Lane.’ Photo: Claudette Barius. © AMAZON CONTENT SERVICES LLC.

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