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WIRE Buzz: Candyman lands FTWD's Colman Domingo; Constance Verity taps Awkwafina; more
Jordan Peele’s horror revival of the iconic Candyman slasher story has just picked up a pair of big new additions to what's shaping up to be a killer cast.
Deadline reports that Fear the Walking Dead’s Colman Domingo, along with Misfits actor Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, have signed on for as-yet-unnamed roles in Peele’s spiritual successor to the classic urban legend horror tale, which first fused Chicagoland grittiness, academic skepticism, and supernatural evil to terrifying effect in the original 1990s films.
Tony Todd first brought the Clive Barker-created character to life with 1992’s Candyman, playing the ghost of a former slave on a mission from beyond the grave to reclaim the lost love of his life. Against the backdrop of Chicago’s massive Cabrini-Green public housing projects, Candyman appropriates the brutal manner of his violent death — being left to the mercy of a mob of angry bees — as both a symbol of his ghostly identity, as well as a fear-inducing tool for terror.
Domingo and Stewart-Jarrett are coming into a movie that’s already supported by tons of — dare we say it? — buzz. In addition to Peele’s role as producer, the film features Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Aquaman) in the title role, as well as Teyonah Parris (If Beale Street Could Talk). Nia DaCosta (Little Woods) is on board as director, and Peele has even recruited Todd himself to appear in the reboot — though it’s not yet known what character he’ll be playing.
The movie reportedly has just begun principal photography on location in Chicago this week, ahead of a June 12, 2020 release date.
There may be no quenching Awkwafina’s ascendant acting career anytime soon. The versatile Crazy Rich Asians star has reportedly just been cast to lead a new fantasy film based on A. Lee Martinez’ popular series of Constance Verity young adult novels.
Via The Hollywood Reporter, the just-revealed movie, titled The Last Adventure of Constance Verity, will feature Awkwafina in the role of “Connie” (aka Constance). An intrepid adventurer who’s been juggling her supernatural exploits alongside her more normal life, Connie has been in a war against the forces of evil ever since she was seven — when she was first recruited to the cause, under mysterious circumstances.
The role marks another recent notch in Awkwafina’s genre acting belt. In addition to stealing scenes as a minor character in Hulu’s Futureman, she’s also slated to appear in major roles in a long list of upcoming movies — including Marvel’s standalone Shang-Chi film, Disney’s remake of The Little Mermaid, and the sequel to Jumanji.
The Last Adventure of Constance Verity is reportedly being scripted by John Raffo (The Relic) as a screenplay from Martinez’ books, with Jon Shestack (Before I Fall) producing for Legendary Entertainment. There’s no early word on additional casting, a director, or a release date — so stay tuned.
Finally, zombies from yet another corner of the undead universe are getting ready to shamble onto the small screen, thanks to a newly-announced adaptation of the popular Zombie Fallout books into a TV series.
Deadline reports that Zombie Fallout — the creation of author Mark Tufo — has been picked up for the TV treatment from Peabody Award-winning producer Steven Adams and Theo Dumont of Buffalo 8, along with executive producers Brad Thomas and Weston Scott.
Made up of a 14-item library that spans novels, comics, and audiobooks, the Zombie Fallout franchise combines dark comedy and undead horror and gore, and has established an extensive story world of distinctive characters both good and evil as it follows the adventures of ex-Marine Michael Talbot, a guy whose personal past has led him to an unhealthy (but perhaps useful) obsession with the real-life possibility of a zombie apocalypse. When it inevitably happens, it’s up to Talbot to take advantage of his pre-apocalyptic preparations to protect his whole community.
It's not known yet where Zombie Fallout could land on TV, nor when the new series might appear.