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‘Expect Tears’ – Colin Hanks and Ryan Reynolds Team Up To Produce John Candy Documentary

Photo Credit: JC Olivera / FilmMagic / Harry Langdon / Amy Sussman / Getty Images
Photo Credit: JC Olivera / FilmMagic / Harry Langdon / Amy Sussman / Getty Images

Actors Ryan Reynolds and Colin Hanks are teaming up to bring the life of beloved comedian John Candy to the small screen with a brand new documentary series. The documentary will provide viewers with a never-before-seen side of Candy using a collection of home videos, items from the archives, and interviews with family members.

Candy’s rise to fame

Canadian-born actor and comedian John Candy brought laughter to homes throughout the 1980s and early ’90s. His roles in classics like Uncle Buck, Planes, Trains & Automobiles, and Splash brought success, but his career was ultimately cut short by his untimely death in 1994. Born on October 31, 1950, in Toronto, Canada, he was raised by his mother and grandparents after the death of his father when Candy was just four years old.

Photo of John Candy with a cat
John Candy poses with a cat for a photo in 1980. (Photo Credit: Keith Beaty / Toronto Star / Getty Images)

After high school, Candy went on to study acting and journalism at Centennial College in Toronto before he abandoned school altogether in 1971 to pursue acting full-time. Around this time he met another Canadian comedic icon, Dan Aykroyd, who convinced Candy to audition for the Toronto branch of the popular Chicago comedy troupe Second City. After just two years with Second City, Candy was booking big gigs alongside stars like John Belushi and Gilda Radner – two Saturday Night Live alums who also died young.

After finding success starring and writing for the Second City Television channel (SCTV), Candy tried his hand at acting in film roles. His breakthrough role as Tom Hanks’ brother Freddie Bauer in the 1984 film Splash earned him lots of attention throughout Hollywood, but the success was ultimately followed by two flops: Brewster’s Millions and Summer Rental. He rebounded with Planes, Trains, & Automobiles, starring opposite Steve Martin, in 1987. The hilarious Mel Brooks Star Wars spoof Space Balls was released the same year.

A still of Steve Martin and John Candy in Planes, Trains & Automobiles
Steve Martin and John Candy in Planes, Trains & Automobiles. (Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures / CaptainOT / MovieStillsDB)

Candy was often relegated to playing the overweight, sloppy, comedic character. In the early 1990s, he received a rare opportunity to play a romantic lead in the 1991 film Only the Lonely. Tragically, Candy’s career was cut short in 1994. He was found dead while filming his latest comedy Wagons East after suffering a heart attack in his sleep, which was likely brought on because of his weight and a heavy smoking habit. He left his wife Rosemary and their two children, Jennifer and Christopher.

Reynolds and Hanks both have connections to Candy

Ryan Reynolds and Colin Hanks are currently negotiating with Amazon Prime Video to bring their documentary to the streaming service. The project is fully supported by Candy’s family. Colin Hanks, whose parents Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson both worked with Candy, will be acting as the director with Reynolds in a producer role. Reynolds, on the other hand, wants to honor his Canadian connection with Candy, who he has long admired.

In March 2019, the 25th anniversary of Candy’s death, Reynolds posted a video celebrating the comedian’s legacy: “We cooked up a small tribute to a comedic genius and Canadian hero. If you haven’t seen much of his work, take a look at his films. He was a treasure.”

More from us: The Alternate Ending to ‘Splash’ That No One Has Heard Of

Back in October 2022, Reynolds made a brief announcement on Twitter about the documentary project led by him and Colin Hanks, warning readers to “expect tears.”

Elisabeth Edwards

Elisabeth Edwards is a public historian and history content writer. After completing her Master’s in Public History at Western University in Ontario, Canada Elisabeth has shared her passion for history as a researcher, interpreter, and volunteer at local heritage organizations.

She also helps make history fun and accessible with her podcast The Digital Dust Podcast, which covers topics on everything from art history to grad school.

In her spare time, you can find her camping, hiking, and exploring new places. Elisabeth is especially thrilled to share a love of history with readers who enjoy learning something new every day!

The Digital Dust Podcast