Tony Todd Explains Why He Turned Down 'Candyman vs. Leprechaun'

Multiple iconic horror franchises ran out of steam in the '90s, leading to the 2000s delivering us [...]

Multiple iconic horror franchises ran out of steam in the '90s, leading to the 2000s delivering us films like Freddy vs. Jason and the Alien vs. Predator films. Despite these films being somewhat financially successful, Candyman star Tony Todd drew the line at participating in a Candyman vs. Leprechaun project.

"This was right around the time of Freddy vs. Jason and [Candyman vs. Leprechaun] did come across my desk. I saw it and I said, 'I will never be involved in something like that,'" Todd shared with Dread Central. I respect the character. Once a horror character becomes something of an icon [like Candyman], reluctantly or not, you have to treat that with respect that. I remember watching Abbott and Costello vs Frankenstein continuously as a kid and being amazed that my horror legends were making a comedy. So, I guess there are some ways to make something like that work, but I wasn't interested in doing that with Candyman."

The original Candyman was adapted from a story by Clive Barker. When grad student Helen Lyle (Virginia Madsen) begins working on a thesis looking at urban legends, she encounters the tale of the Candyman — the vengeful spirit of a hook-handed slave, who, it is said, can be summoned by saying his name five times in the mirror. As her research leads her into the bowels of Chicago's deprived housing projects and deeper into the Candyman's world, Helen learns that some legends are best left alone.

The '80s were dominated by slasher villains like Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger, with Candyman poised to become an iconic villain in the following decade. Unfortunately, neither of the two sequels managed to be as successful as the original film, with the franchise having stagnated over the last two decades.

The first Leprechaun film debuted in 1993, which leaned heavily into the comedic premise of a deadly fantasy character. With only three Candyman films, the character never descended into being a parody of itself as various other famous horror villains did. The two characters had little in common with one another in which a fictional battle could exist, other than debuting on the big screen around the same time.

A new entry in the Candyman series is on the way, with Todd implying that he would be involved in some capacity, despite not yet being approached about the project.

Stay tuned for details new Candyman before it hits theaters on June 12, 2020.

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