Amazon Prime Video Picks Up John Candy Documentary From Ryan Reynolds And Colin Hanks

Like many kids of the '90s, John Candy was my treasured movie uncle growing up. The beloved "Second City Television" funnyman turned comedic superstar could just as easily make you bust a gut laughing as he could tear your heart out. Heck, he was capable of doing both those things in the span of a single scene (Example: Candy's heart-wrenching "You wanna hurt me?" speech from "Planes, Trains and Automobiles"). That we were forced to bid farewell to him at the age of only 43 — when he died of a heart attack in 1994 — only makes the time we got with him all the more precious.

Candy's fellow wise-cracking Canuck, Ryan Reynolds, paid his respects to the late funnyman on the 25th anniversary of his passing in 2019, posting a short video of clips from Candy's movies on Twitter as "a small tribute to a comedic genius and Canadian hero." Three years after that, however, Reynolds revealed he's also working on a far more labor-heavy love letter to Candy in the form of a full-length documentary. The as-yet-untitled film has since been formally acquired by Amazon Prime Video, making now the perfect time to run down everything we know about the project so far.

A look into Candy's private inner life

According to Variety, the John Candy documentary will go beyond the actor's public persona "and delve into the inner life that Candy kept private off-screen." Candy's widow, Rosemary Margaret Hobor, and their two children, Christopher Michael and Jennifer Anne Candy, have reportedly given their "full support" to the feature, providing "never-before-seen home videos, archives and interviews with the [Candy] family to explore the man behind the movie star."

This is, of course, far from the first non-fiction project to focus on John Candy. His life and legacy have already been explored in episodes of the documentary TV series "Biography" and "E! True Hollywood Story" over the years, with "Behind Closed Doors" having done an episode on him as recently as 2020. By the sound of it, though, this new film will delve much deeper into his personal motivations as an artist, as well as his experiences with his loved ones away from the cameras. No doubt, the movie will also touch on pricklier topics like his experiences dealing with severe panic attacks and his continual attempts to cut down on his smoking and alcohol intake. Thankfully, the involvement of Candy's family ought to go a long ways in ensuring these aspects of his life are handled with the sensitivity and care they deserve.

Who's working on the John Candy documentary?

Ryan Reynolds is producing the John Candy documentary with George Dewey by way of his Maximum Effort production company, with Colin Hanks also producing on top of directing. Hanks himself has a tangential connection to Candy thanks to his father — a fella by the name of Tom Hanks. John Candy and Tom Hanks famously shared the screen in Ron Howard's hit 1984 mermaid comedy "Splash." Rita Wilson, who is married to Tom Hanks, even joined the duo for their onscreen reunion a year later in Nicholas Meyer's 1985 comedy "Volunteers."

Colin Hanks, who's appeared in films like Peter Jackson's "King Kong" and starred in the first season of Noah Hawley's "Fargo" TV series, already has a handful of directorial efforts under his belt, including the music documentary films "All Things Must Pass" and "Eagles of Death Metal: Nos Amis (Our Friends)." Naturally, as someone who grew up with parents who make their living in the entertainment industry (and, again, worked with Candy personally), Hanks has a unique perspective and insights that ought to serve him well in his attempts to do justice by Candy's private life. It surely helps that, like Reynolds and the rest of us, Candy clearly meant something to him growing up too.