‘The Flash’ and ‘Candyman’: Surprising Ways They Are Connected
At first glance, the squeaky-clean atmosphere of The Flash and the harsh realm of Candyman seem worlds apart. The former is centered around a morally upright hero with a snazzy red super-suit, while the latter tells the story of a murderous spirit with a hook for a hand. However, fans of both universes will be delighted to learn of some surprising connections The CW show and the horror franchise share.
Both ‘Candyman’ and The Flash’s rival Zoom were brought to life by the same actor
In 1992 Tony Todd mesmerized, terrified, and fascinated horror fans in the classic slasher flick, Candyman. Todd portrayed the title character, who was a vengeful being out for blood. In the movie, when foolish souls dared to summon him by saying his name five times, Candyman materialized and skewered them with his weapon of choice.
“I am the writing on the wall. The whisper in the classroom. Without these things, I am nothing. So now I must shed innocent blood,” Candyman confessed in his signature timbre.
Astute media buffs will recognize his buttery baritone voice from voice acting gigs, such as various animated projects, several video games, and a certain DC Comics-based series about Central City’s Scarlett Speedster.
The Flash Season 2 featured a particularly menacing villain named Zoom, who was a speedster and a serial killer. On a quest to steal The Flash’s speed, he was a worthy adversary for Barry Allen. Similar to his role in Candyman, Todd brought a frightening quality to Zoom with his vocal performance in The Flash. Andrew Kreisberg, the show’s executive producer at the time, told Variety this about casting Todd:
“Part of the mystery of the season is who or what is underneath the Zoom outfit, and so we wanted to do something like James Earl Jones as Darth Vader — this iconic voice coming out of this mask. Last year, we thought of the Reverse-Flash as a speed warrior; this year, Zoom is like a speed demon, and no one does demon-voice better than Tony Todd.”
Todd acted in a total of 15 episodes of The Flash, and although he did not appear on camera, he left a lasting mark on the show. But the horror legend was not the only Candyman star to appear in The Arrowverse.
Vanessa Williams portrays a mom in ‘The Flash’ and ‘Candyman
Vanessa Williams portrays Anne-Marie McCoy in the Candyman franchise. In the original film, her character becomes distraught when her infant son goes missing. With a supernatural killer on the loose in her town, she fears the worse. In the end, she is reunited with her son, but Candyman isn’t gone forever.
In The Flash, Williams also portrayed a protective mother. Her character, Francine West, was previously married to Joe West. Together they had a daughter, Iris, but she abandoned them both due to an unresolved conflict with Joe. Years later, she resurfaced along with Wally West, her son with Joe that he never knew existed. Alas, the reunion was cut short by Francine’s passing, but not before young Wally connected with his father and sister.
After her stint on The Flash, Williams kept busy with a string of projects, and most notably, in 2020, she reprises her role in the new Candyman film. This time, her son, Anthony, is all grown up, and based on the trailer, he goes looking for trouble that he can’t handle. Anthony is portrayed by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, who also plays another DC Comics-based character, David Kane, aka Black Manta, who is a villain in the Aquaman series.
Xander Berkeley also appeared in the Arrowverse
Xander Berkeley creates a more distant connection between The Flash and Candyman. Berkeley starred alongside Todd and Williams in the original Candyman movie, and he also made an appearance on one of The Flash’s sister shows in the Arrowverse. The actor landed a guest role on Supergirl during Season 4, and his character played a pivotal role in the origin story of Supergirl’s foe and extremist bigot Agent Liberty.
Although the actor has not actually appeared on The Flash yet, fans can hope to see him on the show in the future. Berlanti Productions has a habit of re-casting talent on various series within the family, so it is not outside of the realm of possibility that Berkeley could show up in Central City.