Move over Joe Exotic, it seems Candy Montgomery is TV’s new obsession. Who is Candy Montgomery, you ask? Well, she’s an axe murderer who will be the subject of not one but two upcoming limited series — Hulu‘s Candy, and as of Monday, Love and Death on HBO Max.
Hot off WandaVision, Elisabeth Olsen has signed on to play Montgomery in Love and Death, which will be written by David E. Kelley (The Undoing) and directed by Lesli Linka Glatter (Homeland), both of whom will also serve as executive producers on the hot project. HBO Max has given the show a series order, and Lionsgate will produce Love and Death, which will be executive produced by Nicole Kidman and Per Saari for Blossom Films and Scott Brown and Megan Creydt for Texas Monthly, as well as Matthew Tinker, Michael Klick and Helen Verno.
Love and Death follows two church-going couples who seem to enjoy small-town family life in Texas… until somebody picks up an axe. The show is inspired by the book Evidence of Love: A True Story of Passion and Death in the Suburbs and a collection of articles from Texas Monthly.
“This is a gripping story about the frustrations and desires of two women in a small town that culminates in a terrible act of violence. We are thrilled to be partnering with David, Lesli, Nicole, and Per and incredibly fortunate to have Elizabeth at the center of our story to bring out all the layers of Candy that make this story so unforgettable,” HBO Max’s Sarah Aubrey said in a statement.
“We cannot imagine a more perfect artist to play the leading role of Candy than Elizabeth Olsen. Her talent, charisma and energy can bewitch audiences like no other,” added Kevin Beggs, chairman of Lionsgate Television.
What’s particularly interesting about this HBO Max announcement is that Universal Content Productions announced its own Candy Montgomery series last summer. Titled, simply, Candy, the show hails from The Act duo Robin Veith and Nick Antosca, and it was picked up by Hulu back in December. While we often see competing movies with similar plots — Armageddon vs. Deep Impact, Dante’s Peak vs. Volcano, Olympus Has Fallen vs. White House Down — this kind of thing rarely happens on television, especially when two shows are dramatizing the exact same true story. Each one even boasts its own Elizabeth/Elisabeth as Montgomery!
Olsen is obviously flying high right now off the success of Marvel‘s first Disney+ series, WandaVision, and she’s set to reprise her role as Scarlet Witch in Sam Raimi‘s trippy sequel Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which is slated to hit theaters on March 25, 2022. Olsen previously starred in Lionsgate‘s thriller Wind River, and her other notable credits include Martha Marcy May Marlene, Ingrid Goes West and Godzilla, as well as the Facebook Watch series Sorry for Your Loss, which she also executive produced.
Olsen is a very talented actress, and while I have no idea whether Love and Death will debut before Candy or not, I certainly hope it does for the sake of everyone involved, as Moss can be a tough act to follow, and frankly, I loved what Antosca and Veith did with The Act, which was ultimately more satisfying than Kelley and Kidman‘s HBO shows The Undoing and Big Little Lies. Either way, this is a juicy true-crime tale, so consider the race to be on starting… now!