Someone in Chicago must’ve fudged up and said the name five times because Candyman has officially descended upon the city. Principal photography has begun on the “spiritual sequel” to the original 1992 horror film that starred Tony Todd as the title ghoul. The 2020 reimagining was written by Jordan Peele and Win Rosenfeld—the duo’s Monkeypaw Productions is also producing alongside Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures—with up-and-coming director Nia DaCosta (Little Woods) helming the project.
The film stars Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Us), Teyonah Parris (If Beale Street Could Talk), Nathan Stewart-Jarrett (Misfits) and Colman Domingo (Euphoria) alongside a cast of local Chicago talent. There were rumblings when Abdul-Mateen II was cast that the Aquaman actor would be taking over the Tony Todd role, but DaCosta shut those rumors down. “I can’t say what’s happening in the film because we want it to be a surprise, but he’s not replacing Tony Todd,” the director said in March. “That’s been reported, and I was just like, ‘I don’t know what to say about this. This is not right.’”
As for what is actually happening in the film, the plot’s been kept tightly under wraps. We know that the story will return to Cabrini-Green housing projects of the original film, which have largely been gentrified in the years since. When Collider spoke to Rosenfeld, the filmmaker also hoped to capture the tone of both the original film and the short story it’s based on, Clive Barker‘s “The Forbidden”.
“I’ve spoken to Clive, a couple of times, and there is not a sweeter person on the planet. I admire him so much, as does Jordan. The original short story is amazing, and the original movie is one of those things that’s left an indelible mark on Jordan and myself and I think people are going to hopefully respond to that movie, in the same way that we did, with the original. The tone that Clive managed to make – an urban monster, ghost film, romance – and really pushed the boundaries of commercial filmmaking and high art, was no easy task. So, again, we find ourselves confronted with a very high bar.”