Candyman is coming for you. Universal Pictures has released a new look into Nia DaCosta’s spiritual successor to the 1992 horror classic, featuring the director herself as well as writer/producer Jordan Peele speaking to the importance of Candyman as a story, and the mantle he holds within Black communities. The featurette has been dropped ahead of the film’s August 27 release, after having been delayed from its original June 2020 premiere.
In the minute-long featurette, Peele, already a horror icon in his own right, calls Candyman the “patron saint of the urban legend,” something that exists beyond the original film and Tony Todd’s performance as the titular character. With no “Black Freddy [or] Black Jason” — with so few Black characters getting any screen time at all in horror films — telling this modern version of Candyman from a Black perspective became a core part of the film’s production.
DaCosta also speaks to Peele’s point, to the idea that growing up, Candyman was a real urban legend — a real demon, to young children — manifesting underlying fears that no one dared voice. For DaCosta, the film is about cycles of violence, and how humans process trauma through storytelling. Candyman is about the idea that its titular villain is not just one man who suffered a long, long time ago — he’s the “whole damn hive,” a collection of every time history has repeated itself and let the same people fall between the cracks. “It’s always time to tell a story like Candyman,” DaCosta says, “Which is the big tragedy of the tale in the first place.”
Candyman stars Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as artist Anthony McCoy, who, after moving into Chicago’s now gentrified Cabrini-Green neighborhood — the site of the tragedies from the original film — decides to use the myth of Candyman’s horrors to his advantage, only to find out that he has opened a door to a place he will never be able to escape. Also starring Teyonah Parris, Colman Domingo, and Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, the film is directed by DaCosta, who co-wrote the screenplay along with Peele and Win Rosenfeld.
Candyman premieres in theaters everywhere on August 27. Check out the new featurette below: