Posted on Monday, June 21st, 2021 by
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Say his name five times in front of a mirror: Candyman is back. Nia DaCosta directs a continuation of the now-iconic horror film released in 1992, based loosely on a story by Clive Barker. Working with producer and co-writer Jordan Peele, DaCosta has recontextualized the Candyman story through a Black perspective, and while much about the new film remains shrouded in secrecy, here’s what we know about the new Candyman movie so far.
Candyman Release Date And Where You Can Watch It
The Candyman release date is set for August 27, 2021. The film is a theatrical release, but it’s worth noting that the studio distributing the film – Universal – signedwith big theater chains AMC and Cinemark to shorten the theatrical window to 17 days. That means that if Universal wants to, they can release Candyman digitally 17 days after it hits theaters. Universal hasn’t confirmed they’ll be doing that, but it’s something to keep in mind. Candyman was originally set for a June 12, 2020, theatrical release, but was pushed to October 16, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, before being pushed back yet again to August 2021.
What is Candyman? Is It a Reboot, Remake, or Sequel?
While the new film is called Candyman, it’s not a remake or a reboot. Instead, it’s a direct sequel to the original film. This is a somewhat annoying trend when it comes to horror movies – 2018’s Halloween was a direct sequel to the original Halloween, and the upcoming Scream sequel seems to just be called Scream, the same exact title as the original film.
Candyman is unique in that it’s a slasher-adjacent film where the main slasher character is a Black man. Race played a big part in the original film, but this new version will likely take things further since it comes from a Black filmmaker. That’s an interesting, welcome approach to this material, and it will hopefully result in something truly memorable.
In the original film, we learned that Candyman (played by Tony Todd) was a local urban legend for the Cabrini Green housing projects in Chicago. The story goes that if you say Candyman in a mirror five times he’ll appear and gut you with his hook for a hand. And while that sounds like bullshit, graduate student Helen Lyle (played by Virginia Madsen) learned the hard way that some urban legends are true.
Here’s the Candyman synopsis:
For as long as the residents can remember, the housing projects of Chicago’s Cabrini Green neighborhood were terrorized by a word-of-mouth ghost story about a supernatural killer with a hook for a hand, easily summoned by those daring to repeat his name five times into a mirror. In the present day, a decade after the last of the Cabrini towers were torn down, a visual artist named Anthony McCoy and his girlfriend, an art gallery director named Brianna Cartwright, moved into a luxurious loft condo in Cabrini, now gentrified beyond recognition and inhabited by the upwardly mobile millennials. With Anthony’s painting career on the brink of stalling, a chance encounter with a Cabrini Green old-timer exposes Anthony to the tragically horrific nature of the true story behind the Candyman. Anxious to maintain his status in the Chicago art world, Anthony begins to explore these macabre details in his studio as fresh grist for paintings, unknowingly opening a door to a complex past that unravels his own sanity and unleashes a terrifyingly viral wave of violence that puts him on a collision course with destiny.
Candyman Director, Crew, and More
Despite what some headlines would have you believe, Candyman is not a Jordan Peele-directed film. Peele is a producer on the movie and he co-wrote the script, but Nia DaCosta is the filmmaker in the director’s chair. DaCosta made her feature directorial debut with 2019’s Little Woods. DaCosta co-wrote the Candyman script with Peele and Win Rosenfeld. Robert A. A. Lowe is tackling the music for the film, and while it’s not officially confirmed yet, there’s a very good chance he’ll be using themes from the original film’s classic score composed by Philip Glass. John Guleserian, who shot Happiest Season and An American Pickle, is handling the cinematography.
The Candyman cast features Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Anthony McCoy, a character we met as a baby in the original film; Teyonah Parris as Brianna Cartwright, Anthony’s girlfriend; Nathan Stewart-Jarrett as Troy Cartwright, Brianna’s brother; Colman Domingo as William Burke, a Cabrini Green resident; Vanessa Estelle Williams as Anne-Marie McCoy, reprising her role from the original film as Anthony’s mother; Rebecca Spence as Finley Stephens; Cassie Kramer as Helen Lyle, the main character of the first film originally played by Virginia Madsen (it’s unclear what Helen’s role is here since her character died, and then became a Candyman-like ghost herself at the end of the first movie); and, of course, Tony Todd as Candyman.
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