Candyman by director Nia DaCosta is finally hitting theaters. Here’s what you need to know before you experience the highly anticipated horror movie.
The tale of Candy originates from a short story written by famous horror writer Clive Barker called The forbidden before being made into a 1992 film with Tony Todd as the titular mind. The film adapted the story from its English roots to fit into downtown Chicago and address issues of race and class in America. It is in this vein that the new film picks up and continues the legend of the hooked spirit known as Candyman. Here are 5 things you need to know before checking the latest installment for yourself.
The film stars Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, who fans may recognize from Aquaman, and The Chicago 7 trial, like Anthony McCoy. McCoy is an artist who is fascinated by the legend of the Candyman after moving to the gentrified neighborhood of Cabrini, which once served as a hunting ground for the infamous spirit, along with his art gallery director girlfriend Brianna Cartwright. In the pursuit of his artistic career, McCoy falls deep into the sinister myth of the Candyman as he attempts to keep his sanity spiraling in the process.
Among the actors is also Tony Todd reprising his role of titular Candyman. Todd previously played Daniel Robitaille, aka Candyman, in the original film as well as in both sequels. Teyonah Parris plays Brianna in the film and Colman Domingo plays William Burke, the man who tells McCoy the legend of Candyman and serves as a sort of local historian of the pre-bourgeois area formerly known as Cabrini Green. As part of the overall story, one of the film’s key themes is the gentrification and alienation of a community at its source.
Sequel, NOT a remake
It is important to note that the new installment in the franchise is not actually a remake but a direct continuation of the original Candy. This is the same model used by 2018 Halloween, where the new installment ignores the franchise’s previous sequels and focuses solely on the original, continuing its story into the present. Since there were plans in the early 2000s to either make a fourth Candy movie (whether it’s a sequel or a prequel), there is potentially some confusion about where 2021 Candy is a continuation of the series. This film is also confirmed to follow the 1992 film directly. Candy and both entrances will serve as the official canon for the franchise.
Director – Nia DaCosta
Nia DaCosta is the director of the new Candy movie. Marvel fans may recognize the name as DaCosta directs the next Marvel Cinematic Universe sequel Wonders. She is also one of the three co-writers of Candy. Since the film is a Monkeypaw Productions film, some people may assume that Jordan Peele is the director, so it’s important to note that the director is actually DaCosta. She got the job based on its reputation for delivering fine, elegant and regular workmanship and being well suited to the horror genre in general, but for Candy specifically. DaCosta continues to regularly promote and support the film through social engagement initiatives and press tours.
Writer / Producer – Jordan Peele
Jordan Peele has carved out a reputation for himself as a master of the horror genre with his two previous films: Get out and We. While Peele was the sole writer and director of these films, he is only a writer and producer on Candy, after standing up for Nia DaCosta and the rest of the film’s cast and crew as they worked to bring the film to life. Peele has also been a screenwriter, producer and actor for The twilight zone, on which he also did not work as a director. While Peele’s participation is certainly valuable for Candy, it is worth reiterating once again that he did not decide for himself.
Candy had its original release date delayed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and was originally scheduled to arrive in theaters on June 12, 2020. The film was then rescheduled for September 25 and October 16 of the same year before releasing eventually go back to August 27, 2021. Candy finally has tickets for sale and is released in theaters ahead of its on-demand and streaming launch.
Along with the film’s release, Monkeypaw Productions and Universal Pictures set up the Social impact initiative with the intention of further exploring the themes of the film. The concept behind the initiative is to help fans better understand and explore black culture and the legend of the character and the Candyman franchise. The website includes information resources, panel discussions, and many other fascinating details to extend the reach of the film beyond the big screen.
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