Next week will be exactly one year since we last got a trailer for Candyman. Produced and co-written by horror powerhouse filmmaker Jordan Peele (Get Out, Us), directed by rapidly rising star Nia DaCosta (The Marvels), and starring Hollywood hot properties Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Watchmen, Aquaman) and Teyonah Parris (WandaVision, The Marvels), the upcoming revival/reboot of the classic horror franchise was touted as one of the hottest releases of 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic derailed all of Universal Pictures plans, and hype kind of died down. But now we’re just shy of two months away from a new release date and the studio has subsequently released a new trailer that has… *COUGH*… hooked us once again!
And if you don’t get that joke, then obviously you don’t know your Candyman! This is not surprising, seeing as the original film starring Tony Todd as the titular boogeyman was first released all the way back in 1992. Luckily, this new trailer, narrated by Colman Domingo, kicks off by digging into Candyman’s origin story, bringing all newcomers up to date, before spinning out into a very unsettling, modern tale of horror. And damn it is looking great!
A decade after the last of the Cabrini towers were torn down after a horrifying killing spree, visual artist Anthony McCoy (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) and his girlfriend, gallery director Brianna Cartwright (Teyonah Parris), move into a luxury loft condo in Cabrini, now gentrified beyond recognition and inhabited by upwardly mobile millennials. With Anthony’s painting career on the brink of stalling and anxious to maintain his status in the Chicago art world, Anthony begins to explore the macabre details of the legend of Candyman 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.
Along with the trailer, Universal Pictures also released a special featurette last week to coincide with Juneteenth (aka 19 June), the US federal holiday commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. DaCosta is really leaning into the African-American cultural influences on Candyman, due to its history in cinema as well as its place in the context of the current world, so its fitting that the filmmaker touched on this.
Juneteenth is a day that has historically recognized the perseverance and power of the Black community. Over the last two years, taking time to recognize and reflect on this holiday has only gained added significance. Black art, and Black storytelling in particular, provides audiences the opportunity to see both the reality and the possibility of Black lives in America.
Candyman first appeared on film in Bernard Rose’s 1992 cult classic as a vengeful, mystical entity, a victim of a brutal hate crime who externalizes his pain in the same community that once turned against him. Nia DaCosta found inspiration to bring Candyman into a new age. As director of this year’s CANDYMAN, she has created a film rooted in horror that reframes the Candyman legend with new urgency.
Produced by Jordan Peele, this film is an exciting, terrifying, entertaining, scary-as-hell horror film that also speaks to the movement and momentum of Black lives now. In this piece, Nia articulates her intentions for her film on the eve of Juneteenth.
Candyman also stars Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Rebecca Spence, and Cassie Kramer, and Todd and Vanessa Estelle Williams reprising their roles from the original films. It is currently scheduled for release on 27 August 2021.
Last Updated: June 24, 2021