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SYFY WIRE Candyman

Candyman director promises a bloody, gory sequel that'll hit the sweet spot

By James Grebey

Candyman is here. The first trailer for the sequel to the 1992 horror classic premiered on Thursday afternoon, and at a press event the day before, director Nia DaCosta promised that the full film would have plenty of gore.

“I really love gore,” DaCosta said, explaining that she and Get Out director Jordan Peele, who co-wrote and produced Candyman, have different horror aesthetics. “Jordan’s really brilliant at not showing everything, and my instinct is to do the exact opposite. But there’s... a good amount of things you don’t want to see, that I make you look at."

Candyman, which will appear in theaters this summer, stars Watchmen’s Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as an artist investigating the Candyman legend, only to find himself drawn into something horrible. At the press event on Wednesday, Peele explained his reverence for the original movie.

“It was one of the few movies that explored any aspect of the black experience in the horror genre in the ‘90s,” Peele said.

The 1992 Candyman was set in Chicago’s Cabrini–Green Homes, a public housing project with a bad reputation. Now, in 2020, almost all of Cabrini–Green has been torn down and replaced with upscale high-rises. Nia DaCosta, who directs the new movie, told the press that “Gentrification in our film is what helped us to reimagine the story.”

“The movie in the ‘90s has a vision of Cabrini–Green where it’s sort of on its way to being knocked down… Like, there’s an ArcLight really close to where Cabrini–Green used to be” DaCosta said. “What we do in our film is talk about the ghosts that have been left behind because of gentrification, and in particular, Cabrini–Green.”

It’s still not exactly clear what sort of role Tony Todd, who played the titular Candyman in the original movies, will have in the new film, and it’s hard to make out if he’s in the trailer. There was originally a bit of a controversy where Todd said he was “hurt” that he wasn’t part of the new film, but he’s since been brought into the fold in some capacity. DaCosta was coy when asked if Todd appears in her film.

“Well well well… I really love Tony Todd, he’s iconic,” she said. “And I will say what we’ve done with this film is… is great. And Tony’s great. Jordan’s great. I don’t want to give anything away.”

Candyman hits theaters on June 12, 2020.