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"Candyman is the patron saint of the urban legend," Jordan Peele declares in a brand-new featurette for the upcoming Candyman film that he helped write and produce (the project finally opens in theaters at the end of the month). "We didn't have a Black Freddy, we didn't have a Black Jason. It felt important this Candyman be told from a Black perspective."
He is, of course, referring to the 1992 original — directed by Bernard Rose — which was told through the eyes of a white woman named Helen Lyle (Virginia Madsen). The 2021 version reframes the myth through the POV of a young Black artist named Anthony McCoy (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), who wants to use the tale for his work, only to be consumed by it. Moreover, the eponymous being is presented less as a straight-up evil monster and more as the tragic result of bigotry and racial injustice.
Peele co-wrote the film with its director, Nia DaCosta (now in production on Disney's Captain Marvel sequel), who fully believed in the titular entity as a child. "For us, Candyman was some demon/ghost/man killing people in the projects," she says in the video below. "Candyman is perennial. We're talking about the cycles of violence and how history repeats itself."
Watch the featurette now:
Written by Peele, DaCosta, and Win Rosenfeld (president of Peele's Monkeypaw Productions banner), the film co-stars Teyonah Parris (WandaVision), Colman Domingo (Fear the Walking Dead), Nathan Stewart-Jarrett (Doctor Who), and original Candyman actor Tony Todd. David Kern, Aaron L. Gilbert, and Jason Cloth are executive producers. Ian Cooper produces alongside Peele and Rosenfeld.
Movie theaters everywhere will speak Candyman's names five times into a mirrored surface on Friday, Aug. 27.
(Universal Pictures & SYFY WIRE are both owned by NBCUniversal)