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Get your beekeeping suits ready. Nia DaCosta's Candyman film will officially buzz into theaters Friday, Aug. 27 after a yearlong delay caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Universal Pictures confirmed the release date (which had previously been reported on) with the drop of a bloody new trailer that provides us with the backstory of the hook-handed, overcoat-wearing legend.
As you can see below, the Candyman was a Black man who was wrongly beaten and murdered by the police after being accused of putting razor blades into sweets he handed out to children. It's a rather chilling origin tale that carries even more weight following the death of George Floyd and ensuing global protests against racism and misconduct on the part of law enforcement.
"I was thinking a lot about the duality of the Black experience in America," DaCosta said in a special Juneteenth message last week. "At once, it's a place of this great hope, which I think is what Juneteenth represents. In one way, it'a celebration of us, of life, of freedom, of possibility. On the other side, it's incredibly difficult and there's a lot of pain. They kind of walk hand-in-hand. I think that's something about this film as well. There's still this bittersweet hope."
Watch the trailer now:
Watchmen's Yahya Abdul-Mateen II headlines the project as Anthony McCoy, a struggling artist who finds himself fascinated with the Candyman story after a chance encounter with a Cabrini-Green old-timer (played by Fear the Walking Dead's Colman Domingo). Anthony's decision to explore the mythology through his paintings turns out to be a really bad idea when he unknowingly opens a window to the past and exposes an entire hive of stinging horror.
Teyonah Parris (WandaVision) and Nathan Stewart-Jarrett (Doctor Who) co-star. The original Candyman, Tony Todd, is also expected to make an appearance in a mystery role. DaCosta, who co-wrote the screenplay with producers Jordan Peele and Win Rosenfeld, saw the film as a way to update some of the antiquated themes featured in the 1992 original.
"When you look at it through a modern lens, some of the politics don't really land the way we'd like them to today," she explained last year. "[Our Candyman is] definitely a sense of taking ownership, [of] telling a Black story about Black people and casting Black people as leads."
Candyman hits theaters everywhere Friday, Aug. 27.
(Universal Pictures and SYFY WIRE are both owned by NBCUniversal.)