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SYFY WIRE Candyman

Director Nia DaCosta offers up a hauntingly relevant look at her new Candyman film

By Josh Weiss
Candyman 2020

Filmmaker Nia DaCosta posted a striking, resonant teaser for her upcoming Candyman film on Twitter Wednesday. Totally non-verbal and relayed to the viewer through an animated style of puppet-like cutouts, the footage presents a haunting view of racial injustice in the United States, closing out with the origin of the movie's hook-handed title character.

"Candyman, at the intersection of white violence and black pain, is about unwilling martyrs," wrote DaCosta in the tweet's caption, referencing the film's themes. "The people they were, the symbols we turn them into, the monsters we are told they must have been."

The teaser arrives amid global protests against systemic racism and injustice that have unfolded in the wake of George Floyd’s death. DaCosta's caption urges viewers to think about Daniel Robitaille (the man who would become Candyman) in a new light — to question those instances when we are told a person is a monster, a villain, an other. It's unclear whether the animated segment is taken directly from the movie, or if it was specially created for this preview.

Per The Hollywood Reporter, the puppetry was done by Manual Cinema (a performance collective based in Chicago), with the music scored by Lichens.

Written by director DaCosta along with executive producers Jordan Peele and Win Rosenfeld, the latest iteration of Candyman returns to the Cabrini Green neighborhood of Chicago, which is now gentrified. The plot follows young artist Anthony McCoy (Watchmen's Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), who finds himself being consumed by the area's famous horror legend. Teyonah Parris, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Colman Domingo, and Tony Todd co-star.

The film is scheduled to open in theaters on Sept. 25.