There's a new Candyman in town, and the original urban legend's feelings on the subject are a bit complicated.
Last month we learned that Aquaman star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is director Nia DaCosta's (Little Woods) choice to take on the title role in the upcoming retelling of Candyman from Jordan Peele's Monkeypaw Productions. The casting is the latest exciting development in a project that will feature the return of one of the most fascinating movie monsters of the last three decades under the guidance of one of horror's most exciting contemporary voices. All that said, there's still the issue of legacy to contend with.
When Candyman debuted in 1992, the title character — a prominent painter in 19th-century America who was killed by a lynch mob and thus became a vengeful spirit — was played by Tony Todd, who became a horror icon as a result. Todd reprised the role in two sequels (Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh in 1995 and Candyman: Day of the Dead in 1999), and while talk of another film surfaced, it never materialized.
In the wake of the announcement of Peele's remake, Todd told SYFY WIRE that he has "mixed feelings" about the project, and said he would have been "devastated" if such a film had gone ahead without him a decade ago. When Abdul-Mateen's casting was announced, Todd offered up best wishes to the production on Twitter, but apparently the air still needs to be cleared. On Wednesday, in an apparent response to continued questions over his feelings about the new movie, Todd tweeted this new summation of his stance.
Todd is certainly not the first legend to face being recast in a remake, as fellow horror stars like Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger) know all too well, but each actor deals with such a predicament in their own way, and it seems Todd is choosing to embrace the duality of the situation. Yes, it would be nice to have a greater involvement in the future of the franchise, but he's also aware that the project is bigger than him, and seems sincerely happy to see the character move on. Plus, any remake of Candyman will no doubt bring new fans to the original film, which remains a classic of its era.
Oh, and the new Candyman has only just found its lead, which means there's hopefully plenty of time for Peele and company to arrange for a wicked cameo for Todd.
Candyman will return on June 12, 2020.