Back in September, we reported that Get Out’s Jordan Peele was in talks to produce or direct a “spiritual sequel” to the urban horror classic Candyman, and today the news has come full circle: Peele is on board. He won’t be in the director’s chair, however—instead, the Academy Award winner will be producing and co-writing the script alongside Win Rosenfeld. The announced director, meanwhile, is an intriguing surprise: Nia DaCosta, whose crime drama Little Woods recently premiered at Tribeca Film Festival, winning the Nora Ephron Award. The film will reportedly start shooting in the spring, produced and financed by MGM and distributed by Universal. We even have a release date: June 12, 2020.
“We cannot wait for the world to see what the mind blowing combination of Jordan, Win and Nia bring to the legend of Candyman,” said MGM’s Jonathan Glickman. “They have created a story that will not only pay reverence to Clive Barker’s haunting and brilliant source material but is also thoroughly modern and will bring in a whole new generation of fans.”
The original 1992 Candyman starred Tony Todd as the titular character, a ghostly revenant of a lynched black man who returns decades later to haunt the notorious Cabrini-Green housing projects of Chicago. It’s a truly unique film even today; an unusual blend of slasher-style killings with urban ghost story, dark romance and fantasy that appears prominently on our list of the 50 best slasher movies of all time. The new film, meanwhile, is being called a “spiritual sequel” that would return to the now-gentrified area of Chicago that once contained the Cabrini-Green projects—a premise that will surely skewer the idea of urban gentrification in general. It’s not known whether Todd would return, but it might be difficult for him to play the role of an immortal non-aging entity as a 63-year-old man. I suppose we’ll see.
“The original was a landmark film for black representation in the horror genre,” said Peele in a statement. “Alongside Night of the Living Dead, Candyman was a major inspiration for me as filmmaker — and to have a bold new talent like Nia at the helm of this project is truly exciting. We are honored to bring the next chapter in the Candyman canon to life and eager to provide new audiences with an entry point to Clive Barker’s legend.”
The original film received two tepid sequels that failed to recapture the Barker-esque air of refinement found in the original: 1995’s Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh and 1999’s Candyman 3: Day of the Dead. It’s probably safe to say that Peele will have better luck, but we look forward to more information on Candyman leaking in the spring.