Almost thirty years after the Candyman was first seen haunting the Cabrini-Green housing projects, he’s back in a brand new film from director Nia DaCosta.
Billed by co-writer and executive producer Jordan Peele as a “spiritual sequel” to the original, the new film continues the story while also reinventing the mythology for a new generation – following an artist who becomes obsessed with the legend and focusing on the gentrification of the projects.
Cinemagoers can expect the same mix of terrifying scares and biting social commentary that made the first film such a hit, and just prior to the release, Universal offered fans a sneak peek behind the scenes of the new film – with some insight from both Peele and DaCosta.
Read on for everything you need to know about Candyman – just don’t say the name five times in the mirror…
Candyman release date
The film was released on the same day in both the UK and the US: Friday 27th August 2021.
This is significantly later than had originally been planned, with the previous release dates of 12th June 2020, 25th September 2020, and 16th October 2020 all curtailed by the coronavirus pandemic.
The cast for the new film is led by Watchmen star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II – who intriguingly plays Anthony McCoy, an adult version of the baby from the original Candyman film.
Meanwhile, Tony Todd returns to the cast to reprise the role of the titular killer, while Vanessa Estelle Williams also returns as Anthony’s mother Anne-Marie McCoy.
The film is not a remake of the original movie, but is instead billed as a “spiritual sequel”.
It once again concerns the residents of Chicago’s Cabrini Green neighbourhood and the terror they face at the hands (or hook) of the eponymous supernatural killer – who appears whenever someone mutters his name five times in a mirror.
Only this time, Cabrini Green is no longer home to a housing project, but instead to luxury flats where a group of upwardly mobile millennials – including visual artist Anthony McCoy – now live.
The official synopsis explains: “With Anthony’s painting career on the brink of stalling, a chance encounter with a Cabrini Green old-timer exposes Anthony to the tragically horrific nature of the true story behind Candyman. Anxious to maintain his status in the Chicago art world, Anthony begins to explore these macabre details in his studio as fresh grist for paintings, unknowingly opening a door to a complex past that unravels his own sanity and unleashes a terrifyingly viral wave of violence that puts him on a collision course with destiny.”
Director Nia DaCosta wrote on Twitter that “Candyman, at the intersection of white violence and Black pain, is about unwilling martyrs. The people they were, the symbols we turn them into, the monsters we are told they must have been.”
The first trailer for the film arrived all the way back in February 2020, reintroducing fans to the grown-up Anthony McCoy as he is drawn into a nasty encounter with the legendary killer… Check it out below.
More recently, Universal released a minute-long featurette teasing a behind the scenes look at the film, which opens with Jordan Peele explaining, “I’ve always been fascinated with Urban Legends” before describing Candyman as “the patron saint of Urban legends”.
You can watch the clip, which also features input from Nia DaCosta, below: