Candyman (2021)

Candyman, 2020 - Monkeypaw/MGM
Photograph: Parrish Lewis/Universal Pictures and MGM Pictures

A 'spiritual sequel' to Bernard Rose's 1992 Candyman movie was originally set for release on 12 June 2020 - see trailer here.
Directed by Nia DaCosta, the film is produced by Jordan Peele's Monkeypaw Productions and MGM, and written by Peele, Win Rosenfeld, and DaCosta. The film stars Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Teyonah Parris, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Colman Domingo, Kyle Kaminsky and Vanessa Williams (who reprises her role as Anne-Marie McCoy in the original 1992 movie).

With release timings changed in April 2020 to 25 September 2020 (due to Covid-19), then changed to 16 October 2020, Candyman is now further delayed for theatrical release until sometime in 2021*.
*Update 21 October 2020: Variety reports that Candyman has a new theatrical release date of 27 August 2021.
Watch a second, animated, trailer released by the director here,
and a new trailer released 29 June 2020 here.

Ahead of the 27 August 2021 release, the full trailer has now been released:

Jonathan Glickman (MGM Studios): "We cannot wait for the world to see what the mind-blowing combination of Jordan, Win, and Nia bring to the legend of Candyman. 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."

Jordan Peele-Produced 'Candyman' Reboot Taps Director Nia DaCosta

By Justin Kroll,, 27 November 2018

Jordan Peele: "Candyman was, you know, it was obviously unique because that was the first black supernatural killer.
"I love Clive Barker and the Candyman was sort of like the patron saint of urban legends, you know, I thought that was just such a beautiful invention, such a beautiful monster.
"It was a very terrifying film, a film that I loved, but a film that, you know, was kinda problematic."

Horror Noire

Directed by Xavier Burgin, Shudder, 2019

Jordan Peele: "The original was a landmark film for black representation in the horror genre. Alongside 'Night of the Living Dead,' 'Candyman' was a major inspiration for me as a 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."

Jordan Peele-Produced 'Candyman' Reboot Taps Director Nia DaCosta

By Justin Kroll,, 27 November 2018

Nia DaCosta: "I think something that we [DaCosta and Jordan Peele] connect on a lot was the way we view horror, and our love of horror. I love Candyman, but also just like breaking down what horror is, how it's represented, what it means, and why it's important. I think we really connected on that, and so that's a lot of what our conversations have been about... that I can tell you (laughs). It's been great. He's a wonderful creator, collaborator, human, artist."

How Candyman's Jordan Peele And Director Nia DaCosta Bonded Through Horror Fandom

By Eric Eisenberg,, 25 March 2019

Nia DaCosta: "I always loved horror when I was younger, I just loved all creepy films. Candyman was one of those movies that scared the shit out of me. I remember it aligning so well with me being in middle school, although it came out a few years before I was in middle school. In the bathroom, people would either say 'Bloody Mary' or 'Candyman.' Today, I understand that it's special because it has a black antagonist in a very white space, which is problematic, but at the time I was like, 'Oh cool, we have black dudes, it’s terrifying. Virginia Madsen, and what, bees? Honey? What's happening?' It was very much of that."

Meet Nia DaCosta, the Director of a Western With Big, Emotional Yee-Haw Energy

By Hunter Harris,, 18 April 2019

Nia DaCosta: "I can't say what's happening in the film because we want it to be a surprise, but [Yahya Abdul-Mateen II]'s not replacing Tony Todd. That's been reported, and I was just like, 'I don’t know what to say about this. This is not right.'
"Coming into this situation, where I have my taste and that’s why I was hired, knowing that is what gives me confidence. And being supported by someone like Jordan, who is obviously brilliant, amazing and wonderful, and not just as a creator and filmmaker, but as a person and collaborator, gives me confidence. I’m surrounded by people who trust me, as well, and who are brilliant, and I know that, if I get something a little wrong, the support is there. What’s on the outside and on the inside is what leads to it being possible...
"Oh, man, I love [Clive Barker]'s work a lot, from Abarat to everything else. There’s so much specificity and dark whimsy in his work. Dark whimsy is not the right word, but there’s so much reality and truth in it, at the same time. Being able to take genre and expansive worlds and expansive people, and doing that as well as he’s done it, is a big thing. Also, there’s the weirdness of it that I think is really special, and how specific that weirdness is. That’s what I want to draw into our Candyman."

‘Little Woods’: Tessa Thompson & Writer/Director Nia DaCosta on the Film’s Evolution and Personal Nature

By Christina Radish,, 23 April 2019

Ian Cooper (Creative Director Monkeypaw Productions) : "We talk a lot about fans and the idea of appeasing fans and when you do that and how do you do that and when do you not do that...
"I think what we’re trying to do with Candyman is both be mischievous in how we address the relationship to the first film but also be very satisfying... In a broad sense of the word, this film will stand alone if you’ve never heard of a film called Candyman and will dovetail in a pretty complicated and interesting way to the original. In short, I think this will really fit in with what we’re doing with Us and did with Get Out in a way that will be circuitous."

'Candyman' Producer Says New Film Will Address Toxic Fandom

By Fred Topel,, 8 June 2019

Bridget Harvey (Twitter Next): re. the Twitter campaign for Candyman's trailer: "We are thrilled to partner with Universal Pictures to usher in a revival of this iconic film with a custom campaign that you can only find on Twitter. People love talking about horror movies. This is an inventive form of storytelling that immerses fans and rewards them with a first look at this highly anticipated sequel."

What Did Twitter Users Summon By Including #Candyman 5 Times in Tweets?

By David Cohen,, 27 February 2020

Justin Pertschuk (Universal Pictures): "We wanted to bring Candyman, and this terrifying legend, back to audiences with a creative campaign that would really get people talking. With Twitter, we designed this first-of-its-kind activation that threads a critical element of the plot through our promotion of the film."

What Did Twitter Users Summon by Including #Candyman 5 Times in Tweets?

By David Cohen,, 27 February 2020

Nia DaCosta: "Gentrification is what helped us reimagine the story because Cabrini-Green is gone. The movie from the '90s has a vision of Cabrini-Green where it's sort of on its way to being knocked down, so going back there and seeing what's happened around that area...
"What we do in our film is talk about the ghosts that are left behind... What we were able to do because 30 years has passed, and because there has been so much change in the neighborhood... was dig into the themes that were already there.... We want to do what the original film did; be audacious, be fun, but also be meaningful."

Candyman Director Says Gentrification Helped Reimagine the New Movie

By Jenna Busch,, 28 February 2020

Jordan Peele: "[Candyman] was one of the few movies that explored any aspect of the black experience in the horror genre in the '90s when I was growing up in that moment. And so it was a perfect example, an iconic example to me of representation in this genre, and a movie that inspired me... [Nia DaCosta is] uniquely suited to direct this film."

Candyman Director Says Gentrification Helped Reimagine The New Movie

By Jenna Busch,, 28 February 2020

Nia DaCosta: "[The first time I met Jordan Peele was] the day I pitched to him in October of 2018. I got the script from Win Rosenfeld, who's one of the co-writers, while I was in London shooting a TV series. I pitched it a few times, and by the time I finished shooting the show, it was time for me to go and meet the big man. We were just smiling at each other the whole meeting. I was like, 'I feel like this is a good sign...'
"I knew I wanted to do a genre film next, and I'm such a huge fan of Jordan's. I read the script and even though it's very different now, the core of it is still the same - the story of an unwilling martyr, a person's descent into madness, and race and violence in America. So I was like, 'I think I can handle this.' It felt like exorcising my own trauma of growing up in such a racist country, and doing it in my own language."

Director: Nia DaCosta

By Taika Waititi, Interview, No 533, Fall 2020

Nia DaCosta: "For the entire time I was making the film, I was safeguarding from going too fantastical, because I know this is about real life. If it's not George Floyd , or Philando Castile, it's someone else. I always knew the world for what the world was...
"I was absolutely always aware of how my race and gender affected how people treat me. Even on Candyman, there are some people I worked with who I could tell, if I wasn't a young black woman, we wouldn't be having these interactions."

Olive Pometsey Secures The Bag!

By Olive Pometsey, GQ (UK), November 2020

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II: "He was a mythical figure in my household. I knew there was a movie, but Candyman was always real. It took on a life of its own. It was one of those things, like the Bloody Mary game, that you didn't play with. You didn't play with Candyman."

The Man In The Mirror

By Chris Hewitt, Empire Magazine, June 2020

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II: "He lived in my imagination, in the retelling of Candyman, in the way that my older siblings talked about him. I grew up with Candyman not being a figure from television or movies, but with the possibility of him being a real threat within the house. The dread of Candyman was palpable. We'd go into the bathroom and play the game in the mirror..."

Off The Hook

By Jamie Graham, Total Film, April 2020

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II: "I remember Michael Myers and Freddy and Jason. Those characters were in the suburbs. They were out in the woods or in a neighbourhood that didn't look like mine. Sure, it was a threat, but it was a threat that came from the television. Once you go to Cabrini-Green and talk about a bogeyman who lives in the projects, then that brings the threat into my community, my home, my own bathroom. Immediately the danger or the excitement becomes relatable and palpable."

Guess Who's Back

By Jamie Graham, Total Film, August 2021

Jordan Peele: "I think the reason I love the original Candyman is, for better or worse, it broke us out of a box. A Black monster was pretty revolutionary. If there was no Candyman, I don't know that there would be a Get Out.
"How do I tell a story with a Black villain in a world that has exhausted the villainisation of Black people? And yet, this is a piece of representation I crave as a horror fan."

The Man In The Mirror

By Chris Hewitt, Empire Magazine, June 2020

Nia DaCosta: "I read the first draft and thought, 'How do I push this further?'
"There is definitely a sense of taking ownership, and telling a Black story about Black people. It was very important for all of us to have our main character be Black, and for this experience to be through the Black lens. Let's make sure we change the lens now."

The Man In The Mirror

By Chris Hewitt, Empire Magazine, June 2020

Nia DaCosta: "[The process involved] lots of long conversations with Jordan [Peele], Win Rosenfeld - co-writer on the script - and our producer Ian Cooper, which were usually two-fold: one, how do we dig into the themes of the first movie, how have they changed in the years since, how can we express them differently? And two, as huge fans of the original (and Clive and Bernard and Virginia and Tony) what would we want to see?"

Be My Victim

By Joseph Luster, Sci Fi, Summer 2020

Nia DaCosta: "A big difference is the neighbourhood has changed so much. Candyman is a perennial figure; he's always stalking the same place, but we've only come to that place when it was Cabrini Green and we've never seen anything before it or after it. And now that we're there, we're getting something completely different. It gives us the chance to inject a contemporary point of view into the whole thing. I think 2020 just ended up being the right year because there's enough change to talk about now...
"When you start looking at a [reimagining] like this, you think the first thing you're going to want to do is go back to the place [of the first film] but that place doesn't exist, and why doesn't it exist? And when you go into the reasons why Cabrini Green didn't work as a housing project, the reasons why the people who used to live there were scattered around Chicago, why those buildings were torn down - when you look into all those systemic issues, you come out with more themes that are actually as similar to the first movie as they are to a modern Jordan Peele film. So it all kind of flowed from there, from asking really important questions about who we are and how we got here, and then layering on this wonderful fantasy of Candyman."

Boogeyman In The Mirror

By Andrea Subissati, Rue Morgue, No 194, May/June 2020

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II: "I took a couple painting classes during the process of this movie just to get myself back into that mindset. I was painting portraits in the art studio and putting myself back into that place.
"I think I am very much like Anthony, and many of the characters I've played are so different from myself. Like in Aquaman I'm playing Black Manta, and Cadillac was my first job on The Get Down, and then Doctor Manhattan - after playing a lot of characters like this, I really wanted to work from myself and present a character on screen that was very close to my artistic self when I'm in my brain and being sensitive to the images that I see in my head and trying to get those out onto the canvas. That was the type of character I brought to this film. I'm excited to introduce him...
"He is a young up-and-coming artist who got off to a really strong start in the Chicago art world. But his career sort of hits a stall; he was billed as the next rising star, but didn't really pan out to be who he was supposed to be. So, on his search for inspiration, he ventures into Cabrini-Green, and ends up going through a series of circumstances that opens up a portal, where one action leads to another, and he can't take it back. Things begin to change around his world, and so that's the journey he takes in this film. Trying to reconnect with the past, trying to reconnect with an important story in Chicago's history, and the exploration of that story comes with violent consequences...
"[Nia DaCosta] was awesome. Just by having the film be directed by a young black woman, I think that has to have an impact on our story, as well. It's not just my story, it's also the story of Brianna, my girlfriend in the film - her narrative is also important - so we get to see the story from Anthony's perspective and we get to see the story from Brianna's perspective, so hopefully we have a more well-rounded film that's going to give everyone an opportunity to step into the world and experience the story from different points of view."

Be My Victim

By Joseph Luster, Sci Fi, Summer 2020

Teyonah Parris: "I think Candyman is political in the same vein that Jordan's other films have had something very stark to say on the state of the world, the state of our community. The stories I want to be part of, it's very important to me that they have something to say. I view myself as a socially aware woman. Obviously I'm a Black woman, so you can't help but see it in that lens - 'OK, this is a Black woman's story, and what does it say about Black people? Is it opening up the narrative that we are not a monolith, that we are very different and nuanced and have many different experiences?' That always goes into me choosing what it is I lend my voice to. I am very proud of the work: Chi-Raq, If Beale Street Could Talk, Dear White People. It gives people the space to talk about things that may be uncomfortable."

Guess Who's Back

By Jamie Graham, Total Film, August 2021

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II: "I think we have an opportunity to continue the conversation. I think that anytime that we're telling a story that's important to African-American culture and history, then we're making entertainment to pack the theatres and to tell that story, and if we do that in a powerful way, where audiences resonate with it, then I think it will. I think if we tell a story that will inspire people to go out and have conversations, and to go out and tell their own stories, and to add to the stories that we've created, then I think we will be doing our part and moving that history forward in a positive direction."

Ghosts Of Cabrini Green

By Monika Estrella Negra and Michael Gingold, Rue Morgue, No 194, May/June 2020

Nia DaCosta: "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."

Twitter Post

By Nia DaCosta, Twitter, 17 June 2020

Nia DaCosta: [re animated trailer] "The beautiful shadow puppetry was done by @ManualCinema and the haunting score was created by @lichensarealive. There'll be much more where that came from in the film."

Twitter Post

By Nia DaCosta, Twitter, 18 June 2020

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II: "[Us was] one of the most supportive sets I’ve been on and the morale rose through the roof. On that job [Jordan Peele] told me, ‘You’re really good, so you’re going to have a lot of choices.’ He said, ‘Make sure you only do what you love.’ And he also said that he wanted to give me my first lead in a movie, which has ended up happening with Candyman.
"The way I see it, Candyman was born out of the original Candyman, Daniel Robitaille, who was born out of an act of white violence. He was a black painter who, because of his relationship with a white woman, was essentially lynched. And the repercussions of that action lived on for ages and ages.
"The movie shows the repercussions and ghosts that live on from those actions and takes it a step further to talk about systemic violence and how all those actions create stories. Stories create legends, which have implications and repercussions..."

The Vision And Values Of Yahya Abdul-Mateen II

By Michael Christensen, GQ Middle East Magazine, 16 July 2020

Nia DaCosta: "One of the interesting things about the original Candyman is the fact that he killed a bunch of Black people. I always found that really interesting. I wanted to tell a story that felt true to the fact that he was a victim of violence, and a perpetrator of violence. This is not a hero's journey. This is a portrait of a person and what the world has turned into."

Nia DaCosta Is Going Higher, Further, Faster

By Chris Hewitt, Empire, No 380, October 2020

Nia DaCosta: "I think being there in Chicago early and just being there for a few weeks really informed a lot of what was in the script, and that's something that I had there, as well, just being on the ground. The research is a huge part for me. You just want to tell the truth, even though it's a horror film and it's fantastical, so much of it is based in painful truth. I think when it came to being in Chicago, it kind of revealed the specificity of Chicago as a space, as a haunted place.
"To see what that haunting looks like, especially going to Cabrini and seeing who actually still lives there and seeing the last Black membetrs of that community, who still live in their houses, being surveilled by the cops very intensely. And, on the other side, you know, the people who've moved into the middle-class neighbourhood, just walking their dogs. It was a very stark contrast, and that's something that you only really get from driving around, from being there, from walking around. But then talking to people, you get more of an anecdotal personal history and that personal pain and joy, and that adds a lot of colour as well."

Say Her Name

By Natalie Erika James, Fangoria, Vol 2 No 12, July 2021

Tony Todd: "I think that it's great that Jordan hired a black woman, Nia, to direct this film, and I think that she did an excellent job. And I think that the fact that Cabrini-Green has become so gentrified provides an excellent starting off point for a new era in the Candyman mythology.
"Of course, I hope that the new film is successful because it will bring more attention to the original. More importantly, I think that the issues that are present in the Candyman films, primarily racial inequality, are more relevant now than they've ever been before. There's never been a more appropriate time for a Candyman film than right now."

Man In The Mirror

By David Grove, SFX, No 343, September 2021

Nia DaCosta: "Tony Todd will always be Candyman, so it's not like we're replacing Tony, whose presence is felt throughout. I would describe this film as being a kind of spiritual sequel. Anthony is haunted by the spirit of Candyman, and as more murders start happening in the style of Candyman, Anthony wonders whether or not he's being controlled by the spirit of the Candyman.
"Has the original Candyman returned to terrorise the area, or is something else going on? These are the questions that Anthony tries to answer...
"There's a direct connection between the 1992 film and this film, and that's especially true of the relationship between Anthony and Helen, who gave her life to save a young Anthony. Anthony goes down much the same path that Helen did...
"The first film definitely had lots of elements from Alfred Hitchcock's films, especially with how Virginia Madsen's character was framed for murder and unable to prove her innocence.
"I think that the mystery in this film is similar to Vertigo, with Anthony questioning his sanity much in the same way that James Stewart did. I've always been influenced by Stanley Kubrick, and I would describe the tone and style of Candyman as being Kubrickian. In terms of colour and movement I was influenced by Barry Lyndon, which I think is one of the most beautiful films ever made. I define Kubrickian as the creation of a beautiful, real world in which horrific things can happen. That's the world of Candyman."

Say His Name

By David Grove, SFX, No 343, September 2021

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II: "Anthony channels the spirit of Candyman for creative inspiration. Candyman is hard to escape. Candyman becomes a friend, of sorts, to Anthony, who gains artistic inspiration while searching for inspiration about him. Anthony invites Candyman into his world, and that allows him to enter the modern world, which is a big mistake on Anthony's part."

The Real McCoy

By David Grove, SFX, No 343, September 2021

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II: "I wanted be a leader on set and to tell a story about Chicago and to tell a story about an artist. I knew that I was attached to something that had this really rich history of Black folklore. It’s a story that was so important historically to myself and people from the places that I’m from. I grew up in the projects, and Candyman was also in the projects. So it was really exciting to tell a story about history that I related to."

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II Cements His Place on Hollywood’s New A-List

By Tatiana Siegel, The Hollywood Reporter, 11 August 2021

Nia DaCosta: "I think looking at the way that Candyman was created, in an act of violence by a white lynch mob, murdered, tortured, mutilated... So much of what we talked about was violence. Especially racial violence. The violence still looks the same, but it's also very different. There's still modern lynching, but gentrification is an act of modern violence. And there are micro-aggressions when you're working as a Black artist in a white industry, which is what our main character is doing."

Guess Who's Back

By Jamie Graham, Total Film, August 2021

Candyman, August 2021 - Monkeypaw/MGM

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