CANDYMAN: Message from Nia DaCosta and a Peek Behind the Scenes
Candyman was my most anticipated film of 2020; and circumstances becoming what they did, is now my most anticipated film of 2021. Updating/reinventing the 1990s horror classic seemed entirely possible given the combined talents of director/co-writer Nia DaCosta, producer Jordan Peele, and a stellar cast. With we've been given a little more detail about the plot:
For as long as residents can remember, the housing projects of Chicago’s Cabrini-Green neighborhood were terrorized by a word-of-mouth ghost story about a supernatural killer with a hook for a hand, easily summoned by those daring to repeat his name five times into a mirror. In present day, a decade after the last of the Cabrini towers were torn down, visual artist Anthony McCoy (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II; HBO’s Watchmen, Us) and his partner, gallery director Brianna Cartwright (Teyonah Parris; If Beale Street Could Talk, The Photograph), move into a luxury loft condo in Cabrini, now gentrified beyond recognition and inhabited by upwardly mobile millennials.
With Anthony’s painting career on the brink of stalling, a chance encounter with a Cabrini-Green old-timer (Colman Domingo; HBO’s Euphoria, Assassination Nation) 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 terrifying wave of violence that puts him on a collision course with destiny.
With the film now set for release at the end of August, I am keeping all fingers and toes crossed that our cinemas don't have to close again. I fully intend to be see this on a big screen. And with Juneteenth being celebrated tomorrow (now an official holiday in the USA), we;ve been gifted with a message from DaCosta, as well as some behind-the-scenes snippets and some words from the director and cast. Check it out below.
Juneteenth is a day that has historically recognized the perseverance and power of the Black community. Over the last two years, taking time to recognize and reflect on this holiday has only gained added significance.
Black art, and Black storytelling in particular, provides audiences the opportunity to see both the reality and the possibility of Black lives in America.
Candyman first appeared on film in Bernard Rose’s 1992 cult classic as a vengeful, mystical entity, a victim of a brutal hate crime who externalizes his pain in the same community that once turned against him.
Nia DaCosta found inspiration to bring Candyman into a new age. As director of this year’s CANDYMAN, she has created a film rooted in horror that reframes the Candyman legend with new urgency.
Produced by Jordan Peele, this film is an exciting, terrifying, entertaining, scary-as-hell horror film that also speaks to the movement and momentum of Black lives now. In this piece, Nia articulates her intentions for her film on the eve of Juneteenth.