Ever since his Oscar-winning social thriller Get Out wowed critics and movie-goers alike, Jordan Peele has been at the forefront of horror cinema, both writing and directing his own original tales of the macabre and producing other film-makers’.
Candyman has always been one of the director’s favorite scary movies, so as soon as he had some clout in Hollywood, he got a spooky reboot of the franchise into development. Peele isn’t directing the movie, but he is taking a hands-on approach to producing it, and it’s headed our way for a 2020 release. What do we know about the project so far? Well, let's take a look!
10 It’s a spiritual sequel to the original
The upcoming reboot of the Candyman franchise is said to be a spiritual sequel to the original. In this sense, it won’t be a direct remake, although it could be a retooling of the original plot. Within the universe of the reboot, there’s a chance that the events of the original did take place, and this story takes place a couple of decades later in that same world.
Similarly, the whole 'spiritual' aspect seems to suggest that it won’t directly follow the original either. It won’t ignore the original, like 2016’s Ghostbusters, but it won’t be hung up on tying to the original, like Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
9 It’s about toxic fandom
Ian Cooper, the Creative Director of Jordan Peele’s production company has said that the Candyman reboot will be self-aware in addressing toxic fandom: “...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.”
8 It’ll be released on June 12, 2020
The Candyman reboot will be hitting theaters on June 12, 2020. Horror releases generally do well around the Halloween season, but movies in general have always managed to hit around summer, ever since Steven Spielberg’s Jaws pioneered the summer blockbuster. T
here are no other major Hollywood releases slated for June 12, but Candyman will face competition from Wonder Woman 1984, which will be released the previous week, and Pixar’s upcoming fantasy comedy Soul and Judd Apatow’s new movie starring Pete Davidson, both of which will reach audiences on the following week. With Jordan Peele’s name attached, Candyman should have no problem.
7 Nia DeCosta is in the director’s chair
Producer Jordan Peele has recruited Nia DeCosta to call the shots on the Candyman reboot as her first high-profile directing gig. DeCosta helmed two recent episodes of Top Boy, a drama series about a pair of drug dealers operating out of a housing estate in East London, and made her feature directorial debut with Little Woods.
DeCosta both wrote and directed Little Woods, which was a contemporary western about two outlaw women, anchored by impeccable lead performances from Tessa Thompson and Lily James. With that movie, DeCosta made bleak subject matter entertaining, which is possibly why she was selected to helm Candyman.
6 The neighborhood from the first one has been gentrified
The original Candyman film revolved around an academic in Chicago going out to the Cabrini-Green housing projects to investigate the titular legend. In order to keep up with the times and update the premise for the modern day, that neighborhood has been gentrified within the franchise’s fictional universe.
This is in keeping with Jordan Peele’s ongoing quest to reflect our current social climate in his films. Get Out was about racial tensions, Us was broadly about the state of America and our fear of ourselves, and Candyman will tackle the gentrification issue, both in its themes and in its narrative.
5 It began shooting in August
Production on the Candyman reboot began in August. The cast and crew are hard at work shooting the movie, using the Chicago area as a location. The Chicago setting was an integral part of the fabric of the original film – it sounds corny and this is an overused expression, but the city almost felt like a character in the movie – so it’s good to see that the movie-makers are honoring that by filming the new one there.
It would’ve been easy for them to use a studio backlot with a totally insular feel, or shoot in some other city like New York and Boston and just pretend it was Chicago, which also never works.
4 Aquaman’s Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is starring
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, whose highest-profile recent role was playing Black Manta, the secondary villain in last year’s Aquaman solo movie alongside Jason Momoa, has been cast to play the lead role in the Candyman reboot. Abdul-Mateen already has an established working relationship with Jordan Peele, having appeared in Peele’s film Us as the father of Adelaide Wilson in flashback sequences.
He’ll also be seen in Aaron Sorkin’s upcoming true-to-life drama The Trial of the Chicago 7. Abdul-Mateen is one of Hollywood’s most promising young stars, and a starring role in a horror reboot will go a long way towards boosting his profile.
3 Teyonah Parris is co-starring
Teyonah Parris has reportedly been cast to play a supporting role in the new Candyman movie. Parris became a star overnight last year when she received unanimous praise for her impeccable lead performance in Barry Jenkins’ If Beale Street Could Talk, while her true breakout came a few years earlier when she played Dawn in AMC’s Mad Men and starred in the movie Dear White People.
2 Lakeith Stanfield won’t be in it
A few months ago, it was reported that the producers of Candyman had been eyeing Lakeith Stanfield for the title role, but it’s been announced that he won’t actually be in the movie. Stanfield’s star has risen significantly in recent years with his starring role in the critically acclaimed satire Sorry to Bother You and his supporting role in FX’s Atlanta.
Stanfield already had a working relationship with Jordan Peele, having yelled the titular phrase at Chris in Get Out. He played the character of Andre Hayworth, who was stuck in the Sunken Place with his body occupied by the consciousness of Logan King.
1 Tony Todd might return
Tony Todd, the star of the original Candyman, initially dismissed Jordan Peele’s reboot as unnecessary and it was reported that he wouldn’t be appearing in the reboot.
However, according to more recent reports, he might actually be reprising his role as the titular horror icon after all. It would be a shame if he doesn’t end up appearing, because it wouldn’t feel the same without Todd. The ominous charm that he brought to the character was part of the fun of the original.