The Jordan Peele produced reboot of Candyman has found its title character in Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. The Candyman first appeared in author Clive Barker’s short story The Forbidden, where a student researches an urban legend about a hook-handed killer on a housing estate and meets a bloody fate. Bernard Rose’s film adaptation Candyman relocated the story from the UK to Chicago and reimagined the waxy yellow killer of Barker’s story into the ghost of an artist who was brutally murdered in a racially motivated attack.
While the production originally pictured Eddie Murphy in the role, actor Tony Todd was cast. Todd has less than 10 minutes of screentime, but his powerful voice and hulking performance made the character iconic. Candyman proved to be a hit, with Todd reprising the role twice. Bill Condon (Beauty and the Beast) made his directorial debut with Candyman: Farewell To The Flesh, which set the action in New Orleans and dived into the origins of the character. Candyman: Day Of The Dead ended up being a disappointing end to the series and went straight to video in 1999.
It was revealed last year that Jordan Peele (Get Out) would produce a Candyman reboot, with Nia DaCosta directing. While some fans hoped Todd might reprise the part, Variety reports Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is in talks for the title role. The article notes the deal isn’t done yet but it appears to be a given at this stage.
Abdul-Mateen previously worked with Peele on Us and made a real impression with his turn as Black Manta in Aquaman. Apparently, Warner Bros was so impressed with his work as Black Manta they insisted none of his scenes be cut, and the character's potential return for a sequel is heavily teased in the Aquaman mid-credits scene. Todd will forever remain iconic in the Candyman role but Abdul-Mateen is a fine choice to inherit the character. Todd recently delighted fans when he revealed he once shot down a proposed Candyman Vs Leprechaun crossover following the success of Freddy Vs Jason, feeling it would cheapen the character. Todd has also revealed he has mixed feelings about the reboot but is open to being a part of the project.
The new Candyman is said to be a spiritual sequel to the 1992 film, with reports suggesting Lakeith Stanfield (Sorry To Bother You) is playing the protagonist, an artist named Anthony. Curiously, the lead character of the original film saves a baby named Anthony in the film’s finale, so perhaps Stanfield is playing the adult version of the character.