Director and co-writer Nia DaCosta released a video message in honor of Juneteenth explaining some of the cultural significance of her upcoming horror film Candyman, and a new poster also dropped this week.
From the video’s description: “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.”
This contemporary incarnation of the horror icon has been described as a “spiritual sequel” to the original 1992 film, which itself is based on Clive Barker’s short story The Forbidden.
The official synopsis: 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 girlfriend, 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 terrifyingly viral wave of violence that puts him on a collision course with destiny.
Genre legend Tony Todd will also appear in the new film, rumored to be reprising his role as the titular hook-handed killer also known as Daniel Robitaille. Virginia Madsen is also reprising her role from the original 1992 film as Helen Lyle. Also back from the original film, Vanessa Williams returns as Anne-Marie McCoy, whose baby was kidnapped by Candyman in 1992.
The film was pushed back from its original June 12 release date to late September, due to the ongoing global pandemic.
From producer and co-writer Jordan Peele (Us) and director and co-writer Nia DaCosta (Little Woods), the new Candyman is scheduled to arrive in theaters on Sept. 25.
You can watch the new video, as well as the first official trailer below.
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