In about a year, horror fans will get to experience a new take on the classic 1992 slasher flick ‘Candyman’, courtesy of producer Jordan Peele and his Monkeypaw Productions. Tony Todd starred in the original, as a former slave, gruesomely murdered for falling in love with a white woman. Now his spirit haunts the Cabrini-Green housing projects in Chicago. Bernard Rose directed the original film, which spawned two direct-to-video sequels, the quality of which was inferior to the first.
Nia DaCosta is directing the new reboot, with Yahya Abdul-Mateen II taking over the title role. (Tony Todd is rumored to make an appearance.) But is this a sequel to the original(s) or a complete reboot? It has been described by Peele as a “spiritual sequel,” but what does that mean?
During the Produced By Conference panel The New Age of Producing Horror, Monkeypay Creative Director Ian Cooper attempted to explain:
“What we’re doing with Candyman and how Jordan is crafting it on the page is going to be very exciting and rewarding to audiences that haven’t seen the original film as well as people who’ve seen the original film. 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.”
Cooper also revealed that lifelong horror fan, Peele has been playing with the idea of revisiting ‘Candyman’ for years and that his ideas have taken on many forms.
“It’s something Jordan has been talking to me about for many years and it’s gone through iterations that are so high concept they’re basically a Gus Van Sant film. They’ve gone through many iterations let’s just say.”
Based on a story by Clive Barker, ‘Candyman’ is not only a horror classic due to its requisite frights, but the exploration of the main killer’s motivations, stemming from his slave roots, was a revelation, and has clearly influenced Peele’s own films ‘Get Out’ and ‘Us’.
Whether you have seen the original or not, it sounds as though the reboot can be enjoyed either way. It arrives to (hopefully) slay the box office on June 12, 2020.