Nia DaCosta, director of the indie crime drama Little Woods, has been chosen to direct the revival of the Candyman horror film franchise being produced by Jordan Peele. Peele is also co-writing the film, which is being called a “spiritual sequel,” to the original 1992 movie with his creative partner Win Rosenfeld.
DaCosta earned some attention earlier this year when Little Woods premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and won the fest’s Nora Ephron Award.
Based on a short story by British horror maestro Clive Barker, the original Candyman film centered on an urban legend told among residents of Chicago’s Cabrini-Green high rise housing project. If one were to say the name “Candyman” in a mirror five times, they would invoke the vengeful, murdering spirit of a son of a slave who was killed in 1890 for loving a white woman. With the real world Cabrini-Green having been demolished in the late 1990s/early 2000s, the new film will be set in the now gentrified location where Cabrini-Green once stood.
In a statement Peele said –
The original was a landmark film for black representation in the horror genre. Alongside Night Of The Living Dead, Candyman was a major inspiration for me as filmmaker. To have a bold new talent like Nia at the helm of this project is truly exciting. We are honored to bring the next chapter in the Candyman canon to life and eager to provide new audiences with an entry point to Clive Barker’s legend.
One of the noteworthy things about the original film was how it explored race and race relations within its horror movie context. With this new story, there is the opportunity to explore how gentrification has impacted urban areas and residents.
While this new film looks to continue on from the original, the two Candyman sequels from 1995 and 1999 will be ignored.
Candyman is set for a June 12, 2020 release. Production is set to start next spring, so expect to start hearing casting announcements relatively soon.