Oscar-winning filmmaker Jordan Peele says that the main character’s goal in the upcoming Candyman is the same as the titular villain’s. The new film has been in the works for some time now and follows the underground success of the Clive Barker short story, The Forbidden, which was adapted into the first Candyman film in 1992. Its popularity led to two sequels – 1995’s Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh and 1999’s Candyman: Day of the Dead.
Though the sequels didn’t fare particularly well compared to the first film, fans have remained devoted over the years, and news of a reboot was met with considerable excitement from many. Interest in the new film was particularly elevated when it was revealed that Jordan Peele was on board as a producer and co-writer. Peele’s track record as a horror filmmaker was all but solidified after the rousing success of his 2017 debut, Get Out. The 42-year-old followed this up with 2019’s Us and the excitement surrounding his upcoming 2022 film, Nope, is palpable. Yet, despite the tremendous degree of respect Peele has achieved in such a short time, it’s newcomer Nia DaCosta who’s been chosen to give Candyman new life.
With the release of Candyman now just a matter of days away, new information is regularly being provided. The latest bit of news comes from Peele in a featurette from Universal Pictures, courtesy of Bloody Disgusting, that focuses on the art utilized in the upcoming film. Candyman’s lead character is Anthony McCoy, a hot new painter played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. After becoming drawn to the urban legend of Candyman, McCoy somewhat intentionally summons a new reign of terror from the notorious killer. But as Peele explains in the featurette below, much like Candyman, McCoy also seeks to become eternal:
Unlike Candyman, McCoy isn’t looking to take on an eternal status through generations worth of murder. Instead, the young artist wants his work to speak for him for years to come. It was likely for this reason – as the featurette shows – why so much effort was taken to ensure that the actual art used in the film was of a certain quality. And, as DaCosta reveals, the art is meant to symbolize McCoy’s psychological descent after summoning Candyman. The artists recruited to create work for the film have delivered some impressive pieces, and these will hopefully further add to the unsettling sense of dread and fear in the film.
In addition to offering art work that McCoy apparently hopes will provide him with a degree of immortality, it’s great to see that DaCosta sourced the works from young Black artists. Much has been said and done as of late to increase the presence of Black voices in Hollywood, and Candyman’s use of the art work of Black artists is yet another positive method for seeking out and exploring voices that haven’t traditionally been heard.