In September, we reported on the possibility of Get Out’s Jordan Peele reinvigorating the Candyman franchise via his prolific Monkeypaw Productions. Now, Variety confirms it’s officially happening with director and writer Nia DaCosta at the helm. Peele will produce alongside Win Rosenfeld and MGM, while Universal will distribute the film.
A “spiritual sequel” to the original film, the movie is said to return to the Chicago neighborhood where the Cabrini-Green housing projects once stood. Now, however, the projects have been torn down and the surrounding area gentrified, meaning the film could very well explore the displacement of poor black families in its revisitation of the Candyman mythology. The movie, which heads into production next spring, currently has a premiere date of June 12th, 2020.
“The original was a landmark film for black representation in the horror genre,” Peele said. “Alongside Night of the Living Dead, Candyman was a major inspiration for me as a filmmaker — and 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.”
Peele isn’t kidding, either. When we interviewed him ahead of Get Out’s premiere, he specifically name-checked Barker’s slasher as an influence. “When we talk about blaxploitation or Tales from the Hood or Leprechaun in the Hood, I think those fall into parody town for me,” he said. “They don’t scratch my horror itch as well as something like Candyman does or People Under the Stairs, which were ironically brought to us by white filmmakers.”
DaCosta saw her debut feature, Little Woods, premiere earlier this year at the Tribeca Film Festival. A working-class crime thriller about drug-running sisters, the movie stars Tessa Thompson, Lily James, James Badge Dale and Lance Reddick.
Peele, meanwhile, has a full plate. Currently, he’s hard at work on his follow-up, next year’s highly anticipated Us, and his The Twilight Zone series just got its first teaser trailer. He’s also producing the Nazi-hunting drama The Hunt for Amazon, as well as a series adaptation of Matt Ruff’s Lovecraft Country for HBO.