MGM has released the first trailer for Candyman, a spiritual sequel to the ever-engrossing original.
Based on characters created by Clive Barker and directed by Nia DaCosta (Little Woods), the new Candyman movie returns to the neighborhood where the legend began: the now-gentrified section of Chicago where the Cabrini-Green housing projects once stood.
The Candyman cast is led by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Watchmen, Aquaman), Teyonah Parris (If Beale Street Could Talk, Chi-Raq), Nathan Stewart-Jarrett (Misfits, Utopia), and Colman Domingo (HBO’s Euphoria, If Beale Street Could Talk).
Check out the first trailer for Candyman below:
In the present day, a decade after the last of the Cabrini towers were torn down, visual artist Anthony McCoy (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) and his girlfriend, gallery director Brianna Cartwright (Teyonah Parris), 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) 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.
Judging by this trailer (and the sheer amount of blood shown in it!) we are probably left to wonder if Abdu-Mateen II’s obsessed artist is “becoming” Candyman and thus carrying out at least some of the film’s many murders, and the opening bathroom sequence is an ideal curtain-raiser. Candyman’s trailer unfolds to a haunting rendition of Destiny Child’s “Say My Name.” An appropriately titled needle drop for a movie about an urban legend summoned by repeating his name over and over. Also, well in line with Jordan Peele’s Us, which used a similarly creepy cover of “I Got 5 On It” by Luniz. No sign of Tony Todd but we’re still waiting patiently!
According to producer Ian Cooper, the film is designed to appeal to both fans of the original and those who’ve never even seen the 1992 film.
“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,” Cooper said. “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.”
Candyman, as played by the soothing but terrifying Tony Todd in Bernard Rose’s original, was the son of a slave whose father earned a fortune after the Civil War by capitalizing on mass-produced shoes. Candyman fell in love with a white woman, and the girl’s father hired a group of thugs to lynch him, sawing off his painting hand and setting him on fire. The towering, gaunt figure of Todd as the fur-lined trenchcoat ghost was an incredible presence in horror lore. Virginia Madsen’s Helen played what amounted to the star of the film but it’s Todd’s portrayal that looms largest. Todd is rumored to return for this spiritual sequel but we still haven’t had confirmation even after the first trailer.
The film’s take on the now-gentrified Cabrini-Green housing projects is also an apt one for both filmmaker DaCosta and Jordan Peele to take on. Once considered the embodiment of “inner city,” (it was the setting of the sitcom Good Times, movies, urban crime novels, documentaries, rap songs and endless media coverage), the Cabrini-Green housing projects were the setting for the original Candyman. Home to thousands of families who had formed elaborate support networks and lived everyday lives, the Cabrini-Green of Candyman was where people believed in a murderous, hook-handed spirit. At the end of the movie Cabrini-Green residents gather outside their high-rises and light an immense bonfire, exorcising the film’s literal demon and the projects lasting totem of poverty and disenfranchisement. Could this new Candyman be taking on the lineage of the original’s fictional ending? We’ll find out in a few months.
The trailer comes just a few days after MGM released the first poster for the film. It keeps in line with the motif of bees and, of course, Candyman’s iconic hook. The poster also dares you to “say the name,” a call back to one of the film’s lasting legacies. Check it out below:
MGM will release Candyman starting June 12, 2020.