Headed to theaters on June 12th is Candyman, a reimagining from director Nia DaCosta and producer/co-writer Jordan Peele. Today, we got our first look at the film via the brand new trailer released by Universal Studios, and in advance of the trailer hitting the internet, Daily Dead had the distinct pleasure of attending a special event yesterday where both DaCosta and Peele briefly spoke with reporters about what we can expect from this new iteration of Candyman.

Peele discussed the deep impact that Bernard Rose’s original film had on him growing up, and as a filmmaker, saying, “My connection with Candyman is pretty simple. It’s one of the few movies that lored any aspect of the Black experience in the horror genre in the ’90s, when I was growing up. It was a perfect and iconic example of representation in the genre, and it’s a movie that inspired me.”

“We now have a reimagining of this story that we’re very excited about. The director is a woman who we at Monkeypaw are just extreme fans of. When we met her, we just started geeking out about Bernard Rose, the director of Candyman, Clive Barker, and even David Cronenberg. It became quickly apparent that she was uniquely suited to direct this film. Add to that the fact that we’re huge fans of her film that came out last year, The Woods, I’m so deeply excited to get to introduce Nia DaCosta to you today.”

While the original film touched on the issues of gentrification, DaCosta explained how her Candyman will delve into the issue on a much deeper level. “For this film, gentrification is what helped us to reimagine this story, because Cabrini Green is gone. The original movie in the ’90s has this vision of Cabrini Green, where it’s on its way to being knocked down, and so this is about going back there and seeing what’s happened around that area. There’s a lot of development in that area now. So, what we’ve done with our film is talk about the ghosts that are left behind, because of gentrification, and because of what happened to Cabrini Green.”

“What was useful about working with Jordan is that he’s so good about bringing the social issues to the fore in the horror genre,” DaCosta continued. “So, that was something that I knew was going to happen, although the original Candyman already does that very well. What we were able to do, because there has been so much change in the neighborhood, in particular with the gentrification, was dig into the things that were already there. In the original film, they were already talking about the new buildings that were being built, and the way that the projects were built with the mirrors between units, and how crime was able to happen because of those things. So, we talked a lot about all those things.”

“We also talked about the fun of the original film, and that was a huge part of what we wanted to bring back. We wanted to do what the original film did: be audacious, be fun and also be meaningful.”

Much like Rose’s original Candyman, DaCosta has no plans on shying away from violence, and while the trailer doesn’t reveal a ton of ooey, gooey viscous, she assured us that we can definitely expect to see some gnarly stuff in her Candyman, come this June.

“I really love gore,” DaCosta explained. “That was something Jordan and I talked about a lot. What’s fun about working with Jordan is our horror aesthetics are different; Jordan’s really brilliant about not showing everything and my instinct is to do the exact opposite (laughs). It’s something I thought about a lot and there is a good amount of things you just don’t want to see in here (laughs).”

Look for more on Candyman (2020) in the coming months!

Heather Wixson
About the Author - Heather Wixson

After falling in love with the horror genre at a very early age, Heather Wixson has spent the last decade carving out a name for herself in the genre world as a both a journalist and as a proponent of independent horror cinema. Wixson is currently the Managing Editor for DailyDead.com, and was previously a featured writer at DreadCentral.com and TerrorTube.com where her online career began; she’s also been a contributor at FEARnet as well as a panelist for several of their online programs.

Wixson recently finished her first book, Monster Squad: Celebrating the Artists Behind Cinema's Most Memorable Creatures, and is currently working on her second upcoming book project on special effects artists as well.

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