Jordan Peele is producing a new Candyman movie and has cast Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as the new Candyman. Monkeypaw Creative Director Ian Cooper was on a Produced By Conference panel The New Age of Producing Horror. Deadline asked Cooper how Candyman would fit in with what Monkeypaw has done with Get Out and Us. His answer, surprisingly, was that Peele wants to address how toxic fandom has become.
“We talk a lot about fans and the idea of appeasing fans and when you do that and how do you do that and when do you not do that,” Cooper said. “I think my issue with fandom is that it’s really problematic. It’s probably the most problematic thing facing the genre.”
Cooper is likely referring to fan petitions to remake the last season of Game of Thrones or fans bullying actors like Kelly Marie Tran online. Peele used Get Out and Us to address race and inequality in entertaining stories.
“It typically comes with a dogma that is abrasive and that is more resistant to change and permutation than you would think,” Cooper continued. “I think what we’re trying to do with Candyman is both be mischievous in how we address the relationship to the first film but also be very satisfying.”
Candyman is based on a Clive Barker story. The 1992 film starred Tony Todd as Candyman, a former slave lynched for a relationship with a white woman. If you say his name five times in the mirror, he comes for you. The film spawned two sequels.
“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.”
The Candyman that Peele is now producing is the latest of many approaches Peele has attempted.
“It’s something Jordan has been talking to me about for many years and it’s gone through iterations that are so high concept they’re basically a Gus Van Sant film,” Cooper said. “They’ve gone through many iterations let’s just say.”
Tony Todd said he has been approached by the producers of Candyman, but Cooper would not elaborate on Todd’s potential involvement. “Tony Todd is just no comment, full stop,” Cooper said.
Candyman is set for a June 12, 2020 release.