Universal is pulling out all the stops to get us hyped for MGM and Jordan Peele’s reimagining of the 1992 horror pic Candyman directed by Nia DaCosta (Little Woods). The first trailer for the movie dropped this morning and it will “hook” you in. It will also make you tempted to say “Candyman” five times in the mirror to see if the urban legend is true. Based on what we see in the bloody first look, I wouldn’t recommend it.
Appropriately set to a slowed-down version of Destiny’s Child’s “Say My Name”, the new trailer just teases what we can expect from the movie. Starring Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Us), Teyonah Parris (If Beale Street Could Talk), Nathan Stewart-Jarrett (Misfits) and Colman Domingo (Fear the Walking Dead), Candyman seems to carry the torch from the original. Set in Chicago’s Cabrini-Green housing projects, the movie will focus on the gentrification of the North Side neighborhood.
“Gentrification is what helped us to reimagine the story because Cabrini-Green is gone,” said DaCosta at an exclusive viewing of the trailer. “The movie from the ’90s has a vision of Cabrini-Green where it’s sort of on its way to being knocked down.”
DaCosta points out that since Cabrini-Green was torn down, there has lots of development — including an ArcLight. “What we talk about in the film are the ghosts that have been left behind because of gentrification,” she adds.
Even though the film explores these topics, DaCosta said it is still a horror film. “We wanted to do what the original did: be audacious, fun but also be meaningful,” she said.
The film was co-written by Peele and Win Rosenfeld, it is definitely in line with Us and Peele’s affinity for horror. The original was quite graphic with the gore and blood — something that DaCosta was excited to lean into.
“I really love gore,” smiled DaCosta. “It’s something that Jordan and I talked about a lot. What’s fun about working with Jordan is that our horror aesthetics are different. Jordan is really brilliant at not showing everything and my instinct is to do the exact opposite…there’s a good amount of things you don’t want to see.”
The trailer tells us a lot but still keeps us in the dark about specific details. One thing it definitely didn’t tell us is if the original Candyman Tony Todd will be returning. DaCosta kept her cards close to her chest and simply said, “[Todd] is iconic and what we have done with the film is…great and I don’t want to give anything away.”
The original movie followed the urban legend of the titular character and starred Todd as Candyman, a former slave turned artist who fell in love with a white woman and fathered a child during the late 1800s. Because of this forbidden relationship, his lover’s father hired a lynch mob to kill him. He was smeared with honey and bees attacked him. He was burned to death and his ashes were scattered upon what became the present-day the Cabrini-Green housing project. The story of his death became an urban legend and by saying his name five times in the mirror, he comes and murders you. The horror became popular among the masses and spawned two sequels.
Candyman opens in theaters on June 12. Watch the trailer above.
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