Everything We Know So Far About Jordan Peele’s ‘Candyman’ Sequel

A still from Jordan Peele’s Candyman (2021), a spiritual sequel to the first one.


Bernard Rose’s Candyman (1992) is consistently lauded as one of the creepiest films of all time. Virginia Madsen stars as a young grad student researching urban legends in Chicago. When she comes across the local legend of “Candyman” she begins to connect the lore to modern day murders in the infamous (real-life) Cabrini-Green housing project.

Now, Jordan Peele is producing an upcoming Candyman remake/sequel that will be directed by Nia DaCosta. Filming started in spring of 2019 but the release of the movie has been delayed until 2021 due to the pandemic. It will star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Teyonah Parris, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett and Colman Domingo. Here’s what we know so far:

It’s a “spiritual sequel” to the original.

Students say “Candyman” into a mirror at their school.

A “spiritual sequel” is a story that takes place in the same universe as the original, but does not tell the same story. American Horror Story uses this technique to tell different stories with each season that all exist in the same story universe. This is also the relationship between the original Cloverfield and 10 Cloverfield Lane. We may see a cameo from a character or two from the original, but we aren’t following up on Virgina Madsen’s story. We’re going to hear and see something new.

It will feature a gentrified Cabrini-Green.

A big part of the plot of the original Candyman was Chicago’s Cabrini-Green housing project. Virgina Madsen discovers the luxury apartment complex she lives in had originally been built as a housing project, but the finished apartments were thought to be “too nice”. The layout of the nearby Cabrini-Green apartment buildings were exactly the same as hers, allowing her to understand how Candyman may have been accessing his victims.

Tony Todd will make an appearance.

Tony Todd, who originated the role of the Candyman himself, told Entertainment Weekly: “I’m hoping I will appear in the film in some form of fashion. Wouldn’t that make sense? But, it’s Hollywood so I won’t take it personally if for some reason it doesn’t work out…I think the subject matter is more important than any individuals and I mean that.”

As a horror fan, Tony Todd should get as much screen time as he wants. This man put live bees in his mouth for this role!!!

It’s based on a short story by Clive Barker.

If you can’t wait for the new movie, you can find the inspiration for the entire Candyman story (“The Forbidden”) in Barker’s anthology Books of Blood.

It will be about an artist who becomes obsessed with Candyman.

The origin story of Candyman himself is that he wasn’t born evil: Candyman was an artist and the son of a slave who was murdered by a mob for being in love with and impregnating a white woman.

Here’s the synopsis of the upcoming film from Universal Pictures:

For as long as the residents can remember, the housing projects of Chicago’s Cabrini Green neighborhood were terrorized by a word-of-mouth ghost story about a supernatural killer with a hook for a hand, easily summoned by those daring to repeat his name five times into a mirror. In the present day, a decade after the last of the Cabrini towers were torn down, a visual artist named Anthony McCoy and his girlfriend, an art gallery director named Brianna Cartwright, moved into a luxurious loft condo in Cabrini, now gentrified beyond recognition and inhabited by the upwardly mobile millennials. With Anthony’s painting career on the brink of stalling, a chance encounter with a Cabrini Green old-timer exposes Anthony to the tragically horrific nature of the true story behind the 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.”

The main character appears in the first Candyman movie.

Anthony McCoy is the infant who Helen saves in the film’s finale.

The main character also has a chilling tie to a real life murder.

During the time of filming, there was said to be a real life boogeyman “haunting” Cabrini-Green that locals referred to as “Homey the Clown”. As in the film, the urban legend may also be complete fiction, may refer to a real life criminal, or may be a combination of the two. Another little known (and terrifying) aspect of the original movie is the historical accuracy of the architectural “flaw” that made this scene so horrifying:

In Chicago housing built both to be low income housing and luxury apartments, medicine cabinets were used in the bathrooms that were simply placed into the wall between two units. There was no dry wall separating the two separate homes. It was then possible to enter a stranger’s apartment simply by pulling out the medicine cabinet in your own bathroom. This resulted in at least one real-life murder, that of Ruthie Ann McCoy.

Andrew McCoy, our new main character, is named after Ruthie.

Trailers

The first trailer is already out:

Release Date

First set to be released fall 2020, Candyman was delayed by the Coronavirus pandemic. The film is now set to be released August 27, 2021.