Candyman 2021: Everything We Know About The Horror Sequel

Nia DaCosta and Jordan Peele's reboot of the classic horror movie hits theaters in August.


The latest movie in the Candyman franchise hits theaters later this year, and is a direct sequel to the classic 1992 supernatural chiller.

The original Candyman was an adaptation of the short story The Forbidden, by Hellraiser and Hellraiser creator Clive Barker, and directed by Bernard Rose. The film focused on the legend of the Candyman, who was originally the son of a slave but grew up as a successful businessman in the late 19th century, before his relationship with a white woman led to horrendous death at the hands of a mob. Many decades later, the vengeful, hooked-handed, bee-summoning ghost can be conjured up by anyone who dares to say his name five times into a mirror.

The movie was only a moderate success, but nearly 30 years later, it stands as one of the best horror films of the decade--an intelligent, scary, and beautifully-made chiller that has stood the test of time. Two sequels followed--Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh (1995) and Candyman: Day of the Dead (1999)--but they were inferior follow-ups that contained little of the original's mix of scares and powerful social commentary.

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In 2018, it was announced that a new Candyman movie was on the way. The film was originally scheduled for release last summer but like almost every big movie due in 2020, it has had its release date pushed several times. The film is now set to arrive in August, so while we wait for it to finally be released, here's everything we know to date about Candyman.

When will Candyman be released?

Candyman hits theaters on August 21, 2021. This is the film's fourth release date. It was originally scheduled for release in June last year, and was subsequently moved to September and October, before being pushed back an entire year.

Who's the director?

Candyman is directed by Nia DaCosta. This will be DaCosta's second movie as director, following 2018's thriller Little Woods, which starred Tessa Thompson and Lily James. She also directed two episodes of the British TV drama Top Boy. In August last year, it was announced that she will helm the Captain Marvel sequel for Marvel, which has a November 2022 release date.

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Who are the producers and writers?

Get out and US director Jordan Peele is one of the main producers of Candyman, through his production company Monkeypaw. He's producing with Win Rosenfeld (Hunters, Blackkklansman), and the pair have written the script with DaCosta.

Is there any footage or images?

Since the movie was only three months from release when it was first delayed, a trailer had already been released. This first trailer revealed the basic plot alongside lots of scary imagery. Even more impressive was the promo released in June, which was a short animated film that told the tragic backstory of Candyman using shadow puppets. The third trailer followed a few weeks later, which mixed footage from this video with new footage from the movie.

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What's the story?

Candyman isn't a remake of the original movie, but a direct sequel, which ignores the two earlier sequels. 30 years later, the previously deprived area of Chicago's Cabrini Green has been gentrified and turned into a desirable and expensive place to live. The movie focuses on visual artist Anthony McCoy, who appeared as a child in the original film, and sees him return to the area with his girlfriend Brianna. An encounter with one of Cabrini's older residents leads Anthony to start investigating the legend of Candyman as inspiration for his work. But inevitably things start to get very scary when the hooked-handed ghost makes his return.

Who's in the cast?

Aquaman and Watchmen actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II takes the lead role as Anthony, with WandaVision star Teyonah Parris as Brianna. The cast also includes Nathan Stewart-Jarrett (Misfits) as Brianna's brother Troy, and Colman Domingo (Fear the Walking Dead, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom) as William, the older Cabrini Green resident. There are also a couple of actors returning from the original film--Vanessa Estelle Williams as Anthony's mom Anne-Marie, and of course, Tony Todd as Candyman himself. Todd is yet to be seen in the trailers, but they do feature his distinctive--and scary--voice.

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What has DaCosta said about the movie?

One of the most impressive aspects of the original film was the way it weaved a strong social commentary into a scary ghost story. Unsurprisingly, the new movie will also deal with some heavy themes alongside the horror. "It's so much about identity and about what violence can look like," DaCosta told Slashfilm last year. "It's not just this very graphic lynch mob, it can also be the force of gentrification, or the micro-aggressions inside of trying to negotiate what your next art piece is going to be. It has many forms, so that's part of what we wanted to talk about in this film as well. And that's a big reason why [Anthony] fits in the art world, because he can really show that in an interesting way. Our points of view are about the multilayered ways that violence can take form and can kill in America, and that's where the film will be."

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