Peele on why he chose Nia DaCosta for ‘Candyman’

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(Reboot opens Sept 25)

When Universal and MGM announced the remake of Candyman, the 80s classic horror icon, many assumed (including our resident Geek at sister outlet Reel 360) that Jordan Peele (Get Out, Us) would be directing. As it turned out Peele was signed on to produce under his Monkeypaw production company and he chose up-and-coming African American female director Nia DaCosta.

Now, in the new issue of Empire Magazine, Peele explains why he believed DaCosta was the right one to bring back the man whose name you never say five times in a mirror.

“I was working on Us when this would have happened,” Peele told Empire in their latest issue. “But quite honestly, Nia is better to shoot this than I am. I’m way too obsessed with the original tales in my head. I probably wouldn’t be any good. But Nia has a steady manner about her which you don’t see a lot in the horror space. She’s refined, elegant, every shot is beautiful. It’s a beautiful, beautiful movie. I’m so glad I didn’t mess it up.”

We shall see how she does when the film now opens on September 25.


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Universal has released this statement about the film:

Don’t say his name.

This summer, Oscar winner Jordan Peele unleashes a fresh take on the blood-chilling urban legend that your friend’s older sibling probably told you about at a sleepover: Candyman. Rising filmmaker Nia DaCosta (Little Woods) directs this contemporary incarnation of the cult classic.

For as long as 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.


ALSO READ: Universal gives ‘Candyman’ the hook until September


In present day, a decade after the last of the Cabrini towers were torn down, visual artist Anthony McCoy (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II; HBO’s Watchmen, Us) and his girlfriend, gallery director Brianna Cartwright (Teyonah Parris; If Beale Street Could Talk, The Photograph), move into a luxury loft condo in Cabrini, now gentrified beyond recognition and inhabited by upwardly mobile millennials.

With Anthony’s painting career on the brink of stalling, a chance encounter with a Cabrini Green old-timer (Colman Domingo; HBO’s EuphoriaAssassination Nation) exposes Anthony to the tragically horrific nature of the true story behind 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.

From Universal Pictures and Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures, in association with BRON Creative, and Jordan Peele and Win Rosenfeld’s Monkeypaw Productions, Candyman is directed by DaCosta, and is produced by Ian Cooper (Us), Rosenfeld and Peele. The screenplay is by Peele & Rosenfeld and DaCosta. The film is based on the 1992 film Candyman, written by Bernard Rose, and the short story “The Forbidden” by Clive Barker. The film’s executive producers are David Kern, Aaron L. Gilbert and Jason Cloth.

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