Someone at Metro Goldwyn Mayer done went and said that name five times in front of a mirror because Candyman is back. The studio has partnered with co-producers Jordan Peele and Win Rosenfield to create a “spiritual sequel” to the three-film franchise, based on a Clive Barker short story, that starred Tony Todd as the vengeful spirit who you don’t want to get into a discussion with about bees. (Because he’ll offer a mouthful, you see.) Nia DaCosta—whose feature film debut, Little Woods, nabbed the Nora Ephron Award at Tribeca—will direct a script written by Peele and Rosenfield. The story will return to the now-gentrified section of Chicago where the original film took place.
“The original was a landmark film for black representation in the horror genre,” Peele said in a statement. “Alongside Night of the Living Dead, Candyman was a major inspiration for me as filmmaker — and to have a bold new talent like Nia at the helm of this project is truly exciting. We are honored to bring the next chapter in the Candyman canon to life and eager to provide new audiences with an entry point to Clive Barker’s legend.”
MGM President Jonathan Glickman added, “We cannot wait for the world to see what the mind-blowing combination of Jordan, Win and Nia bring to the legend of Candyman. They have created a story that will not only pay reverence to Clive Barker’s haunting and brilliant source material but is also thoroughly modern and will bring in a whole new generation of fans.”
There have been rumblings of a Candyman sequel from Peele for a while now, but MGM is making it official today. Back in September, Todd gave the Get Out director his blessing while appearing on the Nightmare on Film Street podcast:
“I’m honored. If Jordan wants to do it, do it. I know I’d rather have him do it, someone with intelligence, who’s going to be thoughtful and dig into the whole racial makeup of who Candyman is and why he existed in the first place. I know he’ll give homage and I know that if it gets made, I’ll have a plate at the table one way or the other.”
Candyman is the latest in a string of follow-ups, sorta-sequels, and reboots in the horror genre. MGM itself has a remake of the Child’s Play franchise coming down the pipeline from the producers of IT, while Universal and Blumhouse’s Halloween sequel from director David Gordon Green just cleaned up at the fall box office, carving up $159 million domestically on a $10 million budget. Also, Lebron James might be rebooting Friday the 13th. What a time to be alive/undead.