After watching the brilliant first trailer for Candyman, we’ve got a whole bunch of questions. The reboot comes from Jordan Peele and Nia DaCosta and looks like a terrifying new take on the terror of the original. We’re going to share all of our thoughts, theories, and questions with you right here while trying to answer them the best we can.
1) Will Tony Todd be in the movie?
At the official trailer premiere event, Nia DaCosta was reluctant to reveal whether or not the original Candyman would appear in the new movie. But the trailer does seem to set up the idea of both the original Candyman existing and Abdul-Mateen II picking up the mantle/being possessed by him. It seems likely we will see Todd appear; the fact that Peele and DaCosta are such huge fans of the genre icon means that we’d be surprised if he didn’t make at least a brief appearance.
2) Will Yahya Abdul Mateen II’s Anthony become Candyman?
Though we aren’t taking this trailer at face value—this a Jordan Peele production, after all—it does present the idea that this Candyman might be more of a concept than a tangible being. As we follow Anthony, he becomes more and more obsessed with the Candyman. Though we never see him wielding the iconic hook, it is implied that the murders and mutilations may have been at his hand.
3) Is this a direct sequel to the original?
The Candyman trailer seems to confirm that, far from being a “spiritual sequel,” as previously advertised, it is actually a direct sequel to the original movie. In the original, Vanessa Williams stars as Anne-Marie McCoy, a resident of the Cabrini-Green projects, whom we see in this trailer. Going by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II’s IMDB credit as Anthony McCoy, which was the name of the baby that Helen saved in the original Candyman film, it seems that he is the baby of Anne-Marie and this is a direct sequel to the 1992 classic.
4) Will we see any other Candyman cameos?
We know that Vanessa Williams will be appearing in what seems like a key role in the new Candyman film. We’re hoping that Tony Todd might even pop up, so what is the likelihood that we’ll see some other Candyman alum appear? The film clearly exists in a way that is at least adjacent to the original film, so we wouldn’t be surprised if we saw Ted Raimi as Billy or even Kasi Lemmons as Bernadette. Though Virginia Madsen’s Helen didn’t (really) survive the movie, it would be cool to see the genre actress make a cameo in another role… or perhaps as the ghostly iteration of her classic character. There were also some great stars in the sequels to Candyman, including Ernie Hudson Jr.. who we’d love to see pop up.
5) Will Candyman be R-rated?
Though this is a green-band trailer it looks like the film will probably be R-rated. Not only do we get a lot of truly scary moments in this first look, but during the trailer, reveal DaCosta mentioned that she “loves gore” and that one of the highlights of working with Peele was that their idea of horror aesthetics are so radically different. “He’s great at not showing everything,” DaCosta explained, “whereas my instinct is the exact opposite.” Going by that, and just how scary the trailer managed to be, we can expect this to be an R-rated movie.
6) Will Candyman take from the original Clive Barker short story?
Bernard Rose’s 1992 horror hit Candyman is based on the Clive Barker novella The Forgotten about poverty, folklore, and the council estates of Northern England. Though the adaptation was originally set in Liverpool—like Barker’s story—Rose was moved by his experiences in Chicago and decided to set the film there around its projects instead. There are a lot of key similarities between his adaptation and the original story. The most important of these is that the lead character Helen does not survive the story becoming part of folklore herself. We’ll be interested to see what DaCosta and Peele take from the brilliant short story, especially as Peele name dropped Clive Barker when he was revealing the trailer.
7) Will every Jordan Project have a scary arrangement of a classic R&B song?
After traumatizing everyone with the haunting arrangement of Luniz classic song, “I Got 5 on It,” Peele is back with a freaky remix of Destiny’s Child’s “Say My Name.” So the big question is: what next? Will this become the theme for the film the way that “I Got 5 on It” did for Us? Will the credits track for Peele’s upcoming HBO series Lovecraft Country be a version of “I’ll Make Love to You” played entirely in D Minor? Whatever he’s got up his sleeve we can’t wait to hear it.
Candyman comes out in June this year!
Feature Image: Universal