Universal has dropped the first trailer for the new version of Candyman. Produced by Jordan Peele and directed by Nia DaCosta, the film is not quite a remake and not quite a reboot, more of a spiritual sequel to the 1992 film which starred Tony Todd in the terrifying title role.
What’s fascinating about the original film – which led to multiple sequels in the 90s – is how it examines race, poverty and American history within the horror genre. Hopefully this version has its own contemporary ideas to examine, and isn’t just a lazy rehash. Luckily, with Peele producing and co-writing the script, that seems unlikely.
The 1992 film starred Virginia Madsen opposite Todd, and the second half of the movie becomes a little too much about her – a white woman investigating black cultural history – than the Candyman lore. This version stars Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and hopefully does away with the quasi-white saviour trope.
Interestingly, Cassie Kramer is playing Madsen’s character in this film, so it may have a larger cultural link to the 90s film than originally thought. Despite the positive reception of the original film, Candyman hasn’t become a horror icon like his contemporaries.
Perhaps it’s because he’s a deeper, more complex character than someone like Freddie Krueger who offers audiences cheaper thrills, but maybe this new version will truly push him into the mainstream and make him a household horror name. We’ll find out when Candyman hits cinemas Friday, June 12.