Jordan Peele, Nia DaCosta Pegged For Contemporary Remake Of ‘Candyman’ Movie

Written by Dana Sanchez

“Candyman”, a horror film about the murdered son of a slave who returns from the dead seeking vengeance, is getting a remake with Jordan Peele of “Get Out” producing, and Nia DaCosta of “Little Woods” directing.

The screenplay is based on Clive Barker’s short story, “The Forbidden.” DaCosta will direct the screenplay written by Peele and Win Rosenfeld of Monkeypaw Productions — Peele’s film, TV and digital production company. MGM and Universal Pictures partnered with Monkeypaw for a summer 2020 release.

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The original, made in 1992, was a landmark film for Black representation in the horror genre, Peele said in a prepared statement. “Alongside ‘Night of the Living Dead,’ ‘Candyman’ was a major inspiration for me as a 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.”

Peele wrote and directed “Get Out,” which earned $250 million-plus worldwide and won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. It was nominated for Best Actor, Best Director and Best Picture. The low-budget comedy-horror film  explored racism in America, and saw a 630-percent return on investment, making it the most profitable movie released in 2017, Time reported in August 2017.

Jordan Peele, winner of the award for best original screenplay for “Get Out”, poses in the press room at the Oscars on Sunday, March 4, 2018, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

DaCosta wrote and directed the recent crime drama “Little Woods,” starring Tessa Thompson and Lily James. It premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival this year and earned DaCosta the Nora Ephron Award, Deadline reported:

“There’s been buzz out there about Peele circling a ‘Candyman’ remake. MGM, Universal and Monkeypaw made the news official (Tuesday), and what’s new is DaCosta as director and Universal’s summer release.”

The original 1992 “Candyman” features a graduate student who is researching urban legends in a Chicago housing project. She hears a local story about the Candyman, who can be summoned by saying his name five times while facing a mirror.

A “spiritual sequel” to the original, the new version returns to the neighborhood where the legend began: the now-gentrified section of Chicago where the Cabrini-Green housing projects once stood, Variety reported.

The original “Candyman” scored a 73-percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which described it as a “nuanced, effectively chilling tale”. It grossed more than $25 million. Two subsequent sequels failed to perform commercially or critically.

“We cannot wait for the world to see what the mind-blowing combination of Jordan, Win, and Nia bring to the legend of Candyman,” MGM Motion Picture Group President Jonathan Glickman said in a prepared statement. “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.”