Candyman Director Nia DaCosta Reveals The Film’s Incredible Prologue

It’s safe to say that even without everything that has happened in the United States this year, this haunting prologue to co-writer and director Nia DaCosta‘s Candyman would still be incredibly potent. Yet DaCosta shared this two-and-a-half-minute work of shadow puppet wizardry in a country that has seen protests against police brutality and systemic racism in all 50 states (the protests have gone global, too) after the murder of George Floyd, all happening in the middle of a pandemic that has disproportionately affected Black, Hispanic, Latino and Indigenous communities.

The prologue reveals four nested stories that hint at the origins of the film’s titular “monster” and the world in which he was created. We see an artist painting images, which speaks to Yahya Abdul-Mateen II’s character Anthony McCoy, an artist who, along with his girlfriend Brianna (If Beale Street Could Talk‘s Teyonah Parris), moves into a luxury condo in Chicago where the Cabrini towers once stood, and where decades ago the legendary Candyman once terrorized people in the 1992 original. We see a factory worker who hands out candy to children—until he’s chased and beaten to death by the police. We see a young boy riding his bike, only to end up in jail and executed. And finally, we see Candyman himself, born into slavery, becoming an artist, and murdered when it’s discovered that he’s in love with a white woman.

Watch the gorgeously crafted gut-punch below:

And if you’re curious who did the puppetry and created the score, DaCosta’s got you covered:

Candyman is now slated for a September 20, 2020 release.

Here’s the official, fulsome synopsis from Universal Pictures:

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. 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 Euphoria, Assassination 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.

Featured image: Featured image: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II in ‘Candyman.’ Courtesy Universal Pictuers/MGM


Bryan Abrams

Bryan Abrams is the Editor-in-chief of The Credits. He's run the site since its launch in 2012. He lives in New York.

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