Go Inside “Candyman” With Writer/Director Nia DaCosta and Co-Writer/Producer Jordan Peele
“I’ve always been fascinated with urban legends,” Candyman co-writer and producer Jordan Peele says at the top of this new behind-the-scenes video released by Universal Pictures. “Candyman,” Peele continues, “is the patron saint of the urban legend.” Peele co-wrote the script with rising star Nia DaCosta, who directs the film. DaCosta says that while growing up, Candyman wasn’t just attached to the 1992 film from director Bernard Rose, it was a real urban myth she heard as a kid. “For us, Candyman was a demon ghost-man killing people in the projects,” DaCosta says.
Candyman is one of 2021’s most eagerly anticipated films, and like so many films, it was delayed because of the pandemic. One of the best TV spots for any film in 2020 was the gut-punch of a prologue that DaCosta shared with the world on June 17 of that year. Exactly a year and a day later, DaCosta was back, sharing a different kind of message, but one equally potent. DaCosta delivered the message the day before Juneteenth—now an officially recognized federal holiday—to discuss what the day means to her and how it relates to her upcoming horror film.
“I was thinking a lot about the duality of the Black experience, and how it relates to America,” DaCosta said in her Juneteenth message. “At once it’s this place of great hope, which I think is what Juneteenth represents in one way, it’s a celebration of us, of life and freedom and possibility. On the other side, it’s incredibly difficult and there’s a lot of pain and they kind of walk hand in hand. I think that’s something about this film as well, there’s still this sort of bittersweet hope.”
In the new video, DaCosta reflects on Candyman‘s timelessness.“Candyman is so perennial,” she says. “We’re talking about cycles of violence and how history repeats itself, and how we collectively process trauma through stories. It’s always time to tell a story like Candyman.”
Check out the video below. Candyman hits theaters, at long last, on August 27.
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Featured image: Featured image: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II in ‘Candyman.’ Courtesy Universal Pictures/MGM