New “Candyman” Video Puts The Focus On The Art Behind the Horror

“The art within Candyman is definitely about devolution to mirror his psychological descent,” says co-writer and director Nia DaCosta at the top of this new video. DaCosta’s film, co-written with Jordan Peele, is centered on Yahya Abdul-Mateen II’s Anthony McCoy, a talented artist looking for inspiration. This search will lead him to some seriously dark places. McCoy, 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. McCoy thinks he can use this dark history to influence his art, but instead, Candyman’s power reaches far beyond mere artistic inspiration.

To credibly create McCoy’s increasingly dark artwork in the film, DaCosta did the most sensible thing possible—she turned to real artists. “It seemed critical that there were actual artists in the film, and works that had social relevancy,” says producer Ian Cooper. To that end, DaCosta and her team deployed artists Arnold Kemp, Cameron Spratley, and Sherwin Ovid to create McCoy’s art, tracking his work’s increasing intensity as he becomes more obsessed, and then possessed, by the legend of Candyman.

Check out the video below. Candyman hits theaters, at long last, on August 27.

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.

For more on Universal Pictures and Focus Features projects, check out these stories:

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Go Inside “Candyman” With Writer/Director Nia DaCosta and Co-Writer/Producer Jordan Peele

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


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The Credits is an online magazine that tells the story behind the story to celebrate our large and diverse creative community. Focusing on profiles of below-the-line filmmakers, The Credits celebrates the often uncelebrated individuals who are indispensable to the films and TV shows we love.