Nia DaCosta, director of the upcoming reboot of the 1992 slasher flick Candyman, shared a new teaser for the film that traces the origins of the titular hook-handed killer and its intersection with systemic racism in America.
DaCosta’s Candyman is set 30 years after the original 1992 movie, with Yahya Abdul-Mateen II playing Anthony McCoy, the infant character in the original film who’s kidnapped by the Candyman, but has since grown up and become an artist. The specter of the Candyman returns when Anthony and his girlfriend move into a new condo in Chicago, built in the same place where the crime-ridden Cabrini-Green housing projects — the Candyman’s literal haunting grounds — used to be.
CANDYMAN, at the intersection of white violence and black pain, is about unwilling martyrs. The people they were, the symbols we turn them into, the monsters we are told they must have been. pic.twitter.com/MEwwr8umdI
— Nia DaCosta (@NiaDaCosta) June 17, 2020
Per a synopsis of the new film, the Candyman shares his story and other grisly ones with Anthony, who uses them as inspiration for his paintings. It’s this aspect of the film that the new teaser captures, using puppets to show Anthony at his easel, each portrait he makes corresponding to a story of horrific, racist injustice and violence. The last vignette tells the story of the Candyman himself — a 19th century artist and the son of a wealthy black family, who falls in love with the daughter of a white landowner and ends up lynched by a mob that cuts his hand off, replaces it with a hook, then covers his body in honey so he’s stung to death by bees.
“Candyman, at the intersection of white violence and black pain, is about unwilling martyrs,” DaCosta wrote on Twitter to accompany the clip. “The people they were, the symbols we turn them into, the monsters we are told they must have been.”
Candyman was supposed to arrive in theaters this month, but was pushed back to September 25th because of ongoing concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. Along with Abdul-Mateen II, the film will star Teyonah Paris and Colman Domingo, while Vanessa Williams and the Candyman himself, Tony Todd, will reprise their roles from the original film. DaCosta co-wrote Candyman with Win Rosenfeld and Jordan Peele.