‘Candyman’: release date, plot, cast and everything we know so far

The horror classic returns for a new decade

Following the return of the Halloween franchise in 2018, the latest legendary horror series set to return for a new decade is Candyman.

Helming the return of the franchise as a co-writer is one of horror’s most exciting new faces: Get Out director Jordan Peele. Peele has co-written the film alongside Win Rosenfeld and director Nia DaCosta.

Peele has called the new film a “spiritual sequel” to the 1992 original, which looks set to bypass the events of the two Candyman sequels: Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh (1995) and Candyman: Day of the Dead (1999).


From a release date to trailers, a plot, cast members and more, here is everything we know so far about the new reboot of Candyman.

Latest Updates:

  • Universal and MGM have pushed back the release date of Candyman back to 2021

Candyman release date: when will it hit cinemas?

The film was due to come out in both the USA and UK on September 25, 2020. It was then moved to October 16, 2020. On September 11, it was announced that Universal and MGM, who are committed to the movie getting a theatrical release, have pushed it back to some time in 2021 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. A new date is TBC.

Candyman trailer: is there a teaser yet?

Two, in fact! The bloodcurdling first trailer for the new horror sequel arrived in late February, and introduces a grown-up version of Anthony McCoy, the baby from the original Candyman.

The clip sees McCoy moving to the same Chicago neighbourhood depicted in the original film, the place where the urban legend of the Candyman began. What follows is intensely grisly. Watch it below.


A new teaser then arrived in June, with director Nia DaCosta sharing details about the film when sharing the teaser on Twitter.

Candyman, at the intersection of white violence and black pain, is about unwilling martyrs,” DaCosta wrote. “The people they were, the symbols we turn them into, the monsters we are told they must have been.” Watch the trailer below.

Who is directing Candyman?

Although Jordan Peele is producing, the filmmaker has hired Nia DaCosta to direct Candyman. In an interview with Empire, Peele defended his choice.
“I was working on Us when this would have happened,” Peele began. “But quite honestly, Nia is better to shoot this than I am. I’m way too obsessed with the original tales in my head.

“I probably wouldn’t be any good. But Nia has a steady manner about her which you don’t see a lot in the horror space. She’s refined, elegant, every shot is beautiful. It’s a beautiful, beautiful movie. I’m so glad I didn’t mess it up.”

Candyman cast: who is in the upcoming reboot?

The cast for the forthcoming sequel will be headed up by Aquaman and Watchmen star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as a grown-up version of Anthony McCoy, the baby from the original Candyman.

Abdul-Mateen was originally thought to be playing the Candyman himself, but director Nia DaCosta confirmed that he’s not replacing Tony Todd in the role. “I can’t say what’s happening in the film because we want it to be a surprise, but he’s not replacing Tony Todd,” she told Collider.

It’s not clear yet whether this means that Todd will be making a return for the film, though he revealed that he’s “hoping [he] will appear in the film in some form of fashion.

“Wouldn’t that make sense?” he told EW in a recent interview. “But it’s Hollywood, so I won’t take it personally if for some reason it doesn’t work out.”

Jordan Peele (Credit: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

Joining Abdul-Mateen in the sequel is Mad Men actor Teyonah Parris, reported to be in a supporting role, alongside Colman Domingo (Fear the Walking Dead, Euphoria)and Nathan Stewart-Jarrett (Misfits).

Candyman plot: what’s going to happen in the sequel?

Upon the film’s announcement in 2018, Jordan Peele called the new flick a “spiritual sequel” to the 1992 original.

“The original was a landmark film for black representation in the horror genre,” Peele said. “Alongside Night of the Living DeadCandyman 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 honoured to bring the next chapter in the Candyman canon to life and eager to provide new audiences with an entry point to Clive Barker’s legend.”

The first trailer (above) arrived along with a synopsis for the film. It reads: “For as long as residents can remember, the housing projects of Chicago’s Cabrini Green neighbourhood were terrorised 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 and his girlfriend, gallery director Brianna Cartwright, 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 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.”

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II

The film also looks set to tackle the issue of toxic fandom, with Ian Cooper, the Creative Director of Jordan Peele’s production company Monkeypaw, telling Deadline: “We talk a lot about fans and the idea of appeasing fans and when you do that and how do you do that and when do you not do that. I think my issue with fandom is that it’s really problematic. It’s probably the most problematic thing facing the genre.

“It typically comes with a dogma that is abrasive and that is more resistant to change and permutation than you would think. I think what we’re trying to do with Candyman is both be mischievous in how we address the relationship to the first film, but also be very satisfying.”

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