Teyonah Parris and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II explore the Candyman's terrifying origin story in eerie trailer

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Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Anthony McCoy.
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Anthony McCoy.

Jordan Peele heard that someone was trying to step on his turf and decided to show them how Black horror’s really done with the new trailer for Nia DaCosta’s Candyman, starring Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Watchmen, The Get Down). Peele wrote the screenplay alongside Win Rosenfeld and DaCosta.

Mixing folklore, horror, and the Black experience, Candyman follows visual artist Anthony McCoy (Abdul-Mateen II) and his partner Brianna Cartwright (Teyonah Parris; If Beale Street Could Talk, WandaVision). The pair move into a luxury loft condo in Chicago’s Cabrini-Green, a gentrified neighborhood historically comprised of project housing. After hearing about the ghost story about a ruthless killer with a hook for a hand, McCoy begins to chase down the story’s origins in an effort to fuel his art, finding out for himself what happens when you say “Candyman” five times in the mirror. Both the neighborhood and Anthony’s psyche begin to unravel as the killer returns, leaving a trail of bodies behind him.

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Jordan Peele revived the Black horror genre with films such as Get Out (2017) and Us (2019), and he’s spurred other storytellers to share their own takes on the genre in films such as Antebellum starring Janelle Monae (2020), Them (2021), and the television series Lovecraft Country (2020), which was created under Peele’s production studio Monkeypaw. DaCosta’s recent work includes The Marvels and Little Woods. Actor Tony Todd, who played the Daniel Robitaille/Candyman in the original adaptation, is reviving his iconic role once again for DaCosta’s version.

In Candyman, Peele, Rosenfield, and DaCosta rewrite the origin story first told in the 1992 adaptation directed by Bernard Rose. Rose based his film on Clive Barker’s short story “The Forbidden,” which follows a white grad student who accidentally revives Candyman, who in this version is the ghost of an artist who was murdered for having a relationship with the daughter of a wealthy white man. The new version centers around a Black man who was wrongfully murdered after being accused on giving out candy with razor blades in them to children, mirroring ongoing issues with police brutality again Black people in America.

Candyman will be released in theaters on August 27.