Candyman is gracing the cover of Empire magazine's new issue - although the images released tease a potentially big plot twist. So far, Candyman has tried to maintain a veil of secrecy over who would actually be playing the Candyman entity in the film. Candyman star Yahya Abdul-Matten II (Aquaman) has maintained that he is playing Anthony McCoy, an artist character tied to the events of the original film, but looking at the magazine covers below, it's hard to believe that's all his role will be. A quick look through the shadows of these images clearly shows Yahya Abdul-Mateen II in Candyman costume!
Now take a closer (and brighter) look at that Candyman promo image:
As you can see, that is clearly Yahya Abdul-Mateen II in the image, and based on what we're seeing here, and have seen throughout Candyman's marketing, the arc here seems very clear: It looks like we'll be seeing the origin of a new Candyman!
The hints were all over the first Candyman trailer, as we watched Mateen's Anthony McCoy being led into some kind os psycho-supernatural bond with the Candyman legend - and eventually, the entity itself. When it was confirmed that original Candyman Tony Todd was appearing in this new chapter, a sort of "passing of the torch" scenario seemed more and more likely.
Candyman's official synopsis all but confirms what kind of story director Nia DaCosta is telling:
"For as long as the 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 the present day, a decade after the last of the Cabrini towers were torn down, a visual artist named Anthony McCoy and his girlfriend, a gallery director named Brianna Cartwright, moved into a luxury loft condo in Cabrini, now gentrified beyond recognition and inhabited by the 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 the 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."
DaCosta is mixing in some big socio-economic themes into this new version of the Candyman story, while also tying back to themes of the original film, which were similarly steeped in commentary about the inner city, poverty, slavery, and bigotry. If you haven't seen the haunting Candyman prelude DaCosta released, do yourself a favor and check it out.
Candyman is slated to hit theaters on October 16, 2020.