In the original 1992 Candyman, when we see the titular villain, he has a hook hand and a big fur coat that is concealing a swarm of bees on his torso, immediately perplexing audiences about the figure's origins. The upcoming Candyman from director Nia DaCosta will take a slightly different approach to develop the visage of the presence, with the filmmaker recently detailing how her film will instead depict the evolution of these various characteristics and convey to the viewer the significance of each attribute. Unfortunately, it's unclear when audiences will actually get to see the film, as it was delayed earlier this year into sometime in 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"In the original, he's already a fully formed … I guess monster, we'll say, because that's definitely how he's positioned in the original film, as a monster," DaCosta shared during a live-streamed panel for the Nightstream Film Festival, per /Film. "And so, it's really like a reveal of like, 'Here's my chest. I'm fully formed, I'm fully grotesque,' and in this one, we really wanted it to be a slow progression, and for me, I really wanted to trigger the response of like, you know when all of us have had a rash or something, and we're like, hmm, what's that? Maybe it's a heat rash, and then maybe it doesn't go away for a while and you're like, hm, interesting. Should I go to the doctor? No, it's probably fine. And then for a vast majority of people, it goes away."
She added, "In this movie, of course, it doesn't go away, it gets worse, and so I wanted to have that effect. If someone goes home after watching this movie and looks at their own rash, or bump, or mosquito bite and is a little more freaked out, then I've done my job. And that's really what I wanted to do, it's about getting inside the head of the audience and really viscerally disturbing them and tracking it psychologically with the sense of the main character."
The concept is based on the short story "The Forbidden" by Clive Barker, with this new film reportedly being a "spiritual sequel" to its predecessors. The original film explained that the supernatural Candyman was formerly a painter, Daniel Robitaille, who fell in love with the daughter of a rich, white man. This man ordered Robitaille's execution, with a mob first cutting off his hand before covering him in honey, where he was subsequently attacked by a swarm of bees. The mob shouted "Candyman" at him, which were also his dying words, uttered into a mirror being held up to him. This explains why the hook-handed specter would appear to anyone who said "Candyman" five times into a mirror.
It's unknown just how different the character will appear in the new film, but it's clear that the development of the figure will feature a different approach from what came before it.
Stay tuned for details on the new Candyman before it hits theaters sometime in 2021.
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