Jordan Peele’s ‘Candyman’ reboot has found its lead

'Aquaman' baddie Yahya Abdul-Mateen II will don the coat and hook for director Nia DaCosta

Jasin Boland/WB & DC Comics

It’s been almost exactly twenty years since the last Candyman movie hit theaters, and Jordan Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions thinks it’s time to change that. There have been rumblings and bumblings about a sequel all throughout that time, but Peele’s production company has gotten the furthest — they have a director, they have a script, and now they have a lead.

According to Variety, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, who you would know best from his work as Black Manta in James Wan’s Aquaman or as Cadillac on Baz Lurhmann’s Netflix show The Get Down, is in talks the hook-handed icon that Tony Todd originated back in 1992. No deal is done yet, but the trade seems to think this is a sure thing. We think this is smart casting, given how strong Abdul-Mateen II was in those two works, and we can’t wait to see what he does with Peele here.

Again, Peele is only producing this new iteration of the franchise, but he and Abdul-Mateen II have worked together (on Us, which we’re fucking pumped for), and we trust this creative team’s judgement. The reboot is being helmed by writer/director Nia DaCosta, whose debut feature Little Woods, a crime thriller starring Tessa Thompson and Lily James, was released to acclaim at Tribeca last year and is getting a wide release courtesy of Neon in April. We’re confident that she’ll bring something fascinating and different to the table, especially with a logline as strong as the one described in the Variety article:

“The studio is touting the upcoming film as a ‘spiritual sequel’ to the original. It will return to the neighborhood where the legend began: the now-gentrified section of Chicago where the Cabrini-Green housing projects once stood.”

Now, that’s one hell of a concept, and we can’t wait to see what DaCosta, Peele and (potentially) Abdul-Mateen II have in store for us. Variety claims that production will begin next spring, and that the film is currently slated to hit theaters on June 12, 2020, which means that they’ll have a lot of time to fill out the concept. While you wait, we highly recommend you subscribe to the horror streaming service Shudder and watch Horror Noire, their new documentary about the history of Black Horror (including Candyman), and after that, maybe watch a couple of the choice cuts that they have recently put up. We recommend the Snoop Dogg-starring Bones, which whips way more ass than you were led to believe back in the day.