The 39-year-old filmmaker — who made his directorial debut with the acclaimed 2017 psychological scare fest Get Out — is bringing back the cult horror franchise, which began in 1992 and starred Tony Todd as a hook-wielding supernatural killer who appears after his name is said five times in a mirror.
Peele was previously reported to be producing the project for MGM and Monkeypaw Productions but now it has been revealed he and Win Rosenfeld will also pen the script, which is inspired by legendary horror author Clive Barker’s short story “The Forbidden.”
The project will be directed by Nia DaCosta.
Jonathan Glickman — MGM president, Motion Picture Group — said in a statement: “We cannot wait for the world to see what the mind-blowing combination of Jordan, Win and Nia bring to the legend of Candyman. They have created a story that will not only pay reverence to Clive Barker’s haunting and brilliant source material but is also thoroughly modern and will bring in a whole new generation of fans.”
Like Get Out, the original Candyman was centered around an African American character, the murderous Candyman, and Peele admits the movie had a huge impact on him when he was younger, especially as Todd also starred in Tom Savini’s 1990 remake of George A. Romero’s zombie classic Night of the Living Dead.
He said: “The original was a landmark film for Black representation in the horror genre. Alongside Night of the Living Dead, Candyman 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 honored 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 film spawned two follow-ups — Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh and Candyman: Day of the Dead — and Peel’s new movie has been described as “spiritual sequel” to the original and will be a return to the neighborhood where the legend began, a now-gentrified section of Chicago where the Cabrini-Green housing projects once stood.
Shooting on the movie is scheduled to begin in spring 2019, and Universal Pictures will release Candyman in theaters in June 2020.