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In his first two films Get Out and Us, Jordan Peele has shown that he not only wants to scare audiences, he also wants to give them something to think about. Through his Monkeypaw Productions label, Jordan Peele is next producing a reboot/spiritual sequel of the 1990s horror franchise Candyman, and it should come as no surprise that this film too will be tackling a timely topic. The new Candyman will address toxic fandom, as Monkeypaw Creative Director Ian Cooper explained:
We talk a lot about fans and the idea of appeasing fans and when you do that and how do you do that and when do you not do that. I think my issue with fandom is that it’s really problematic. It’s probably the most problematic thing facing the genre. It typically comes with a dogma that is abrasive and that is more resistant to change and permutation than you would think. I think what we’re trying to do with Candyman is both be mischievous in how we address the relationship to the first film but also be very satisfying.
Ian Cooper’s statements to Deadline on the topic are quite interesting because he mentioned how when doing a movie like Candyman, which is a continuation of an existing property with existing fans, there are questions about when and how to make those fans happy. But there are also times not to worry about potential backlash. That’s a tricky thing for any creator adapting or continuing an existing property.
With existing properties dominating the multiplex these days (be it remakes, reboots, sequels or adaptations) the potential to run afoul of fans is higher than ever. As Ian Cooper said, fandom has a pre-existing notion of what a beloved property is and what it isn’t and can often be resistant to change. So when there is a change, it can result in backlash that can turn toxic. That is the tightrope that Candyman has to walk and potentially, jump off of.
If you’re a fan of the previous Candyman films, it sounds like Jordan Peele’s new film is really going to mess with your expectations and play with different ideas about what a Candyman movie can and should be. It’s unclear as of yet how exactly the film from Little Woods director Nia DaCosta will do that within the narrative itself, but it sounds like the way in which this new Candyman connects to the previous films will address a certain kind of fandom.
Ian Cooper went on to tell Deadline that the idea is for this new movie to be appealing and accessible to new fans, while still satisfying fans of the original. It seems that the connection between the films could prove quite unexpected for fans of the property. So the idea isn’t to make Candyman fans angry, but more to play with expectations and have the freedom to tell a new story, while also addressing how toxic some fandom has become.
It sounds like a bold approach to take and one that I’m sure many fans will be very curious to see how it manifests in the film itself. We don’t know much about the story of the new Candyman, but it has been described as a spiritual sequel to the 1992 film and it will return to the Chicago neighborhood where the legend began to find the projects have now been gentrified.
Candyman arrives in theaters on June 12, 2020. To see what’s still headed your way this year, check out our 2019 Release Schedule.