Candyman’s Jordan Peele Explains Why He Didn’t Direct The Horror Flick

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II in Candyman

Jordan Peele has had a successful career as a comedian, but has become an extremely celebrated director over the past few years. His first two directorial outings were Get Out and Us, both of which were critical and box office hits when they arrived in theaters. Peele clearly has a passion for horror, writing and producing the highly anticipated sequel to 1992's Candyman. But given his track record with the genre thus far, cinephiles are questioning why he didn't direct the new Candyman movie. Luckily, he's recently answered that query.

Candyman is an iconic '90s slasher, which mixes true scares with a deeper meaning. It's since been applauded as a modern horror classic, balancing scares with commentary on race and class in America. Jordan Peele seems like a great choice to handle the new sequel, but he recently explained why the gig went to Nia DaCosta. As he put it,

I was working on Us when this would have happened. But quite honestly, Nia is better to shoot this than I am. I’m way too obsessed with the original tales in my head. I probably wouldn’t be any good. But Nia has a steady manner about her which you don’t see a lot in the horror space. She’s refined, elegant, every shot is beautiful. It’s a beautiful, beautiful movie. I’m so glad I didn’t mess it up.

Well, that was honest. It looks like Jordan Peele's schedule Us was what originally prevented him from signing on to direct Candyman. But in the end, he believes that Nia DaCosta was the right woman to bring this story to theaters. It looks like everything happens for a reason.

Jordan Peele's comments to Empire solves one of the overarching questions that has been surrounding the highly anticipated Candyman sequel. Peele's involvement as producer obviously gives a ton of credit to the upcoming horror movie, especially as director Nia DaCosta isn't exactly a household name. But if his praise for DaCosta is any indication, that might chance once Candyman finally hits theaters.

Nia DaCosta's Candyman will focus on visual artist Anthony (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), who moves into the newly gentrified Cabrini Green neighborhood in Chicago. He eventually hears the fables of Candyman, and soon becomes fixated with the stories. The first trailer teased that the interest bring the iconic villain to his door, and possibly mess with his sanity.

Fans of the original Candyman were also pleased to see original cast member Vanessa Estelle Williams reprising her role as Anne-Marie McCoy, although how large her role will be remains a mystery. But there's obviously a ton of love for the original coming to those making the new Candyman into a reality, and it should be fascinating to see how the modern themes help to influence the story.

Candyman is currently set to arrive in theaters on September 25th. In the meantime, check out our 2020 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.