When you hear the word Candyman, there’s one of two things that probably come to mind: Either the delightful, sing-along song from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, or the horrifying, nightmare-inducing 1992 movie by the same name. Starring Tony Todd as the title terror, Candyman is based on horror icon Clive Barker‘s short story “The Forbidden” from his “Books of Blood” collection and is easily the most well-known of said adaptations. Writer-director Bernard Rose‘s horror feature was the first of a trilogy, but now it seems that a remake may be in the works with none other than Jordan Peele in talks to get it off the ground.
As Bloody-Disgusting reports, Peele may produce, with the possibility of directing, a Candyman revisit through his Monkeypaw Productions. While the original tale followed Helen (Virginia Madsen), a graduate student writing a thesis on graffiti and urban legends (as you do), one could speculate that socially conscious Oscar-winner Peele might focus more on Candyman himself. The ghostly, summonable serial killer with a hook for a hand and a complicated relationship with bees has a more interesting origin story than most of the better-known 80s and 90s slashers.
The son of a slave, the man who would become Candyman grew up in a relatively prosperous family during the Civil War and post-war eras. His family’s wealth and the polite society around him gave him the opportunity to develop his skills as a portrait artist, though that society stopped being polite and started being openly racist when he married a White woman and fathered a child with her. His lover’s father set a lynch mob upon him who cut off his hand and replaced it with a hook. Unsatisfied with this punishment, the mob then covered him with stolen honey and allowed a swarm of bees to sting him to death before burning his body in a pyre. A century later, the legend goes that saying “Candyman” three times in a mirror will summon the vengeful spirit. (Go ahead and try it out, I’ll wait.)
However the deal works out, and however Peele could ultimately adapt this twisted tale, I’d love to see two things: A new Candyman along with a hand-off of sorts for the legendary Todd, and the return of thrice Oscar-nominated composer Philip Glass. I don’t know if a return to the horror genre would be enticing for him, but the addition of Peele at the head of this project certainly would be.
To get you caught up, please enjoy this most deliciously early-90s trailer for the original Candyman: