Jordan Peele is turning to a familiar face to star in his spiritual sequel to the 1992 horror classic Candyman, as Lakeith Stanfield (Get Out) has an offer and is in talks to play the protagonist, an individual familiar with the project has told Collider.
Nia DaCosta (Little Woods) is directing from a script co-written by Peele and his MonkeyPaw Productions partner Win Rosenfield. MGM is slated to release the new Candyman movie on June 12, 2020.
The important thing to keep in mind here is that Stanfield is not slated to take over the titular hook-handed role originated by Tony Todd. According to SuperBroMovies, which broke the news, Stanfield is in talks to play Anthony, a young man in Chicago who is researching the urban legend known simply as Candyman. It’s not long before people around Anthony start dying, though it’s unclear if any of them first had to chant Candyman’s name five times in front of a mirror.
What is clear is that Stanfield is being eyed to play an inquisitive protagonist similar to the one Virginia Madsen played in the original film. You don’t see a lot of remakes/reboots/what have you gender-flip a role from female-to-male, but then again, Peele may be looking for a way to distinguish his movie from the films that came before it, and casting is the easiest way to do that.
Peele is aiming to imbue the new Candyman movie with the same kind of social relevance that Get Out had, and the material may actually be ripe for that approach, as Candyman was originally a slave whose hand was cut off, so there’s a lot of fertile ground for a horror movie to explore there. The original short story was written by horror maestro Clive Barker, and Peele said the 1992 movie was “a landmark film for black representation in the horror genre.”
Speaking of horror remakes, reboots, and spiritual sequels, MGM will release a high-tech remake of Child’s Play this summer, while Blumhouse is developing a new take on The Invisible Man, and Screen Gems’ reboot of The Grudge was recently pushed from this summer to next January.
Best known for playing Darius on FX’s Atlanta, as well as his supporting role in Peele’s directorial debut, Get Out, Stanfield is one of Hollywood’s hottest young talents. He’s coming off rave reviews for his turn in Boots Riley‘s directorial debut Sorry to Bother You, which struck a chord with audiences and saw a number of people dress up as his telemarketer character this past Halloween. Stanfield will soon be seen alongside Gina Rodriguez in Netflix’s rom-com Someone Great, and he has also wrapped Rian Johnson‘s murder mystery Knives Out with Daniel Craig as well as the Safdie brothers’ thriller Uncut Gems starring Adam Sandler. He’s represented by CAA and Stark Management.