“The Filmmaker’s Eye: Nia DaCosta” Featurette
Candyman is summoned once again in the follow-up to his first horrifying appearance back in 1992. And Nia DaCosta is the director who dared to say his name and bring him back to life on the big screen.
With his hook, long wool coat, and recognizable voice, Candyman instantly became an icon of the horror genre. Despite the two installments that came after the release of the original, Candyman (2021) serves as a ‘spiritual sequel’ to the one that started it all. This is essentially a new take on the lore and how Candyman’s myth continues to haunt the people of Cabrini-Green. If you’re looking to learn even more about how Nia DaCosta created a legendary return for the urban legend himself, be sure to watch the behind-the-scenes look, “The Filmmaker’s Eye: Nia DaCosta,” in our Candyman (2021) "Featurettes" section.
The stories that stick with you the most are the ones you probably heard growing up. As you’ll find out in this Candyman (2021) exclusive, Nia DaCosta never forgot about the horrifying tale she heard as a child. According to DaCosta herself, “Candyman was just like a real sort of urban legend when I was growing up. It felt very present. I lived across the street from the projects, and so for us, Candyman was just hanging out over across the streets from us.” This childhood fear, however, soon turned into her inspiration for eventually helming the newest Candyman film. Alongside this lifelong connection to the project, DaCosta also talks about what makes the man behind the myth so haunting.
It goes without saying that Candyman offers a completely new take on horror. Instead of taking place in a quiet suburban neighborhood, the Candyman movies are set in the center of everyday urban life. Alongside the setting, these films mainly revolve around the Black experience in America and how the country’s history shapes those people’s lives today. Producer Jordan Peele (director of the upcoming Nope) says that “It felt important that this Candyman be seen from a Black perspective. That it be told from a Black perspective.” As you can probably deduce for yourself, you often don’t get the opportunity to explore horror through the eyes of someone like Anthony McCoy (played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) or Brianna Cartwright (played by Teyonah Parris). For this reason, it was very important for the Candyman (2021) crew to find a Black director to tell this story in an authentic and truly terrifying manner.
There were many horror directors being considered for this project. However, Nia DaCosta had proven herself to be the perfect choice for the production. Just as Candyman (2021) producer/ co-writer Win Rosenfeld P.G.A. says in this exclusive look, DaCosta was someone “Who could really sink into this world that we were building, someone who could really work with what’s ultimately a character piece.” Using 1992’s Candyman as a template, DaCosta went about crafting a story that shifted the focus from Helen Lyle from the original to Anthony McCoy. Despite the change in leads, DaCosta made sure that the eeriness and character-focused nature of the first film was alive and well in her own installment.
Further along in this Candyman (2021) featurette, you’ll see just how admired DaCosta was on set. During their interviews, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Teyonah Parris praise DaCosta for her directorial style and her ability to truly make the movie her own. Many crew members, like producer Ian Cooper P.G.A. and production designer Cara Brower, also highlight the sheer dedication and vision that DaCosta brought on set every single day.
From this unanimous praise behind the scenes to the final product, you can see why Nia DaCosta was the perfect choice for directing Candyman (2021). Even though it might be scary to do, DaCosta pursued her passion and made everyone fear the name ‘Candyman’ once again.
Just make sure not to say it 5 times!
Want to watch more behind-the-scenes exclusives for Candyman (2021)? BEE sure to watch featurettes like this one when you buy the movie on 4k Ultra HD, DVD, Digital, or Blu-rayTM*.
*Bonus features are only available at select digital retailers. Check the retailer for details.
Like this article? Read more about the making of Candyman (2021) here: