The Candyman sequel’s release date may have been delayed, but that just makes us even more eager to see a new take on the familiar terror. In the meantime, Little Woods director Nia DaCosta is sharing her thoughts on what she loves about the horror genre, her biggest influences, and why she wanted to work on Candyman. Hint: The answer is Jordan Peele.
During a livetweet session with Ava DuVernay’s Array Now film fellowship, DaCosta chatted about coming onboard to direct Candyman, the long-awaited continuation of the classic horror film series about a Bloody Mary-type killer who comes through a mirror when summoned. She said a big reason she wanted to join the project was her appreciation of Peele’s work and an “obsession with Candyman as a kid.” That said, she did not that directing a sequel is pretty challenging work—especially when you’re coming into a nostalgic franchise that so many people grew up with, including her.
“There are so many points of view, expectations, a lot of pressure,” she wrote. “Honestly, the mix of my own geekdom and being storyteller made it easier to sort what was necessary from a fan service POV, [versus] telling a great story. Not mutually exclusive!”
DaCosta’s been working in horror since, well, the beginning. She shared how her first film was a horror short called “The Black Girl Dies Last” that she and her friends made in the middle of the night during their junior year of high school (she jokingly called it “a masterpiece”). Since then, she’s worked hard to grow her skill and expertise in the genre, with her biggest horror influences being The Fly, Rosemary’s Baby, and, yes, Jurassic Park. She shared how she’s still working to find her own voice, but that’s something that takes a bit of time.
“For me, it has come from practice. Always refining, distilling, searching,” she wrote. “But I’m beginning to not only understand what ‘a Nia DaCosta film’ will look and feel like, but why.”
It looks like Candyman is going to be the next stop in watching DaCosta continue to emerge as one of the most exciting new voices in the horror genre. Candyman is set to open on September 25.
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