Newbie Oscar-winning filmmaker Jordan Peele is sticking with the horror genre post-Get Out and has entered talks to produce a remake of Bernard Rose’s cult classic 1992 Clive Barker adaptation, Candyman. Peele is currently shooting his new social thriller Us, but is lending his talents as a producer to several developing genre projects, including CBS All Access’ Twilight Zone TV show reboot and HBO’s horror-mystery series Lovecraft Country(which Peele co-created with Underground‘s Misha Green).
Based on Barker’s short story “The Forbidden” (from his Books of Blood collection series), Rose’s Candyman starred Virginia Madsen as Helen Lyle, a Chicago grad student who gets in too deep while researching the urban legend of the Candyman: the son of a slave and an artist who was attacked by a lynch mob, after he fell in love with and had a child with a white woman in the late 19th century. After his attackers cut off his painting hand and smeared honey on him so he would be stung to death by bees, Candyman returned from the grave as a killer who’s covered in bees, armed with a hook-hand, and able to be summoned by those who say his name five times while looking in a mirror.
According to Bloody Disgusting, Peele is now in talks to produce a Candyman remake through his Monkeypaw Productions banner. While it’s possible the actor/writer/director is considering directing the remake himself, Peele seems more inclined to focus his time and effort on lower-budgeted original fare like Get Out and Us at the moment, while serving as a producer only on studio tentpoles and/or reboots of popular IPs like Twilight Zone.
As noted by BD, Rose has expressed a desire to make a proper sequel that builds on the (horrifying) conclusion to his original film in recent years, after the two followups released in the 1990s (Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh and Candyman: Day of the Dead) failed to pick up that plot thread. Were such a film to happen, it could follow in the footsteps of next month’s Halloween and serve as a direct sequel to the first Candyman movie that renders the events of its previous sequels non-canon.
For the time being, however, Peele’s remake is the only Candyman-related project that appears to be actively moving forward. The reboot no doubt faces an uphill battle when it comes to winning over longtime fans of Rose’s original – a movie that, among other things, made a horror icon out of Candyman actor Tony Todd, years before he appeared in series like Final Destination and Hatchet. Even so, Candyman‘s social overtones make it a good match for Peele’s newfound brand of racially sensitive and otherwise politically thoughtful horror.