Universal Pictures just released a great 20-minute chat about “The Impact of Black Horror” in promotion of Nia DaCosta‘s Candyman, featuring insights from star Colman Domingo as well as trauma psychotherapist Dr. Wendy Ashley, BEAM founder Yolo Akili Robinson, Confess Project founder Lorenzo Lewis, and horror author and professor Tananarive Due.
In addition to their insights, the video also features new clips from Candyman, including the first clip to actually make reference to Tony Todd‘s original Candyman, Daniel Robitaille.
Domingo’s character explains, “Candyman ain’t a he. Candyman’s the whole damn hive. Samuel Evans, run down during the white housing riots of the ’50s. William Bell, lynched in the ’20s. But the first one, where it all began, the story of Daniel Robitaille. He made a good living touring the country making portraits for wealthy families. Mostly white. And they loved it. But you know how it goes. They love what we make, but not us. They beat him, tortured him. They cut off his arm and jammed a meat hook in the stump. But a story like that. Pain like that. Lasts forever. That’s Candyman. Candyman is how we deal with the fact that these things happen.”
“That they’re still happening,” Domingo’s William adds.
Robitaille was the original Candyman, in other words, but DaCosta’s film aims to open up the mythology and explore the concept of Candyman not being merely one man but *all* Black men who have lost their lives over the years due to racist violence. It’s an idea that’s touched upon in the video chat you’ll find below, which we strongly encourage you to check out.
“To watch Black men continue to be victimized, over and over and over again, and yet still warning each other about it. Of course it’s real. And tragic,” Dr. Wendy Ashley notes.
In Candyman, co-written by Jordan Peele, “For as long as residents can remember, the housing projects of Chicago’s Cabrini Green neighborhood were terrorized by a word-of-mouth ghost story about a supernatural killer with a hook for a hand, easily summoned by those daring to repeat his name five times into a mirror. In present day, a decade after the last of the Cabrini towers were torn down, visual artist Anthony McCoy (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) and his girlfriend, gallery director Brianna Cartwright (Teyonah Parris), move into a luxury loft condo in Cabrini, now gentrified beyond recognition and inhabited by upwardly mobile millennials.”
“With Anthony’s painting career on the brink of stalling, a chance encounter with a Cabrini Green old-timer (Colman Domingo) exposes Anthony to the tragically horrific nature of the true story behind Candyman. Anxious to maintain his status in the Chicago art world, Anthony begins to explore these macabre details in his studio as fresh grist for paintings, unknowingly opening a door to a complex past that unravels his own sanity and unleashes a terrifyingly viral wave of violence that puts him on a collision course with destiny.”
Candyman returns to theaters on August 27, 2021.