‘Candyman’: Release date, cast and everything else we know about the horror film

Candyman animation from Nia DaCosta's 'Candyman'
(Image credit: Universal)

Get ready for the return of Candyman, as the 1992 horror film adapted from Clive Baker’s book The Forbidden is getting a spiritual sequel also simply titled Candyman

It should probably be no surprise that Jordan Peele, who has become a key figure of the horror genre in recent years with Get Out and Us, is involved in the continuation of Candyman, as the original film has earned cult status since its release almost 30 years ago. The new film will hope to bring the frights to a new generation.

Before that, here is everything you need to know about Candyman.

What is the plot of ‘Candyman’?

In a Chicago neighborhood, there’s a myth of a murderous soul with a hook for a hand that can be summoned by saying his name five times in the mirror. So of course, some people just can't help themselves, which will set the whole film into motion.

Here's Universal's official synopsis of Candyman:

"For as long as the 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 the present day, a decade after the last of the Cabrini towers were torn down, a visual artist named Anthony McCoy and his girlfriend, an art gallery director named Brianna Cartwright, moved into a luxurious loft condo in Cabrini, now gentrified beyond recognition and inhabited by the upwardly mobile millennials. With Anthony's painting career on the brink of stalling, a chance encounter with a Cabrini Green old-timer exposes Anthony to the tragically horrific nature of the true story behind the 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."

Who is in the ‘Candyman’ cast?

With Candyman being a horror film, you can guess that there aren’t too many opportunities to have characters return from the original for this newest adaptation, but there will be a couple. Most notably, Tony Todd is returning as Candyman, so is Vanessa Williams as her character Anne-Marie McCoy.

The new victims for Candyman to pursue include Yahya Abudl-Mateen II (Aquaman, Watchmen) as Anthony, Teyonah Parris (WandaVision) as Brianna, Colman Domingo as William and Nathan Stewart-Jarrett as Troy. Additional cast members include Kyle Kaminsky, Rebecca Spence, Carl Clemons-Hopkins, Brian King, Cassie Kramer, Miriam Moss and Cedric Mays, among others.

Is Jordan Peele directing ‘Candyman’?

Jordan Peele’s name is heavily featured in all promotions for Candyman, but he is not actually the director on the film. Instead he wrote the screenplay (along with Nia DaCosta and Win Rosenfeld) and is serving as a producer.

It is his co-screenwriter Nia DaCosta who directed Candyman. DaCosta’s lone feature film directing credit before Candyman was the 2018 indie film Little Woods that starred Tessa Thompson and Lily James. You’ll be hearing a lot more about DaCosta in the near future as she is also attached to direct the upcoming MCU film The Marvels, the sequel to Captain Marvel.

Also: ‘Candyman’ director Nia DaCosta discusses the film’s bittersweet hope

As for Peele, his next directorial effort will be another horror film, Nope, which is eyeing a 2022 release.

When is the ‘Candyman’ release date?

Candyman is set to hit theaters on Aug. 27. Like so many recent films, it’s been a long journey to the big screen for Candyman.

The film was originally expected to have September 2020 release date before initially being pushed to Oct. 16, 2020. release before Universal decided to pull it from the schedule last September due to the pandemic. While many films opted to go direct to streaming amid the delays, DaCosta pushed to have Candyman play on the big screen.

“We made Candyman to be seen in theaters,” DaCosta wrote on Twitter following the delay. “Not just for spectacle but because the film is about community and stories — how they shape each other, how they shape us. It’s about the collective experience of trauma and joy, suffering and triumph, and the stories we tell around it.”

Candyman will get its theatrical release, but there is a chance that it could be made available on VOD not too long after that. Universal has a deal with theater chains that allows it to make its movies available on VOD as soon as 17 days after they premiere in theaters, 31 if they make more than $50 million in their opening weekend. However, there hasn’t been any official word on if/when Candyman will become available on VOD.

Is there a ‘Candyman’ trailer?

Take a peek at what Candyman has in store for you with the film’s trailer.

How to watch ‘Candyman’ (1992)?

As mentioned, this new Candyman is a spiritual sequel to the original 1992 film. While it will have connective tissue (most notably some returning actors), it will be possible to see the new Candyman without having to watch the original.

But, if you want to see Candyman’s first appearance you can do so right now through streaming. Candyman is available to watch for free on Peacock, NBCUniversal’s streaming service.

Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Only Murders in the Building, Yellowstone, The Boys, Game of Thrones and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.