Candyman is due out this summer and has an impressive range of talent behind it. Yayha Abdul-Mateen II stars, Jordan Peele is on script duty and Little Woods‘ Nia DaCosta is in the director’s chair. Right now, we have conflicting reports on whether it’ll be a sequel or a full reboot though, as the production was filmed under the code name Say my Name and there was a lot of secrecy on set.
One aspect we don’t know much about is the extent of Tony Todd’s involvement. Todd played the Candyman in the original and its sequels Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh and Candyman: Day of the Dead. He’s an iconic physical presence at 6’5 and it’s difficult to imagine the character played by anyone else. The current thinking is that he’s at least involved in the movie and indeed, he’s listed as being in the cast on IMDb.
But now our sources – the same ones who said Han would return in Fast & Furious 9 and Lethal Weapon 5 is moving forward with Danny Glover and Mel Gibson, both of which have been confirmed – are telling us that Tony Todd won’t physically appear in the film and that we’ll just hear his voice. So, what’s going on here?
Well, I would assume that if Todd isn’t reprising the role, then Abdul-Mateen II is our new Candyman. However, DaCosta has gone out of her way to insist that she’s not replacing him, saying in the past:
“I can’t say what’s happening in the film because we want it to be a surprise, but he’s not replacing Tony Todd. That’s been reported, and I was just like, “I don’t know what to say about this. This is not right.'”
This could tie in with what we heard from Todd back in February 2019 as well, when he seemed to have resigned himself to passing on the Candyman mantle, explaining:
“Cheers to Candyman, a wonderful character I’ve lived with for 25 years. He’s brought grace and glory and a beautiful boatload of friends & family, I’m honored that the spirit of Daniel Robitaille & Cabrini Green rises again. Truth to power! Blessings to the cast & crew.”
My bet is that we’ll see Abdul-Mateen II’s character somehow becoming the new Candyman – potentially some kind of ‘host’ for him. Word is that the film is set in the same neighborhood as the original, and it’s now been gentrified. Perhaps the troubled past of the area rises up around the trendy coffee shops and hipster bars? We could hear Todd’s voice inside Abdul-Mateen’s head influencing his actions throughout the film, but who knows? At least for now, Candyman remains mysterious.