A haunting new image from the upcoming Candyman may well have revealed something very important about the direction of the highly anticipated horror sequel. The image depicts a shadowy figure, clearly the titular tormentor, but it certainly does not look like returning actor Tony Todd under the guise of Candyman. No, in fact, it undeniably looks like Watchmen star Yahya Abdul-Matten II, suggesting that his character Anthony McCoy will be inextricably linked to the hook-handed spectre.

This twist is something that has been theorized by horror fans for some time, based on the hints that have littered the movie's trailers and promotional material. This new image all but confirms that Yahya Abdul-Matten II's character, Anthony McCoy, will be handed the torch and take on the role of Candyman. This element should provide ample (and no doubt very gory) twists and turns as McCoy is tormented by this identity crisis as he is encompassed by the Candyman's legacy.

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Described as a spiritual sequel to the 1992 original, the official synopsis for Candyman is as follows; "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, a gallery director named Brianna Cartwright, moved into a luxury 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."

Candyman is being directed by Nia DaCosta, and stars Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Teyonah Parris, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, and Colman Domingo as well as Tony Todd who is returning as the title character. Get Out director Jordan Peele is on board as both writer and producer alongside Win Rosenfeld. A newcomer and a relative unknown, DaCosta made her own acclaimed directorial debut with 2018's crime-thriller Little Woods starring Tessa Thompson and Lily James. She has previously spoken of the importance of having a team of black artists both in front of and behind the camera, to best continue the story of the Candyman. "There is definitely a sense of taking ownership, and telling a Black story about Black people. It was very important for all of us to have our main character be Black, and for this experience to be through the Black lens. Let's make sure we change the lens now."

It was confirmed recently that movie will receive an R-rating for "bloody horror violence, and language including some sexual references." Interestingly, the listing also reveals that the movie will be titled Say My Name in certain overseas markets, most likely those that are not as familiar with the Candyman brand. Candyman is scheduled to be released on October 16, 2020. This comes to us courtesy of Total Film's official Twitter account.

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Jon Fuge at Movieweb
Jon Fuge