Candyman director Nia DaCosta confirms Aquaman actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is not replacing Tony Todd. News started to spread at the end of February that Abdul-Mateen II was taking on the villain role in the new movie, which is being produced by Us director Jordan Peele. Original star Todd has let it be known that he really wants to have a part in what Peele is calling a "spiritual sequel" to the original. As of January of this year, Todd was unsure if he would have a part in the upcoming movie.

In a new interview promoting Little Woods, Nia DaCosta was asked about the new Candyman movie. DaCosta was tight-lipped about the upcoming project, but also felt that she needed to clear the air about certain casting rumors. Specifically, the director was asked about the Yahya Abdul-Mateen II casting announcement. She explains.

"Well, it's been slightly misreported. 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.'"

It looks like there might be something else going on under the surface that could be a twist from Jordan Peele and Nia DaCosta. Will Tony Todd end up returning to the iconic role? It surely seems like a possibility due to the secrecy surrounding the new Candyman at this time. It's possible that we could see a passing of the torch-type of moment between Todd and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. That's clearly speculation at this point, but Peele does love a good twist.

When asked about original Candyman source material author Clive Barker, Nia DaCosta had nothing but praise for the legendary horror director/writer. The 1992 movie is based on Barker's short story The Forbidden, which is considered to be a supernatural horror classic. When crafting the new movie, DaCosta wants to add some of Barker's weird and expansive elements to it. She had this to say.

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"Oh, man, I love his work a lot, from Abarat to everything else. There's so much specificity and dark whimsy in his work. Dark whimsy is not the right word, but there's so much reality and truth in it, at the same time. Being able to take genre and expansive worlds and expansive people, and doing that as well as he's done it, is a big thing. Also, there's the weirdness of it that I think is really special, and how specific that weirdness is. That's what I want to draw into our Candyman."

Drawing from the source material is always a wise idea, especially when it was written by Clive Barker. Nia DaCosta and Jordan Peele's Candyman is getting more mysterious by the day and that is definitely a good thing. Let's just hope that Tony Todd will have some type of role in the upcoming sequel. The actor has been pretty quiet about the situation for the past few months after being pretty vocal. The interview with Nia DaCosta was originally conducted by Collider.

Kevin Burwick at Movieweb
Kevin Burwick