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Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude

Exclusive Clip: Say His Name—Candyman's Origin Story Involves Being a Victim of Police Brutality

In an exclusive clip sent to The Root, William (Colman Domingo) tells Anthony (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) the urban legend of Candyman.

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Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Tony Todd and Colman Dolmingo in Candyman (2021)
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Tony Todd and Colman Dolmingo in Candyman (2021)
Photo: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Nia DaCosta’s Candyman (produced by Jordan Peele) is finally coming to theaters after a few delays (of course, the pandemic has done this to several much-anticipated films) so it is now time to...say his name...but, not five times in a mirror! Hell, I barely want to type his name five times in this blog post, regardless of the fact that I’m staring at a computer screen and not a mirror.

Here’s the synopsis scoop of the upcoming film from the official press release sent to The Root:

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; HBO’s Watchmen, Us) and his partner, gallery director Brianna Cartwright (Teyonah Parris; If Beale Street Could Talk, The Photograph), 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; HBO’s Euphoria, Assassination Nation) 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 terrifying wave of violence that puts him on a collision course with destiny.

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In this self-described “spiritual sequel” to the 1992 horror classic of the same name the haunted urban legend is absolutely relevant to today—particularly noting the Black Lives Matter uprisings of 2020. The 1992 film certainly had racially charged themes and its sequel is taking it a step further.

In an exclusive clip obtained by The Root, William Burke (Domingo) tells Anthony the origin story of the mysterious Candyman.

“He had a hook for a hand,” William says in the clip, with his gravelly voice. “Neighborhood character who used to hand out sweets to us as a kid. One October, a razor blade shows up in a little white girl’s Halloween candy. And one day...I saw him myself...”

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William recalls that as a little boy he saw Candyman emerging from his hiding place within the walls. Little William screams in the flashback, summoning the police to “kill him right there on the spot.”

As we hear Candyman’s bloodcurdling scream, William reveals that he was innocent—because the razor blade-in-candy issue kept continuing. An innocent Black man criminalized by default and thusly killed by police—sound familiar? It’s way too real...

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Candyman comes out—especially if you say his name five times in a mirror—only in theaters Aug. 27.