Universal delays Candyman to 2021

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It’s a further delay for the big screen reboot of Candyman, as studios make further changes in response to Tenet’s box office performance.

Universal has delayed the much anticipated Candyman reimagining until January 2021, removing it from its original mid-October slot.  This marks the film’s third release scheduled date, as it was originally intended for a June release.

With Tenet’s staggered global release across different markets this far failing to convince studios of its success as an alternative approach, it may be that Candyman’s delay heralds a fresh wave of delays for films of a similar stature. However, the creative team behind the revival of the 1992 horror classic are adamant that their movie will get a theatrical reason, for reasons beyond the usual ‘it was made for the big screen’.

As director, Nia DaCosta, told Twitter over the weekend, the communal viewing experience is integral to the film’s themes and meaning.

‘We made Candyman to be seen in theaters. Not just for the 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. We wanted the horror and humanity of Candyman to be experienced in a collective, a community, so we’re pushing Candyman to next year, to ensure that everyone can see the film, in theaters, and share in that experience.’

We’re certainly in the midst of strange times when one director tells us we need to see their film in the cinema, although it’s not in the cinema, meanwhile another director is telling us not to go to see their film that is playing theatrically (the directors of the new Anthony Mackie film, Synchronic, have asked audiences to stay away from its October theatrical run in the US, citing audience safety, and await the film’s VoD release instead).

It’s hard to disagree with either perspective too. Some films can only truly be appreciated in the communal space afforded by a cinema, but in the US especially, there are understandable concerns as to the safety of audiences. What is for sure though is that we won’t be seeing Candyman until 2021 at the earliest as it aims to meet its third scheduled release date.

Hopefully, come January, audiences will be scared to be in a cinema for entirely entertainment-based reasons alone.


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