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Director Nia DaCosta serves legacy and plenty of Black Girl Magic in Jordan Peele’s ‘Candyman’

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Parrish Lewis/Universal Pictures and MGM Pictures

Candyman director Nia DaCosta knew she was stepping on hallowed ground when she signed on to direct “a spiritual sequel” to the 1992 supernatural horror film of the same name. 

“I was a huge fan of the original film,” DaCosta tells ABC Audio. “I saw it when I was really young…and watched when I was older…and had a completely different perspective, but still loved it.”

DaCosta’s says her love for the original made her want to do right by its sequel, noting that she “pitched” her own ideas to producers Jordan Peele and Win Rosenfeld.

“When I heard that Jordan was going to do a version of it, I didn’t really know what that meant,” she shares. “But I read the script that he and Win had co-written together, and I was like, ‘Oh, I see what they’re doing with this…this is really exciting.’ And I pitched…based on the script that I read, and we were really aligned where we wanted to take the story.”

While DaCosta’s 2021 film serves as a continuation of the Candyman legacy, the director laughs when you remind her that’s she creating her own by being among the few Black women to director a horror film.

“[I]t’s so funny. I’m just trying to make sure I eat, drink enough water…call my mom more. So I don’t generally think about it in those terms,” she says. “And then usually [it’s] at times like this when I’m like, ‘Oh, right. That is a thing.'”

DaCosta continues, “[But it’s] really exciting…as someone who wanted to be doing this for such a long time… But there’s many more of us now, like Melina MatsoukasAva DuVernay and Kasi Lemmons. It’s so great to be in that company.”

Candyman is now in theaters.

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