Rising filmmaker and movie director Nia DaCosta made history recently when her directorial debut film Candyman landed the number one spot in the US box office. Candyman beat Free Guy, which stars Ryan Reynolds. The sequel to the 1992 horror film generated a whopping $22.3 million or £16 million in its opening weekend in the US and Canada.
Candyman ranks the second-biggest three-day debut in terms of movie sales directed by a Black woman. In 2018, Ava DuVernay’s Disney release A Wrinkle in Time topped the box office with $33.1 million in sales. The recent success of Candyman is an impressive achievement, seeing that most of the stakeholders in the film industry have yet to fully recover from the blows that the pandemic delivered since 2020. If anything, film companies are only starting to recover from their losses, but DaCosta has made a significant leap with her recent project.
DaCosta co-wrote the Candyman sequel alongside other gifted creatives such as Jordan Peele and Win Rosenfeld. Peele is an American actor, comedian, and filmmaker who has been known for his works in horror and comedy films. Win Rosenfeld, on the other hand, is a popular screenwriter and producer who has been doing remarkable collaborations with Peele for quite some time. The three coming together combined unique perspectives for the Candyman sequel, making it more than just a killing spree. Instead, they created an awe-inspiring story that highlights the reality of systemic racism and how it affects the lives of Black Americans.
The original Candyman film was succeeded by two other installments: Candyman: Farewell To The Flesh in 1995 and Candyman: Day Of The Dead in 1999. None of them, however, carried the artistry that DaCosta included in her latest sequel. At some point in her life, she truly believed that the original Candyman was based on an urban legend.
“Eventually, I saw the movie when I was in elementary school, I think, but then as I got older, I realized it was actually a really cool, interesting, weird film, and that made me love it even more,” DaCosta told Digital Spy. “I’ve always been a fan of the movie.”
Actor Tony Todd, Vanessa Estelle Williams, and Virginia Madsen reappear in the film to reprise their former roles. Other members of the cast include Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, who will also appear in upcoming movies, including The Matrix 4, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, Mad Max: The Wasteland, Ambulance, and Furiosa. In Candyman, he stars alongside Teyonah Parris (Mad Men), Colman Domingo (Without Remorse), Nathan Stewart-Jarrett (Generation), and Cassie Kramer (The Girls of Summer), among others.
Born November 8, 1989, DaCosta had her first break with the crime thriller Little Woods, which she wrote and directed in 2019. The movie got her the Nora Ephron Prize at the Tribeca Film Festival. She finished a degree at the New York University Tisch School of the Arts, where she met world-renowned director Martin Scorsese while she was working as a production assistant.
DaCosta also achieved a remarkable feat when she was named the first Black woman to direct a Marvel film, Captain Marvel 2, which is scheduled for release in 2022.