American writer and director, Nia DaCosta becomes the first black woman director with a #1 box office film with the debut of ‘Candyman’.
Be sure not to say “Candyman” five times in front of your mirror tonight or risk summoning a hook-handed ghost. ‘Candyman’ is a horror thriller directed by Nia DaCosta and co-written by herself, horror noir and comedy genius, Jordan Peele and Win Rosenfeld.
Dacosta revived the Candyman franchise that debuted with the same name in 1992. The franchise is based on a short story from the cult classic, “The Books of Blood” called, “The Forbidden” by Clive Barker.
The short story’s villain, the murderous ghost of a slave’s murdered son, is chillingly brought to life on screen. This is the fourth movie in the franchise and the first one since 1999.
Candyman was released on August 27 by Universal Pictures and grossed $22,370,00 in its initial domestic weekend.
Nia DaCosta made history as the first black woman director to reach number one in the box office. The movie has also received raving reviews for packing a gory punch while deepening the film series mythology.
Candyman is one of a few black-centred horror films. DaCosta told the Guardian, “I think Candyman is important in that way. Not necessarily my movie, but the concept of a sort of mythological figure that you can transpose a lot of stories on through horror, which is an easier genre through which to passively accept some hard truths.”
Speaking of hard truths, DaCosta spoke about the parallels between the main character being asked to incorporate “hood” themes in his art and her experiences in the film industry.
“I genuinely can just make a movie that doesn’t have to traffic in Black pain, says DaCosta”
The up-and-coming filmmaker has easily become one to watch, making cinematic history with just three films out and one on the way. ‘Candyman’ follows DaCosta’s debut feature, ‘Little Woods’ following two sisters on the brink of homelessness in North Dakota.
The industry newcomer is only going up from here. Continuing her uphill progression she will be directing ‘Captain Marvel 2’, starring Park Seo-Joon, Brie Larson and Teyonah Parris set to release on November 11, 2022.
But, as DaCosta finds herself chipping away at the glass ceiling, paving the way for other black women, she finds herself facing irreverence from her peers. She told the Guardian, “It’s not necessarily overtly racist, but it is shocking the way people have talked to me in my position as a director”.
One thing is for sure, Nia DaCosta is making giant strides for black women in film and we can’t wait to see what she does next.