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Jordan Peele’s Candyman Starting Production in August

Production on Jordan Peele’s take on Bernard Rose’s 1992 hit film Candyman begins in August. The original film is beloved by horror fans to this day and is considered a contemporary classic. Two sequels followed, but they weren’t regarded in the same manner as the original film, which starred Tony Todd as the titular villain. There has been little to no backlash towards the new project, but this can be credited to Peele’s involvement, since he has garnered a reputation in the horror genre due to his two successful film’s Get Out and Us.

Based on Clive Baker’s short story “The Forbidden,” the film follows graduate student Helen Lyle as she and her friend explore local myths and legends for a research paper. After doubting the existence of a legend called Candyman, Helen’s skepticism leads her to discover that he is more than just a myth. Candyman received critical acclaim for numerous reasons, particularly for tackling social issues and its love story. Peele will be penning his take on the classic film, producing it through his Monkeypaw Production company. It is being called a “spiritual sequel” to the original, but what that means is still unknown. Todd, who initially had mixed feelings about the project, will be participating as well.

Related: Jordan Peele’s Candyman Reboot Recruits Nia DaCosta To Direct

According to the Chicago Tribune, production on Peele’s Candyman will commence in Chicago next month. While the original 1992 film had some scenes shot on Los Angeles sound stages, Peele’s take will only be shot in the Chicago area. Specific filming locations were not revealed, but production is expected to begin mid-August and end in the fall.

No official plot details have been revealed for the film, but it is going to tackle the rise in toxic fandom and probably a multitude of other relevant issues. Candyman, a former slave, was an artist that was lynched by an angry mob for his relationship with a white woman. How exactly the toxic fandom will tie into the legend of Candyman is unclear. With Production set to begin in a few weeks, expect more details to be revealed regarding what the movie will be centered on. However, Lakeith Stanfield will reportedly play a character named Anthony, a name shared by a child who was kidnapped in Barker’s classic film. Perhaps Peele’s take will feature the same character trying to research the legend and avenge the death of Heather Lyle, the woman who saved his life.

With production set to begin, horror fans will have their first look at the new Candyman sooner rather than later. Peele is undoubtedly the right person to get a shot at expanding on the mythos of the titular villain, as the content of the original is right up his alley. His involvement is a big selling point for the project, and hopefully, he can resurrect the myth of Candyman properly.

More: Candyman Remake Eyeing If Beale Street Could Talk’s Teyonah Parris

Source: Chicago Tribune


2019-07-12 08:07:47

Eric Trigg

Jordan Peele Explains Us Movie’s Ambiguous Ending Scene

Jordan Peele explained Us’ ambiguous ending scene. As the follow-up to Peele’s directorial debut Get Out, Us has already achieved record-breaking status at the box office, as well as huge amounts of critical acclaim. Arguably one of the most genuinely frightening horror films to come along in some time, Us provides solid proof that Jordan Peele’s success with Get Out wasn’t a one-off.

Starring Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss, and Tim Heidecker, Us follows the Wilson family (Nyong’o and Duke) as they head to their family beach house with their two children for the summer. Adelaide (Nyong’o) feels an uncomfortable attachment to the local area since having accidentally been separated from her parents one evening when she was a child. As her feelings turn to anxiety, the Wilsons are visited by a strange family one night, its members exact doppelgängers of the vacationing Wilsons. These doppelgängers (known as the Tethered) quickly become the Wilson’s worst nightmare, and the film progresses at a nail-biting rate, escalating until its final, shocking twist.

Related: Us Director Jordan Peele Unlikely To Cast White Male Leads in Future Films

Because the ending is so surprising, some have found it to be rather ambiguous. Us packs a lot into its 116-minutes, making it easy for audiences to be distracted or too scared to immediately consider the film’s open ending. Fortunately, The A.V. Club have relayed Jordan Peele’s explanation of the ending – in which the surviving version of Adelaide is revealed to actually be a Tethered – as a metaphor for the monster being us; that it’s about looking at ourselves as individuals and a group. Peele said:

“This movie’s about maybe the monster is you. It’s about us kind of looking at ourselves as individuals and as a group. The protagonist in a movie is the surrogate for the audience. So it felt like, at the end of the day, I wasn’t doing my core theme any justice if I wasn’t revealing that we have been the bad guy in this movie. We’ve been following the villain.”

In addition to this insight, Peele also stated that he uses the term “villain” lightly, as the film strives to create questions surrounding good and evil, as well as how we perceive otherness when confronted with the mixture of human beings that are both Tethered and Untethered in Us. Lastly, Peele explained his take on that final creepy smile that Adelaide gives the audience and her son, Jason, at the film’s conclusion:

“I think the little smile she gives him is a lot of things. I think it’s a connection to the evil smile she once had as a little girl, but also a sort of understanding that her family unit was stronger from this experience.”

The ambiguity of what becomes of Earth and the people living among the Tethered is central to many of the questions being asked about Us. And while the internet continues to be filled with theory after theory regarding the Tethered and the Untethered, Peele’s ability to keep fans thinking and talking long after they’ve seen the film is a marvel in an era that typically sees popular Hollywood films answer any questions with sequels. For his part, Peele has made his point with Us, leaving audiences with an untold number of unique secrets to be explored on their own.

More: All The Clues To Us’ Big Twist

Source: The A.V. Club


2019-04-06 04:04:43

Mike Jones

Us Director Jordan Peele Unlikely to Cast White Male Leads in Future Films

Us director Jordan Peele says he’s unlikely to cast white male leads in future films. Since grabbing the attention of audiences during his early days on FOX’s long-running sketch comedy series MAD TV, Peele has fallen into the role of the consummate artist, working as a comedian, actor, producer, writer and director.

It was his work on Get Out – the 2017 racially charged horror film debut he wrote and directed – that not only gained him mainstream acclaim, but also earned him a best original screenplay Oscar. Overnight, Peele went from being a well-known comedian to the first black recipient of a best screenplay Oscar – a veritable game changer in terms of his career and arguably for black filmmaking in general. Here was a talent who had arrived in a big way, right in the middle of a controversy surrounding the lack of minority inclusion in the making of films, and the annual awards ceremonies that failed to recognize the few who were included.

Related: What Jeremiah 11:11 Means In Us

With the release of Us – Peele’s follow up to Get Out – now obliterating box-office records and earning the distinction of the second highest-grossing opening for an original live-action film, THR has reported that during a conversation at L.A.’s legendary Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theater, the red hot writer/director revealed that he’s unlikely to cast any white male leads. Peele was met with applause and shouts of agreement when he stated to the standing room only audience that:

“I don’t see myself casting a white dude as the lead in my movie. Not that I don’t like white dudes. But I’ve seen that movie. It really is one of the best, greatest pieces of this story, is feeling like we are in this time – a renaissance has happened and proved the myths about representation in the industry are false.”

Ever since its release, audiences have praised Us, and the film’s ability to terrify with its unrelenting pace and downright creepy onscreen depictions of the Tethered – a brutal population of doppelgangers who want everything that the earth’s current population has denied them. The film differs from Get Out in numerous ways, but one major difference is that it doesn’t try to implement notions of race into its narrative. Instead, Peele has given audiences a spectacle of true horror movie proportions – one in which its lead characters just happen to be black. In this way, Peele has already begun to single-handedly change what many would argue has previously been a film industry that’s only interested in black casts when the focus is specifically on race.

Perhaps numerous reasons and catalysts can currently be pointed to as an explanation for Hollywood beginning to change its outdated ways. And while small pockets of people might argue that Peele shouldn’t be discounting potentially casting a white male lead at some point, the fact of the matter is that Peele’s right. He has seen that film before, as we all have. Like him or not, his arrival marks a definite turning point – not just in Hollywood inclusion or race relations, but in cinema as a whole. With that in mind, it’s hard to deny that he’s the game-changer that so many have been waiting for.

More: 10 Projects You Didn’t Know Jordan Peele Worked On Other Than Us

Source: THR


2019-03-27 06:03:04

Mike Jones

10 Black Horror Films to Watch Before Jordan Peele’s Us

Jordan Peele’s Get Out shattered both minds and expectations when it hit cinemas in 2017: scoring both a best original screenplay Oscar and bringing a welcome critical eye to a genre that has historically sidelined people of color in favor of white narratives. The young director brought “Black Horror” to new prominence, but as Shudder’s recent documentary Horror Noire proves, Black films and filmmakers have always been a crucial (though not always visible) part of the fright flick landscape. This deep well of genre cinema has championed, explored, or exploited the lot of people of color since the medium’s earliest days, and with Peele’s sophomore effort, Us primed to tear up the box office, now is a perfect time to re-discover the highs and lows of African American Horror cinema that came before.

RELATED: 10 Most Anticipated Horror Movies Of 2019

10 Night Of The Living Dead

Directed by the late, great George A. Romero, Night of the Living Dead (1968) was a landmark film for both the development of independent cinema and the positive portrayal of POC on film. Romero did what was then unthinkable, casting Duane Jones as his heroic lead – elevating what might have been a run-of-the-mill shocker into a blistering cultural commentary on the tumultuous 1960s. Though Jones resented his association with the film up until his death in 1988, his iconic turn as a take-charge everyman calling the shots for a primarily Caucasian group of survivors was a watershed moment for cinematic representation in the Civil Rights era.

9 Blacula

William Crain’s 1972 update of the Dracula myth has shed its problematic “blaxploitation” label over the years and emerged as something of an essential classic. Though these types of films were primarily aimed at the pocketbooks of urban black audiences, their over-reliance on stereotype has since marked them as necessary though troublesome steps forward in representation. Crain, however, as one of the first black filmmakers from a major film school (UCLA) to achieve commercial success, created in the undead 18th-century African prince Mamuwalde (William Marshall) a figure of suaveness and grace that challenged the dominant Hollywood narrative that a black man must be brutal or criminal to wield power.

8 Ganja And Hess

Named one of the ten best American films of the decade by the Cannes film festival, Bill Gunn’s Ganja and Hess (1973) is an experimental horror film that follows an anthropologist, Dr. Hess (Duane Jones of Night of The Living Dead) as he learns to cope with his transformation into a vampire and navigate the choppy waters of a blooming romance with Ganja (Marlene Clark), the woman whose deceased husband is responsible for his affliction. Gunn, a playwright and stage director, was initially reticent to make the film. But when he landed upon the idea to use vampirism as a metaphor for addiction, he produced a mesmeric, thought-provoking arthouse stunner unlike anything else at the time. Ganja and Hess has since been adopted into the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection due to its significance.

7 Abby

Not all of the films on this list, are good ones, and William Girdler’s Abby (1974) is an archetypal example of how myopic white directors can be when co-opting black narratives.

RELATED: Jordan Peele Says Us Isn’t About Race

An Exorcist rip-off starring Carol Speed as a pastor’s wife who becomes possessed by a West African Yoruba spirit, Abby’s unfortunate portrayal of a woman taken over by an insatiable sexual mania plays on the well-worn stereotype of the black woman as a sexually ravenous temptress. Whether Girdler’s intentions were good or not, the film fails even as campy entertainment and is a discomfiting reminder of just how important it is for black filmmakers to tell their own stories.

6 Candyman

Drawn from the imagination of Clive Barker, 1992’s Candyman features a storyline about a lily-hued grad student, Helen Lyle (Virginia Madsen) doing research on a folkloric boogeyman said to haunt Chicago’s now-demolished Cabrini Green projects that reeks of a white savior complex. Even worse, when the titular baleful spirit (Tony Todd) turns his romantic attentions toward Helen, it further fuels the problematic fire as the black man fixated on the conquest of white women is another old and offensive trope. Yet, Candyman is essential in the context of its time, due to Tony Todd’s elegant phantasm being the first black horror icon of his kind, joining the likes of Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, and Leatherface as an indelible maker of bewitching cinematic nightmares.

5 Tales From The Hood

Rusty Cundieff’s Tales from the Hood (1995) uses the anthology format first popularized by Dead of Night (1945) to comment on social awareness and black identity in the 90s through a horror lens. The film is made up of four tales featuring dirty cops, racist politicians and abusive husbands, all told by a grinning funeral home proprietor (Clarence Williams III) in the film’s ingenious wraparound narrative more witty and menacing than the Crypt Keeper, himself. Spiritually similar to Get Out, Cundieff’s masterwork takes The United States to task for the sins it continues to perpetrate against black bodies and still proves potent watching almost twenty-five years on.

4 Tales From The Crypt: Demon Knight

Frequent Spike Lee collaborator Ernest Dickerson’s Tales From The Crypt: Demon Knight (1995) is an entertaining though derivative horror comedy that proved somewhat revolutionary when it gave viewers what may yet be the first and only African American “final girl,”- Jeryline (Jada Pinkett years before meeting Will Smith), a convict on work release who comes into her own as a demon-slayer.

RELATED: 15 Horror Movie Heroines You Need To Know About

At the time of release, Dickerson and his screenwriters shattered the expectations of an audience who could, like clockwork, anticipate the early onscreen deaths of any black female lead in a horror film. That Jeryline doesn’t just survive to the final reel but is actually the Demon Knight of the title gives the film both an intersectional feminist appeal and deflates the ingrained pop-cultural narrative that people of color must sacrifice themselves so their white costars can live.

3 Eve’s Bayou

Selected for preservation in the National Film Registry last year, Eve’s Bayou (1997) was written, directed and shot by two women: Kasi Lemmons and Amy Vincent. The female talent behind the camera mirrored that in front of it, with actresses Lynn Whitfield, Debbi Morgan, and Meagan Good all bringing deeply-felt performances to this southern gothic tale of sisterly bonds, voodoo, and dark family secrets. The women in Lemmons’ film exhibit a depth and agency that are so often lacking in mainstream cinema, and though it toes the line between melodrama and outright horror, Eve’s Bayou is a spooky, underseen jewel of African America female filmmaking.

2 Get Out

It’s impossible to overstate just what a shock to the system Jordan Peele’s directorial debut turned out to be. Riding the current “smart horror” wave to box office success and exposing the racist roots of white liberalism, Peele not only ushered in a new dawn of possibility for POC filmmakers but also paid homage to and shed a spotlight on those who had come before him with his studied, razor-sharp satire. The fact that it’s actually scary didn’t hurt either!

1 The First Purge 

The Purge series has never been particularly subtle in its skewering of American values, and the fourth entry in the franchise is no exception. The First Purge (2018) is a prequel (obviously) that shows how the New Founding Fathers party managed to seize the government and carry out the first purge of the title: a 12 hour period during which all crime, including murder, is made legal. The big shocker? The event is an experiment designed to cull minority populations. The First Purge may be far from a modern classic, but it places minority characters at the forefront of the typically white series and shows how one man’s bloody bacchanal is another man’s government-mandated ethnic scrubbing. 

NEXT: 10 Best Psychological Horror Movies


2019-03-23 01:03:34

Rocco Thompson

Everything We Know So Far About Jordan Peele’s Us

Here’s a riddle: What type of people are petrified of teacups? Answer: Anyone who has seen Get Out. Jordan Peele’s directorial debut was a smash-hit, both in terms of box office and critical acclaim. It earned a near-perfect score on Rotten Tomatoes and a plethora of Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture. Above all, Get Out elevated the horror film genre, offering up bone-chilling scares and a cutting commentary on race relations in America.

Peele is back again, with his follow-up Us, one of the buzziest films of 2019. The comedian-turned-director has promised ginormous scares and all signs point to him delivering. So what exactly does the creator of the Sunken Place have in store for us this time? Will Us do to scissors what Get Out did to teacups? Will beachfront properties take a nosedive? Here is Everything We Know So Far About Jordan Peele’s Us:

8 Us stars Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, and Elisabeth Moss

Right out of the gate, we’re impressed with this stellar cast. Us is a reunion of sorts for Nyong’o and Duke, who co-starred in Black Panther. They play a married couple, as do Moss and actor Tim Heidecker. Both Nyong’o and Moss are awards darlings—Nyong’o won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in 12 Years a Slave and Moss has picked up multiple awards for her work on The Handmaid’s Tale. Horror movies don’t typically generate serious awards buzz, but between the pedigree of Us’s stars and Jordan Peele’s deserved reputation as one of the best new filmmakers around, Us may be a serious contender come next awards season.

7 Jordan Peele passed on big Hollywood projects in order to film Us

After the success of Get Out, Peele was one of Hollywood’s most sought-after directors. He was given the opportunity to direct the film adaptation of popular manga Akira, but turned it down.

RELATED: Jordan Peele Starts Filming His Next Movie This Year

The reason? Peele would prefer to create original content. Certainly he’s up to the task, given that he won a Best Original Screenplay Oscar for Get Out. He has said that the horror genre is his “sweet spot” and given the evidence, we agree.

6 Us is about a family who is terrorized by a group of people who look exactly like them

If this premise alone doesn’t make you double check that your doors and windows are locked, I don’t know what will. Adelaide (Lupita Nyong’o) is a wife and mother with a secret, traumatic past. She, along with family and friends, visit her childhood beach house where come nightfall, a group of visitors, known as “the Tethered” show up. The creepy part? They are doppelgangers of Adelaide and her family. And they’re out for blood. The nightmares create themselves.

5 The premise was inspired by a Twilight Zone episode.

Peele has said that Us was inspired by a Twilight Zone episode in which a woman at a bus stop sees her doppelganger and fears that this stranger is an evil force whose goal is to replace her. Sounds a bit creepy, no?

RELATED: Twilight Zone TV Revival: Jordan Peele To Host And Narrate

Peele has been a longtime fan of The Twilight Zone, so much that he is producing a reboot of the series for CBS All Access.

4 The first trailer dropped on Christmas Day

For most, Christmas is all about spending time with family. So what better holiday to give us a trailer about the family from hell? The first Us trailer, prominently featuring the Luniz song “I Got 5 On It”, raises a ton of questions. Who are these scissor-toting lookalikes? How did they get here? What’s with all the rabbits? Will I scream so loud I get a ejected from the theater?

3 Peele has said Us isn’t about race

The director spoke to Rolling Stone about his vision for the film. He described Us as “spill-your-soda scary” as opposed to Get Out, which is more of an “existential” horrror. Though viewers may expect more skewering social satire à la Get Out, Peele has vehemently stated that Us is not a race movie. In the interview, he stressed the importance of being able to “tell black stories without it being about race”.

Home invasion movies with white leads are a dime a dozen. The Strangers, Funny Games, the list goes on. Us not only adds some diversity to this group, but to the entire horror film genre.

2 Us is expected to have a bigger box office opening weekend than Get Out

This is a huge deal, given what a cultural phenomenon Get Out was. Get Out’s opening box office was $33.3 million; Us is expected to net $35-40 million. That number is just the beginning. As a whole, Get Out grossed over $250 million. Genre films generally perform better at the box office than arthouse fare. Given that Us appears to be more of a classic horror film than Get Out, a gigantic box office success isn’t an unrealistic prediction for Jordan Peele’s sophomore film.

1 Us premiered at SXSW to rave reviews

Not only did Us have its world premiere at the festival, it was the opening night film. The crowd’s response was overwhelmingly positive and vocal. As in people screamed during the screening. Critics in attendance have already labelled the film a success.

The SXSW premiere may have something to do with Us being pushed back a week from its original release date. However, the wait will soon be over. Us graces theaters this Friday, March 22. If the critics and Peele himself are telling us the truth, keep a firm grip on your soda and popcorn when watching.

In other words, watch yourself.

NEXT: 8 Fan Theories About Jordan Peele’s Us Based On The Trailer


2019-03-18 03:03:02

Liz Hersey

Jordan Peele’s Twilight Zone Casts Zazie Beetz & Betty Gabriel

Jordan Peele’s Twilight Zone reboot once again adds to its already stellar cast, bringing Zazie Beetz and Betty Gabriel aboard. Originally airing from 1959 to 1964, The Twilight Zone brought sophisticated and socially conscious anthology style horror, sci-fi and supernatural storytelling to network TV, and would go on to become one of the classic shows of all-time.

Now, 60 years after creator and host Rod Serling first took audiences on a trip to the Twilight Zone, CBS All Access will revive the show for the streaming era, with Get Out director Jordan Peele as executive producer and presenter. The list of actors lining up to appear on the new incarnation of the Zone includes Seth Rogen, who will co-star in an episode with Jacob Tremblay, John Cho and Allison Tolman. Adam Scott is also set to star in an episode that remakes the classic Twilight Zone story “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet.”

Related: What to Expect From The Twilight Zone Reboot

As reported by Deadline, Atlanta star Zazie Beetz and Get Out‘s Betty Gabriel are the latest actors to sign up for a tour of Peele’s Twilight Zone. There’s no word on the specifics of their roles, but the two will reportedly star together in an early episode of the anthology series. Indeed, details on most of the series’ 10 episodes are being kept under wraps.

Beetz has of course already made her mark in series television on Donald Glover’s acclaimed show Atlanta, playing Earn’s sometime-girlfriend Van. Beetz has also made the crossover to movies, starring as Domino in Deadpool 2. She’s also set to appear alongside Joaquin Phoenix in Joker. Betty Gabriel for her part has a prior connection to Peele, having played the housekeeper Georgina in his Oscar-winning horror movie Get Out.

Beetz and Gabriel join a series cast that also includes Sanaa Lathan, who reportedly stars in the kick off episode “Rewind.” The series’ second episode, entitled “The Comedian,” appropriately stars a pair of funny men in Kumail Nanjiani and Tracy Morgan. Another early season episode, “The Traveler,” stars Steven Yeun and Greg Kinnear. Ginnifer Goodwin and James Frain are also on the cast list, for an episode entitled “Point of Origin.”

Whatever Peele has in store for his new take on The Twilight Zone, it’s already clear he will have a strong roster of actors realizing his vision on screen. Powerful performances were of course a hallmark of the original Zone, as much as the strong, imaginative, thematically challenging writing, and of course the iconic presence of the cigarette-smoking Serling as your guide through the unknown.

MORE: TWILIGHT ZONE STORIES WE HOPE JORDAN PEELE REMAKES

Source: Deadline


2019-03-08 10:03:57

Dan Zinski