Candyman (film series)

Candyman is an American supernatural horror-slasher film series originating from the 1985 short story "The Forbidden" of the collection Books of Blood by Clive Barker, about the legend of the "Candyman", the ghost of an artist and son of a slave who was murdered in the late 19th century. Its film adaptation, Candyman, directed by Bernard Rose in 1992, starred Tony Todd as the title character. Although the film initially underperformed at the American box office, it became a cult classic. A novelization and a comic adaptation of the film were released in the same year. Two sequels, Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh (1995) and Candyman: Day of the Dead (1999), were released. A direct sequel to the original Candyman (which ignores other sequels), directed by Nia DaCosta and produced by Jordan Peele, was released on August 27, 2021.

Created byClive Barker
Original work"The Forbidden" (1985)
Films and television


Film U.S. release date Director Screenwriters Story by Producer(s)
Candyman October 16, 1992 (1992-10-16) Bernard Rose Alan Poul, Steve Golin & Sigurjon Sighvatsson
Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh March 17, 1995 (1995-03-17) Bill Condon Rand Ravich & Mark Kruger Clive Barker Gregg Fienberg & Sigurjón Sighvatsson
Candyman: Day of the Dead July 9, 1999 (1999-07-09) Turi Meyer Turi Meyer & Al Septien Al Septien & William Stuart
Candyman August 27, 2021 (2021-08-27) Nia DaCosta Nia DaCosta, Jordan Peele & Win Rosenfeld Ian Cooper, Jordan Peele & Win Rosenfeld

Candyman (1992)Edit

Candyman, the first film in the series, is a 1992 slasher film, serving as a loose adaptation of the Clive Barker's 1985 short story "The Forbidden" of the collection Books of Blood. The film follows a graduate student, Helen Lyle, who is studying urban legends along with her colleague Bernadette. She takes strong interest in learning about a mysterious hook-handed murderer coined as "The Candyman" in the Cabrini Green urban project dwelling which many of the residents feared he lived behind the mirrors and the walls of the apartments randomly killing them 'gutting' them with his hook after chanting his name 5 times in a mirror. Helen becomes intrigued by the mythical story that she jokingly summons him in denial and disbelief, later to learn who was really behind the mirror, questioning her reality.

Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh (1995)Edit

Farewell to the Flesh is the second film in the series. The film follows the story of a school teacher, Annie Tarrant, who comes to learn about her family's past after losing her father due to his obsession with the Candyman. She denies his existence after hearing her students talk about him and learning that one of her students was obsessed with him. She speaks his name to prove he does not exist, but later finds out who Candyman really is.

Candyman 3: Day of the Dead (1999)Edit

Day of the Dead is the third film in the series. The story continues with Annie Tarrant's daughter, Caroline Mckeever, who is now an adult. She denies Candyman's existence by protecting her family's bloodline as her business partner Miguel uses the story of her Great Great Grandfather Daniel Robitaille/Candyman in his art exhibit for profit. Caroline soon learns why her mother tried to destroy the myth of Candyman but is caught between his web of deceptive murders, framing her in order for her to submit to become immortal as family with him in death.

Candyman (2021)Edit

A fourth film in the series was produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Monkeypaw Productions and was released on August 27, 2021.[1] Yahya Abdul-Mateen II stars in the film, while Tony Todd returns to the eponymous role.[2] It is a direct sequel to the first film (ignoring other sequels), taking place twenty-seven years later, in Cabrini Green, Chicago. A young, over-confident visual artist named Anthony McCoy struggles to find inspiration to get him further exposure. He learns about an old urban legend that took place in the project housing developments at Cabrini Green of a grad student name Helen Lyle who became mentally insane during her research and sacrificed herself to save a baby, which sparks his interest. He further researches the information which leads him to encounter a neighborhood laundromat owner who also reveals his version of the urban legend, which is learned to be of a amputated hook-handed man in the 1970's named Sherman Fields who was wrongfully murdered at the hands of Chicago police officers which Cabrini Green residents believed him to be "The Candyman" who harmed children with razor blades in candy. Anthony becomes obsessed with these urban legend findings as he uses it for his artwork presentation and to influence the summoning of the spirit of 'The Candyman', but later realizes the consequences of his actions as he learns the real truth behind the legend by his hallucinations, which in turn becomes a deadly reality.

Unrealized projectsEdit

According to Virginia Madsen, Bernard Rose originally wanted the first sequel Candyman 2 to be a prequel showing Candyman and Helen's "look-alike" falling in love, but the idea was turned down because the studio was worried about how a fully-fledged interracial romance would be received.[3] A possible fourth film was in development in 2004; according to Tony Todd, it was intended to be set in New England at a women's college,[4] and focus on a professor who is a descendant of Candyman but has no idea who he is, with Todd describing "the initial image [being] of Candyman in a blizzard". The film was stuck in development hell. The slasher crossover film Freddy vs. Jason (2003) also inspired Miramax to want to create a Candyman vs. Hellraiser crossover, but Clive Barker, originator of both franchises, had recommended against it.[5] A crossover with the Leprechaun film series was also considered, but Tony Todd immediately flat out refused to participate in such a project, saying he had too much respect for his character to see him used for such a purpose.[6]

Cast and crewEdit


List indicator(s)
  • This table shows the characters and the actors who have portrayed them throughout the franchise.
  • A dark grey cell indicates the character was not in the film, or that the character's presence in the film has not yet been announced.
  • A Y indicates an appearance as a younger version of a pre-existing character.
  • A P indicates a photographic appearance.
  • A V indicates a vocal appearance only.
Characters Candyman Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh Candyman 3: Day of the Dead Candyman
1992 1995 1999 2021
Daniel Robitaille
Granville T. Candyman
Tony Todd Tony Todd
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II
Anthony McCoy Latesha Martin
Lanesha Martin
Helen Lyle
Caroline Sullivan
Virginia Madsen Caroline Barclay
Virginia MadsenP
Laura Mazur Cassie Kramer
Virginia Madsen
Anne-Marie McCoy Vanessa A. Williams Vanessa A. Williams
Phillip Purcell Michael Culkin
Heyward Sullivan Randy Oglesby Pictured[7]
Caroline McKeever
Isabel Sullivan
Brianna Blanchard Donna D'Errico
Annie Tarrant Kelly Rowan Elizabeth Hayes
Trevor Lyle Xander Berkeley
Bernadette "Bernie" Walsh Kasi Lemmons
Jake DeJuan Guy
Detective Frank Valento Gilbert Lewis
Stacey Carolyn Lowery
Dr. Burke Stanley DeSantis
Billy Ted Raimi
Archie Walsh Bernard Rose
Harold Eric Edwards
Policewoman Rusty Schwimmer
Reverend Ellis Bill Nunn
Ethan Tarrant William O'Leary
Octavia Tarrant Veronica Cartwright
Honore Thibideaux Matt Clark
Matthew Ellis Joshua Gibran Mayweather
Detective Ray Levesque David Gianopoulos
Paul McKeever Timothy Carhart
Coleman Tarrant Michael Bergeron
Pam Carver Fay Hauser
Heyward Sullivan Randy Oglesby
The Kingfish Glen Gomez
Russell BuchananV
Liz Clotiel Bordeltier
Drew George Lemore
Mr. Jeffries Ralph Joseph
Clara Margaret Howell
David de La Paz Nick Corri
Det. Jamal Matthews Ernie Hudson Jr.
Lt. Det. Samuel Deacon Kraft Wade Williams
L.V. Sacco Robert O'Reilly
Enrique Lombardo Boyar
Abuela Lupe Ontiveros
Flower Seller Lillian Hurst
Det. Jamie Gold Elizabeth Guber
Miguel Velasco Mark Adair-Rios
Lena Rena Riffel
Tino Mike Moroff
Ornte Chris Van Dahl
Tamara Alexia Robinson
Fritz Jud Meyers
Little Boy Leonardo Guerra
Cristina de La Paz Nicole Contreras
Ringleader Nadia Simms
Brianna "Bri" Cartwright Teyonah Parris
Hannah Love JonesY
Finley Stephens Rebecca Spence
Clive Privler Brian King
Grady Smith Kyle Kaminsky
Troy Cartwright Nathan Stewart-Jarrett
William Burke Colman Domingo
Danielle Harrington Christiana Clark
Jameson Carl Clemons-Hopkins
Gil Cartwright Cedric Mays
TV News Anchor Nancy Pender
Devlin Sharpe Pam Jones
Annika Breanna Lind
Sherman Fields

Candyman's Hive / Spirit

Michael Hargrove


Role Film
Candyman Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh Candyman 3: Day of the Dead Candyman
1992 1995 1999 2021
Director(s) Bernard Rose Bill Condon Turi Meyer Nia DaCosta
Screenwriter(s) Rand Ravich & Mark Kruger Al Septien & Turi Meyer Nia DaCosta, Jordan Peele & Win Rosenfeld
Producer(s) Alan Poul, Steve Golin & Sigurjón Sighvatsson Gregg Fienberg & Sigurjón Sighvatsson Al Septien & William Stuart Ian Cooper, Jordan Peele & Win Rosenfeld
Composer(s) Philip Glass Adam Gorgoni Robert A. A. Lowe
Cinematography Anthony B. Richmond Tobias A. Schliessler Michael G. Wojciechowski John Guleserian
Editor(s) Dan Rae Virginia Katz Frederick Wardell Chris Armstrong
Production companies Propaganda Films
PolyGram Filmed Entertainment
Lava Productions Artisan Entertainment Bron Creative
Monkeypaw Productions
Distributor TriStar Pictures Gramercy Pictures Universal Pictures
U.S. release date October 16, 1992 March 17, 1995 July 9, 1999 August 27, 2021
Duration 99 minutes 95 minutes 93 minutes 91 minutes


Box office performanceEdit

Film Release date Box office gross Budget Reference
North America Other territories Worldwide
Candyman (1992) October 16, 1992 $25,792,310 $8–9 million [8]
Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh March 17, 1995 $13,940,383 $6 million [9]
Candyman 3: Day of the Dead July 9, 1999
Candyman (2021) August 27, 2021 $50,668,490 $13,524,000 $64,192,490 $25 million [10][11]
Total $62,102,693 $5,229,000 $67,331,693 $39 million

Critical and public responseEdit

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic CinemaScore
Candyman (1992) 78% (78 reviews)[12] 61 (15 reviews)[13] C+[14]
Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh 22% (32 reviews)[15]
Candyman 3: Day of the Dead 7% (14 reviews)[16]
Candyman (2021) 85% (330 reviews)[17] 72 (46 reviews)[18] B[19]


The Candyman soundtrack was composed by Philip Glass. According to Glass, "it has become a classic, so I still make money from that score, get checks every year".[20] Tony Todd confirmed in an interview with IGN that a limited edition featuring 7500 copies of the film's soundtrack was released in February 2015.[21]

Other mediaEdit

Board gameEdit

A board game based on Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh was released during the mid 1990s as a promotional item for the film of the same name.[22][23] The game features a board, 1 die and cards (Hook, Candyman, Voodoo, Mansion Key) that will impact the player or others. The game's premise is stated as "to win, player must proceed clockwise along the streets of New Orleans and get to the mansion with the key card in order to unlock the secret to Candyman's power".[22]


  1. ^ Rubin, Rebecca (September 11, 2020). "Nia DaCosta's 'Candyman' Release Delayed to 2021". Variety. Retrieved September 11, 2020.
  2. ^ Trumbore, Dave (2019-03-25). "'Candyman' Director Confirms Yahya Abdul-Mateen II Is Not Replacing Tony Todd". Collider. Retrieved 2019-10-10.
  3. ^ Caprilozzi, Christine (December 14, 2012). "Twenty Year Retrospective of Candyman with Virginia Madsen". Horror News Network. Retrieved January 5, 2020.
  4. ^ "M500 INTERVIEW WITH TONY TODD AKA CANDYMAN". Archived from the original on October 26, 2004.
  5. ^ "Candyman 4". Upcoming Horror Movies. Archived from the original on March 2, 2010.
  6. ^ Josh Millican (January 21, 2019). "Why Tony Todd Stopped 'Candyman vs. Leprechaun' Movie From Happening". Dread Central.
  7. ^ "CANDYMAN Teaser (2020) Nia DaCosta Puppet Video". YouTube.
  8. ^ "Candyman (1992)". Box Office Mojo.
  9. ^ "Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh (1995)". Box Office Mojo.
  10. ^ Rubin, Rebecca (August 25, 2021). "'Candyman' to Slash Box Office Competition". Variety. Retrieved August 25, 2021.
  11. ^ "Candyman (2020)". Box Office Mojo.
  12. ^ "Candyman". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 19, 2022.
  13. ^ "Candyman Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved July 18, 2020.
  14. ^ "Cinemascore". CinemaScore. Archived from the original on November 11, 2020.
  15. ^ "Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 19, 2022.
  16. ^ "Candyman: Day of the Dead". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 19, 2022.
  17. ^ "Candyman (2021)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved May 19, 2022.
  18. ^ "Candyman (2021) Reviews". Metacritic. Red Ventures. Retrieved August 27, 2021.
  19. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (August 29, 2021). "'Candyman' Makes The Box Office Taste Good With $22M+ Opening". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 11, 2021. getting a B CinemaScore, average for a genre pic, and a 72% positive score and 56% recommend on Comscore/Screen Engine’s PostTrak.
  20. ^ Asp, Jon (January 31, 2014). "Philip Glass: 'Without terror, there's no learning' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Archived from the original on December 26, 2018. Retrieved December 9, 2017.
  21. ^ IGN (24 February 2015). "Tony Todd On His Career – From Candyman to VANish" – via YouTube.
  22. ^ a b Squires, John (2017-08-21). "Did You Know There Was a 'Candyman' Board Game?!". Bloody Disgusting!. Retrieved 2019-10-24.
  23. ^ "Candyman game". The Official Clive Barker Website - Revelations. Archived from the original on 2006-05-15. Retrieved 2019-10-24.

External linksEdit