Nia DaCosta on the Challenges of Helen & Candyman Cameos in 2021 Film

Nia Dacosta's Candyman provided a necessary resurgence for modern horror sequels (because reboots are no longer needed), and of course, that means there's always a desire for callbacks to the original. In the new Candyman, while not initially being the most overt sequel – it eventually plays out as a driven follow-up that's seeking to expand the horror we've always loved.

In terms of crossover, there are some obvious routes that we'll avoid discussing for the sake of major spoilers; however, we can say that we're still given at least four crucial character returns to indulge in. In a new interview with DaCosta over at the Empire Spoiler Special Podcast, the director explained initial hopes and expectations from people, divulging, "We definitely knew Tony Todd [the original Candyman] would be involved in a very specific way – which is basically what we did," she says, before adding an interesting tidbit about Virginia Madsen's character Helen, telling the podcast, "What's so interesting is everyone's like, 'You have to bring him back, and bring Helen back.' And it's like, well, they both aren't allowed to age because they're both ghosts. So that's immediately the trickiest thing about it."

Candyman 101: Everything You Need to Know About the 90's Films
Candyman Poster. Credit: TriStar Pictures and PolyGram Filmed Entertainment.

Even though we didn't experience a present-day Helen cameo in the film, her presence is very much felt in the film – with new voice recordings, a wonderfully crafted puppet-origin story, and one character's new discovery about her sacrifice at the end of the original Candyman. Considering the focus is obviously Candyman and other incarnations of that entity, it made sense to not bring back Helen as a Candywoman – but getting to see that respect for the story between the two from the first film feels like a great backdrop for a modern take on the unforgettable film.

DaCosta's Candyman has managed to make over $60 million at the box office so far, which only goes to show that the characters are alive and well after decades of silence (and a pandemic).

Were you excited to see a few classic Candyman cameos in the 2021 sequel film?

Aedan JuvetAbout Aedan Juvet

A self-proclaimed pop culture aficionado with a passion for all forms of storytelling. Likely to be found watching everything horror-related, or revisiting Buffy the Vampire Slayer. For pitches, email me at
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