With “Candyman” arriving this week, and already receiving critical acclaim (including from us), all eyes are on filmmaker Nia DaCosta. After breaking out with her festival standout drama, “Little Woods,” the new horror film marks DaCosta’s first major studio work. And she’s already following “Candyman” up with an absolutely massive blockbuster, “The Marvels” for Marvel Studios. And it’s that superhero film that really has DaCosta excited because she sees it as an important opportunity for a Black filmmaker in Hollywood.
Speaking to The Guardian, Nia DaCosta talked about the racism and misogyny she’s experienced over the course of her career as a Black female filmmaker. And even though “Candyman” is produced by Jordan Peele and features a predominantly Black cast, she was shocked at how she still experienced racism from folks who worked for her on set, and even the executives, who were all white.
“It’s not necessarily overtly racist, but it is shocking the way people have talked to me in my position as a director. People who work for me,” she explained. “Especially on a movie like this, where Jordan was the only other person of color at the level of decision-making on the movie. And that’s unacceptable, frankly.”
But with “Candyman” arriving in theaters this weekend, all eyes are about to be on “The Marvels,” the sequel to the billion-dollar grossing “Captain Marvel.” The film stars Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris, and Iman Vellani as the three ‘Marvels’ in the title. For DaCosta, the film marks an exciting transition for her, as a Black filmmaker.
“We should be able to make different kinds of movies, so I’m really happy I got to make ‘The Marvels’ because it’s like, I genuinely can just make a movie that doesn’t have to traffic in Black pain,” DaCosta said. “And I feel like a lot of Black filmmakers are asked to or expected to do that.”
She added, “This would not be my career five years ago. I’ve been very lucky and I’ve worked really hard, and I’m really happy that I’ve had the experiences that I’ve had. Well … the good ones at least. At the same time, as well as I’m doing, this should be happening for more people who are like me.”
“Candyman” arrives in theaters on August 27. DaCosta’s superhero film, “The Marvels,” is expected to hit theaters on November 11, 2022.