Colman Domingo talks absence of black trauma in ‘Candyman,’ reveals Marvel movie aspirations

"I got tired of seeing it [Black bodies brutalized]," the actor explained.

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Oscar winner Jordan Peele is giving audiences a fresh new take on a cult classic urban legend: Candyman.

Critically acclaimed filmmaker Nia DaCosta directs this contemporary reimagining of Candyman, which returns to the now-gentrified Chicago neighborhood where the legend began, and the original film from 1992 took place. 

The storyline is timely, and the film is sure to give movie audiences that particular woke horror fix that’s become synonymous with a Peele flick. 

Set a decade after the last of the Cabrini towers were torn down, Anthony (Yahya-Abdul Mateen II) and his girlfriend, Brianna, (Teyonah Parris) move into a fabulous loft in the now-gentrified Cabrini. A chance encounter with a longtime neighborhood resident (Colman Domingo) exposes Anthony to the true story behind Candyman. Anthony’s intrigue in the urban legend opens a door to a past that unravels his own sanity and unleashes a terrible wave of violence. 

Colman Domingo
(Credit: Youtube: Candyman – Official Trailer 2 (Universal Pictures)

In an interview with theGrio, Domingo opened up about how he recently became “exhausted” by movies and TV shows that focus on Black trauma, and expressed appreciation in the fact that viewers will never see a Black body being brutalized in Candyman.

“I started to examine the things that I’m so concerned with in my personal life. I got tired of seeing it [Black bodies brutalized]. I thought it was a narrative that kept perpetuating the things that I was seeing on the news channels and on cell phones, you name it,” Domingo said. “I need love and joy as well. I need a new way to examine this stuff.” 

The Fear the Walking Dead star added that DaCosta’s Candyman won’t be so horrific that audiences will be compelled to look away from what they’re watching on-screen. 

“I love that Nia DaCosta uses puppetry. It has more size, and I think there is a bit more of a remove and you can actually experience it — even analytically as well,” he said. “So it’s not just emotional. Like, you know… you have to look away. It’s like, ‘no, you have to look towards it now, because it’s even more epic and mythic.’ It’s a true examination of the reality of it. I think something about that is really special.”

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DaCosta made history last year when it was announced that she would be the first Black woman to direct a Marvel film with the Captain Marvel sequel, The Marvels, slated for release Nov. 11, 2022. 

Domingo, who’s worn many hats as an actor and tackled nearly every genre, revealed he’s anxious for a chance to star in a Marvel movie. 

“My phone rings. It just doesn’t ring from the Marvel Universe,” Domingo joked. “I’m waiting. I’m ready. I mean, I’ve worked out, and I’m fit. I can play anything. So they just have to give me a call.” 

The Zola star added that he’d love to play a villain if given the chance. 

“I love playing villains. They’re even more complex to me, and I think that can find what makes a villain tick and what their emotional, psychological trauma is. I love to do deep dives and do all this character work. I feel like I’d live as a villain in the Marvel Universe. So I’m waiting for my phone to ring.”

Candyman is now playing in theaters nationwide. 

Chris Witherspoon is the Founder – CEO of the movie and TV show discovery app PopViewers, and an entertainment contributor for theGrio.com.

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