Sometimes lightning strikes and a filmmaker of quality gains the ability to helm two blockbuster movies back to back. Such is the case with Nia DaCosta. The Tisch School of the Arts educated auteur gained national attention with her 2018 thriller Little Woods, starring Tessa Thompson. Credited with writing and directing the film, DaCosta won the Nora Ephron prize at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2019. The indie darling was uniquely distinctive to DaCosta; having written the script in 2015, she Kickstarted $5,100 to get the ball rolling with production.
Next up for DaCosta, the much-anticipated reboot of the classic early ’90s horror Candyman. Backed by producer Jordan Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions, DaCosta’s vision for the remake clearly shows homage to the psychological horror films of the early ’80s. This is stylized horror, the type that burrows into your mind and prickles the base of your spine. If anyone is unconvinced, check out the incredibly innovative and terrifying trailer for the October 2020 release:
DaCosta purposefully utilized the backdrop of paper puppetry to symbolize the hollowness and duality of the Black experience in the U.S., as seen through the eyes of white people. It’s an effective use of the medium and serves to draw theatergoers into what promises to be an incredible “sequel” to the 1992 film.
Recently DaCosta was named the director of Marvel’s Captain Marvel 2. The young filmmaker is the first Black woman to helm a Marvel Studios movie and one of the youngest as well (Ryan Coogler was 31 when he directed Marvel’s Black Panther). The sequel starring Brie Larson promises to carry much more of Carol Danvers’s backstory with DaCosta’s direction. The move to put her in charge of a big studio offering is a strong testament to how well-received her first 2 films have been.
Here’s to the continued elevation of Nia DaCosta. May we all enjoy her films for years to come.