As well as rebooting the horror classic, the 31-year-old is directing a Marvel movie with a $100m-plus budget. No wonder she’s never risked saying ‘Candyman’ five times

“Say it,” implore the posters for the new Candyman sequel, referring to the urban myth that the hook-handed ghost of the title can be summoned by repeating his name five times in front of a mirror. But Nia DaCosta will not say it: “Oh hell, no.” She is shaking her head. “Never have done, never will.” Despite having written and co-directed the film, DaCosta isn’t taking any chances. “In fact, when I was watching auditions, I would get a little freaked out so I’d stop the audition before they said it all five times. So silly,” she admits, laughing at herself. But she is not superstitious, she insists. “It’s just that one bit. Nothing [else] about it scares me at this point. Except … I’m just not gonna put myself in the space for my brain to play tricks on me.”

Related: Candyman review – BLM horror reboot is superb confection of satire and scorn

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