The African American Film Critics Association's 11th Annual AAFCA Awards - Arrivals
Female director

Meet Nia DaCosta: The director of ‘Candyman’ and ‘The Marvels’

How she fell in love with the beauty and magic of filmmaking

Wondering who’s the director of Candyman and The Marvels? Look no further; we have all the details. Her name is Nia DaCosta, and she is just 31 years old and will be premiering on August 27 her new film based on the 1992 urban legend Candyman.

The filmmaker is also in charge of directing The Marvels, the sequel to Captain Marvel that will be released in November 2022. Although DaCosta prefers her life behind the cameras, we couldn’t contain to investigate more about her life and beginnings.

Los Angeles Pink Carpet Premiere Of "Little Woods" Hosted By Refinery29, NEON And Rooftop Cinema Club At NeueHouse Hollywood©GettyImages
A New York Native
  • Nia was born and raised in New York, specifically in Harlem. When she was younger, she aspired to become a poet, but soon decided she needed to choose a profession that was more financially secure. When she saw Network, she fell in love with the beauty and magic of filmmaking, thus taking interest in an industry that would change her life forever.
She does pretty good with ghosts but not with prehistoric creatures
  • Nia has always been a fan of horror movies; however, seeing Jurassic Park at the age of 3 or 4 had a massive impact on her life. According to the film director, watching the Universal Pictures blockbuster at such young age terrified her. Dinosaurs were not her cup of tea. Therefore, she recalls how her father had to take her out of the cinema. Luckily, she put that experience in the past, and the film is now one of her favorite movies.
Nia takes the Sundance Film Festival by Storm in 2015
  • She finally got her big break in 2015 when her script for Little Woods got selected as one of 12 projects chosen to participate in the Sundance Film Festival Lab. Writers who participated had the opportunity to work with creative mentors like the established writer, Scott Frank.
An Artist At The Table: Cocktails And Dinner Program Benefit - 2016 Sundance Film Festival©GettyImages
Anna Rose Holmer, Michelle Satter and Nia DaCosta attend An Artist at the Table: cocktails and dinner program benefit
She directed and wrote the script for Candyman alongside Jordan Peele
  • The rising filmmaker worked alongside Oscar winner Jordan Peele to bring a new version of the spooky urban legend of Candyman to the big screen. Nia revealed that when she creates a movie, she likes people to identify with her and get involved. So get ready for this story from Chicago’s Cabrini Green neighborhood to terrify you when a visual artist, Anthony McCoy, who just moved to the area, learns about the Candyman legend. Eager to maintain his status in the Chicago art world, Anthony explores these ghoulish details in his studio as a new subject for his paintings and inadvertently opens a door into a complex past that fragments his sanity and unleashes a terrifying wave of violence that places him on a collision trajectory with destiny.
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and director Nia DaCosta on the set of Candyman©Parrish Lewis/Universal Pictures and MGM Pictures
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and director Nia DaCosta on the set of Candyman
She will direct the second part of Captain Marvel
  • Nia DaCosta will direct the new film The Marvels, starring Brie Larson (Captain Marvel) and Teyonah Parris (WandaVision and Candyman). This sequel to Captain Marvel is scheduled to premiere on November 11, 2022.

Paintings, music, and novels inspire her

  • Nia has been influenced by various elements for her creations, starting with paintings and music to other renowned novelists such as Virginia Woolf and Jane Austen. She confesses that a lot of her inspiration when she was younger was based on southern gothic writers; she liked that they applied a lot of the sense of place and created incredible characters.

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