The Child’s Play horror franchise has recently been resurrected from its roots in a new film, and Chucky’s coming back even after that middling remake.
SyFy ordered a spin-off to the original Child’s Play film, only now it’s in television series form. The franchise’s creator, Don Mancini, gave some insight on the tone of the Chucky TV series and also hinted that it may feature few returning characters.
Don Mancini created the Child’s Play franchise back in 1988, and the first installment was directed by Tom Holland (not Spider-Man) which became a classic hit. The story focuses on a horrifying killer “Good Guy” doll named Chucky. The film has spawned six sequels and a recent remake in 2019.
The Road Back To Child’s Play
The first film was going for a traditional horror vibe but as the sequels progressed, it morphed into something more comedic and campy – before slowly going back to its horror roots. The iconic Chucky was voiced by Brad Dourif in the original films and Mark Hamill in the reboot. The last three movies in the franchise were directed by Mancini himself.
He is going to wear multiple hats on this series, serving as writer, executive producer, and showrunner. As reported by THR, he’ll also be directing the pilot episode. Brad Dourif is returning to voice Chucky. Not many details are known regarding the series. But one thing is for sure according to Mancini, the new reboot is not part of the franchise it is its own separate thing.
Despite the series being rebooted last year by director Lars Klevberg and writer Tyler Burton Smith, Mancini is continuing his story with the Child’s Play series, which will be in the vein of the original franchise. This project will have nothing to do with the reboot. Due to the film rights issue between Universal and Orion Pictures, the latter was able to release the Child’s Play reboot, which focused on a high-tech Chucky with a modern take on the 1988 story.
The reason behind this drama is because the original 1988 film rights are held by MGM-United Artists, the original flick’s distributor. But they don’t extend to its sequels, which are all written and creatively guided by Mancini. He holds the rights to those sequels. So it made a door of possibility for MGM to make a reboot to the original and they are free to make as many sequels as they want to their reboot. The reboot happened without Mancini’s approval and he even distanced himself from it by declining a producer credit on the film.
When talking with Syfy Wire, Mancini explained that the Chucky series will have new goals as compared to the previous movies and the show will combine the more straightforward horror of the first film while honoring the changed tone of the sequels. He explained:
“One of the things that we’ve always tried to do over the course of the decades and the different movies, is we just try to switch it up a lot,” and added “From film to film, I’ve always tried to create a different tone, plug Chucky into a different subgenre. We’ve gone from straightforward slasher to comedy to crazy satirical comedy and back to straightforward horror again.”
“With this TV show, our mission has been to preserve the straightforward scariness of the original film or the first couple of films. But at the same time, continue on with this ever-expanding tapestry of consistent story that we’ve spun over the course of seven movies and 30-some years”.
Mancini also talked about the possibility of characters from the Child’s Play franchise making an appearance in the Chucky show. The director teased:
“I think fans are really gonna love to see the new characters that we introduce into this realm and just to see how they came off of our classic characters. Not just Chucky, but some of the others that you may be hoping to see. There’s a good chance they may turn up.”
Cult of Chucky, the latest film that Mancini directed, was somewhat of a return to form for the series and even brought back Alex Vincent as an adult Andy Barclay. The end of Cult of Chucky saw the return of Jennifer Tilly as Tiffany, the killer bride of Chucky, who is the only confirmed actor returning for the series besides Brad Dourif as Chucky. Christiane Elise reprised her role of Kyle (from Child’s Play 2) in the post-credits scene for Cult of Chucky, but has not been confirmed for the TV series yet.
Originally, Chucky was believed to be continuing the Cult of Chucky storyline, but the official plot synopsis of the show seemed to be going in a different route: Chucky terrorizing an “idyllic American town” plunged into absolute chaos when the doll pops up at a yard sale. If Chucky followed the Cult of Chucky storyline, Nica Pierce (Fiona Dourif) would have to be included since Chucky has possessed her body. However, the series could include other possible old characters from the Child’s Play movies, and the casting announcement is yet to be made.
Syfy granted Chucky a straight-to-series order and it is exec produced by Don Mancini, David Kirschner (Hocus Pocus), Nick Antosca (Hannibal) and Harley Peyton (Channel Zero). Some of the announced writing talents behind the series include Don Mancini, Mallory Westfall (Channel Zero), Nick Zigler (The Purge), Kim Garland, and Sarah Acosta.
While Chucky will be coming to the small screen for having his playtime, the character could return to the big screen at some point too. Klevberg’s Child’s Play (2019) received mixed reviews and grossed $45 million worldwide against a $10 million budget. There hasn’t been any word on a Child’s Play sequel yet, but the end of the movie did leave the door open for a possibility. Considering its box office performance a sequel is probably not in the cards anytime soon.
The official synopsis of Chucky is as follows:
“After a vintage Chucky doll turns up at a suburban yard sale, a sleepy American town is thrown into chaos as a series of horrifying murders begin to expose the town’s hypocrisies and secrets. Meanwhile, the arrival of enemies-and allies-from Chucky’s past threatens to expose the truth behind the killings, as well as the demon doll’s untold origins as a seemingly ordinary child who somehow became this notorious monster.”
Chucky is an iconic character, and the fact that Brad Dourif will be back to voice him will be exciting news for some fans. If the production process goes according to the schedule, the series is expected to debut sometime this year.
What do you think of this news? Are you psyched to see exquisitely gruesome Chucky wisecracking and stabbing his way across the small screen? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below and be sure to come back to The Illuminerdi for more updates on the show.