Last month, Syfy officially announced the Child’s Play TV series that creator Don Mancini has long been teasing. Mancini will collaborate with Channel Zero creator Nick Antosca, who hired Mancini as a writer on Channel Zero.
Antosca spoke with /Film about his new Hulu series The Act, but we were able to get an update on the Chucky series he’s developing with Mancini.
It’s All in the Name
Chucky is so famous that many casual viewers may not even remember that the franchise was originally called Child’s Play. Until this year’s unrelated remake, the last movie with Child’s Play in the title was released in 1991.
“The working title is Chucky,” Antosca said. “That could change, but that’s the working title.”
From Bride of Chucky to Cult of Chucky, the name of the killer doll has taken over the title. That’s why the title of the series makes sense.
“I agree,” Antosca said. “You know what that is when you hear the word.”
It Will Be Like the Early Films
Chucky was always a smartass, but in Bride of Chucky he became a full on comedian. Seed of Chucky pushed comedy even further, with Chucky visiting the set of a Chucky movie. Curse of Chucky reoriented the series back towards horror, but it still had plenty of laughs. Antosca said the series will go back to basics.
“The series is going to be closer to the tone of the first two movies in the series though,” Antosca said. “It’s going to go back to a sort of classic scare.”
One part of the first two Child’s Play movies was that protagonist Andy Barclay was a young boy. Antosca confirmed that the Chucky series would return to the idea of Chucky going after children. That’s a potent theme. Kids are always begging their parents to believe things that don’t sound true. Parents, exhausted by work and the responsibility of raising children, may dismiss things that don’t impact the here and now. Give kids a real unbelievable problem like a doll possessed by a serial killer and they’re totally screwed.
Plus, the modern world of 2019 exacerbates this. What if those kids share their tales on social media, in a world that has heard kids blame murders on a Chucky doll before? There’s a lot to mine there.
Ade Due Damballa
With seven movies, Chucky has a rather complex mythology. It all started with a voodoo spell placing the soul of murderer Charles Lee Ray (Brad Dourif) into a Good Guy doll. By Bride, he put his girlfriend in a doll too, and they had a child together. By Cult, Chucky had the power to possess multiple bodies simultaneously.
Antosca wants new viewers to feel welcome to Chucky, but won’t contradict any of the films’ mythology.
“It’s consistent with that mythology, but it’s a whole new story,” Antosca said. “So you could come into it without knowing anything about the previous stuff and get into it. But it is consistent with all the mythology that has come before, so it is in canon.”
Going back to the first two films suggests a simple story: a killer doll that kids have to convince their parents is real. I’d love to see where Chucky goes with the new powers he developed in Cult, but the opportunity to extend the killer doll slasher movie longer than a 90 minutes is just as enticing. Plus, as Curse of Chucky showed, they can say they’re going back to straight horror and still have surprises.
Where’s Jennifer? Where’s Fiona?
Once Jennifer Tilly debuted in Bride of Chucky, she became a franchise mainstay. Fiona Dourif played a major role in Curse and Cult. Even Alex Vincent came back as an adult. Chucky will focus on new characters, but Antosca teased some cameos by regulars.
“They might pop in eventually, but it’s new characters,” Antosca said. “I don’t want to say anything definitive. I want to leave that to Don, but let’s just say that there might be opportunities in the story for Jennifer or Fiona to make an appearance. Of course, the plan is for Brad to be the voice.”
As much as I love the characters of Tiffany (Tilly) and Nica (Fiona Dourif) and want to see them again, I’ll be excited to meet new characters. Tiffany and Nica were new to the franchise once and look how well they worked out.
Look for our full interview with Antosca before The Act premieres on March 20 on Hulu.
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