Chucky the killer doll has been terrorizing audiences in theaters and in homes for over 30 years. Now after 2 very successful sequel/reboots MGM Studios has decided to go down the complete reset of the epic Child’s Play series with the upcoming release of the trailer for the upcoming reboot: Child’s Play (How creative).
The trailer, which follows up a recently released viral promotion of the Kaslan Corporation (A version of Apple/Amazon in the movie’s universe), shows the release of the company’s latest creation: A fully robotic “friend till the end” known as Buddi. From there we see a lot of horror elements like people dead, the doll trying to escape from being locked away, and the reveal of this versions Andy & Karen Barclay (Played by Gabriel Bateman & Aubrey Plaza respectively). We get to see other characters from the movie as well as some of the set pieces. The only thing we don’t see or hear is Chucky himself (And yes, they confirm that the doll is called Chucky), which still fuels speculation if the original voice of Chucky, Brad Dourif, would actually return in the role of the killer doll.
To say that this project, and now the trailer, have been met with the usual Internet hate is an understatement. On Twitter, the topic #NotMyChucky has popped up overnight thanks to Jennifer Tilly, who has played the character Tiffany in 4 of the 7 films, in the tweet below. Her disgust for the reboot, which a lot of people have already called a “for the money only” project, has also raised the ire of the creator and writer of the original Child’s Play series Don Mancini too; as the man himself only tweeted a meme as his reaction to the reboot.
THIS IS ALL I HAVE TO SAY ON THAT SUBJECT pic.twitter.com/r2llIGSDWx
— Don Mancini (@RealDonMancini) September 21, 2018
— Jennifer Tilly (@JenniferTilly) February 8, 2019
In December 2018, in a guest appearance on the Post Mortem with Mick Garris Podcast, series creator/writer/director Don Mancini expressed his disdain for the remake, remarking that Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, as rights holder for the original film, can do what they please with the property; while also when asked if he and fellow franchise producer David Kirschner would have any involvement (namely, credited as executive producers), said, “We said no thank you, because we have our ongoing thriving business with Chucky. Obviously my feelings were hurt… And I did create the character and nurture the franchise for three […] decades. So when someone says, Oh yeah, we would love to have your name on the film… it was hard not to feel like I was being patronized. They just wanted our approval. Which I strenuously denied them.” He concluded by revealing that part of his disdain stems from concern that the remake will reflect poorly on the original franchise, which he is still producing, saying, “The people who are making that movie, they don’t know how that’s going to affect my livelihood. It’s not just a paycheck. It’s very personal. MGM’s screwing with that… potentially.”
Speaking from a personal and fan standpoint, this is one of those reboots that the studio does because they want to capture the market after someone already did the hard work for them. In 2013, there was a reboot of sorts for the Chucky character and the series in general called “Curse of Chucky“, which involved a darker tone than the horror/comedy base duo of movies that came before it (Bride of Chucky & Seed of Chucky). Curse of Chucky still has a high 76% fresh rating on aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes. Curse of Chucky was considered the return of the TRUE slasher horror genre after things like SAW turned the genre into a shitty gore fest for over a decade. Following that, 2017 showed “Cult of Chucky” which continued the story from Curse of Chucky and returned characters from the Child’s Play franchise, especially Alex Vincent as Andy Barclay (the kid from the original). Cult of Chucky holds an 81% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and was praised for some of the most creative writing in the series, including (in my opinion) the best slow motion death in cinema, and some of the best practical effects in a decade.
The ending of Cult of Chucky left things in a weird place, since Chucky was able to clone himself into multiple dolls; we left Cult of Chucky with the original Charles LeRay in the head of the Good Guy doll from Curse of Chucky. We also had a copy (possibly) take over the body of Nica (played by Fiona Dourif, daughter of Brad Dourif aka the voice of Chucky) and escape the insane asylum, leaving Andy trapped in there instead. A third Chucky in doll form disappears during the chaos, leaving a lot of room for the next story. However this new movie puts that series of events on hold for a whole “new” retelling of the very first story.
However, not all hope is lost. Don Mancini did sign on with a TV deal for the SyFy channel that will see more proper in-canon stories of Chucky, and possibly continuing from the end of Cult of Chucky, on the channel. The series is currently in production with Don Mancini as the head writer and most of the original movie series cast coming on to comprise their roles once again. It’s surprising that the two projects are going on side-by-side since usually a studio will go full legal with a Cease & Desist against even the original creator of a series when they have something in production at the same time as the creator since things like the Child’s Play series is actually owned by MGM Studios and not Don Mancini.
At the end of the day, as I said before, MGM Studios owns the rights to the Chucky looks, name, series, etc. They are free to do what they want with it. However it is baffling that the studio wants to go down the reboot route with the exact same story (though changed to bring things like Buddi into the modern age as a robotic doll) when the people behind the series for the last 30 years have produced a great return to form movie series that is wide open for at least another film or two before it’s story ends. I just don’t get it…