Bill Mosley is keen to bring back his Texas Chainsaw Massacre character of Chop-Top, who had only a single appearance in the franchise in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, the first sequel in the long-running saga of Leatherface and the murderously cannibalistic Sawyer clan.
Chop-Top, so called due to the exposed metal plate in his skull, was portrayed as the primary antagonist of the film. He’s the one most enthusiastic about killing Stretch, the radio DJ that he and his famous chainsaw-wielding brother were sent to kill after discovering she inadvertently recorded their killing of couple of obnoxious drunken high schoolers. His demise at the climax of the film should prove no impediment to his return, either, since if there’s one lesson that can be taken from horror franchises, it’s that unequivocal death is only a minor inconvenience in the continuation of relentless slaughter.
The complication of bringing the character back to life is instead another example of rights issues tediously getting in the way of creative output. Since Chop-Top was not featured in the original film and didn’t show up until the sequel, when Lionsgate bought the franchise in order to make 2013’s Texas Chainsaw 3D, he wasn’t included in the package and would have required a separate negotiation that did not take place. This means that the rights to the actual character were retained by Sony despite the rights for making the films being sold to someone else. So, before being able to play Chop-Top again, Moseley will first need to “rescue him from Sony’s legal department,” as he says.
This tangled association is partly why in the above mentioned direct sequel the character was not utilized and Moseley instead played the Cook, a creative choice he likened to “asking Curly to play Moe in a remake of The Three Stooges.” It was also on account of the original actor Jim Siedow having passed away a decade previously.
Vague rumblings emerged late last year of a third reboot and reimagining of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but Chop-Top will certainly not be a part of it. It’s unclear how Moseley would use the character outwith the main franchise, but his passion for the jittery and talkative killer suggests he wouldn’t do anything with him he doesn’t consider worthwhile.