Child’s Play is the latest horror franchise to get the reboot treatment, with a remake of the classic tongue-in-cheek slasher featuring Chuckie the evil doll having already been filmed and due to hit theaters this coming June. Unlike, say, the recent new Halloween, however, the original creator of the property isn’t involved in the project in any way.
You see, the reboot’s the product of MGM and Orion who had the rights to remake the first movie. Creator Don Mancini, meanwhile, continues to work on his own expansion of the franchise over at Universal. As he’s been very hands-on with the world of Child’s Play ever since the original came out in 1988, Mancini understandably isn’t too pleased with the fact that a reboot without his involvement’s on the way.
While speaking on the Post Mortem podcast, the filmmaker talked openly about his feelings surrounding the project for the first time and explained that the studio did offer him an exec producer credit – essentially, just an advisory role – but he turned it down, seeing the offer as an insult.
“MGM retained the rights to the first movie, so they’re rebooting that,” Mancini explained. “They asked [producer] David Kirschner and I if we wanted to be executive producers. We said no thank you, because we have our ongoing thriving business with Chucky. Obviously my feelings were hurt. Ya know, I had just done two movies… forgive me if I sound defensive, [they] were both at 83% on Rotten Tomatoes. Even though they didn’t get theatrical releases, they were well regarded. And I did create the character and nurture the franchise for three fucking decades.”
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Mancini then went on to say how the reboot personally affects him, as he’s so connected to the franchise.
“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. I hesitate to say too much about it because I don’t want to sound like I’m belly-aching too much. But the producers of that movie are the producers of IT (2017). How would they feel if there was some legal loophole that allowed David Kirschner and I to swoop in and make our own IT movie with our own version of Pennywise and say, ‘Hey guys, we would love to put your names on it.’ I imagine they wouldn’t like it. That’s how I feel.”
“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.”
You have to feel for Mancini, as his love for Chucky and his universe is genuine and he feels betrayed that it’s been taken out of his hands. In fairness to the studio, though, they did offer him an olive branch by asking if he wanted to be involved. Which is a lot more than the original writers of Disney’s remakes get. And the new interpretation is so different from his version of the story that it might as well be a fresh franchise.
In case you haven’t heard, the new Childs’s Play will see mother Karen Barclay (Aubrey Plaza) give her son Andy (Gabriel Bateman) a high-tech A.I. doll that’s been hacked to turn homicidal. It releases in cinemas on June 21st, which just so happens to be the same day as Toy Story 4.
Source: Post Mortem