The upcoming Child’s Play reboot is currently drawing criticism from fans for its reported intention to rewrite Chucky’s origins, turning the face of this franchise into a robot gone psycho, rather than a doll with the soul of a serial killer. But according to writer Don Mancini, the murderous mascot of this series could’ve had a very different backstory right from the start.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the creator of the long-running horror saga recalled how the killer doll was initially written in a script titled “Blood Buddy” to be the result of a lonely child’s wish:
“In the original premise, Chucky — or Buddy as he was called then — was not possessed by a serial killer. Instead, in my script, the supernatural inciting incident was different,” said Mancini. “The way that the doll came to life was that because Andy is a lonely kid — no dad around, his mom is a busy working mother — in that classic rite of brotherhood he cuts his own thumb and the doll’s thumb so they’ll be best friends forever —‘friends ’til the end’ — and after that the murders start.”
In a story somewhat reminiscent of David Cronenberg’s The Brood, this demonic little helper was originally intended to be a deadly manifestation of the child’s suppressed anger:
“Chucky was like an expression of the kid’s unconscious rage,” Mancini detailed. “In the Blood Buddy script, Chucky only comes alive when Andy’s asleep. The way the rules were, we gradually come to understand that because Chucky is the embodiment of Andy’s unconscious he decides if he kills the kid then Andy will be asleep forever and he’ll be alive forever.”
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It was only when producer David Kirschner got involved in the project that Chucky’s roots were changed to the voodoo origins we know today.
“That’s the Frankenstein moment,” Kirschner admitted. “That’s what brings the character to life from flesh — or plastic in this case — to a moving thing, a monstrous psycho whose soul is stuck in that of the doll. Charles Lee Ray were the guys that haunted my childhood: Charles Manson, Lee Harvey Oswald, and James Earl Ray.”
Since Chucky first got out of his box and onto our screens, this horror property’s developed into a surprisingly sustainable franchise, with last year’s Cult of Chucky serving as the seventh installment in a series that’s managed to maintain a consistent continuity over the years. And while the movie reboot aims to wipe the slate clean, Mancini and Kirschner are planning to keep the story going regardless with their own Child’s Play: The TV Series.
Details remain vague on the show, but last month the pair teased that the project will be introducing new characters while taking the property back to its child-based roots. The Child’s Play reboot, meanwhile, seems further down the line of development, with filming commencing last month. Time will tell which of these two works will be more worth our time, but the backlash received by the new Chucky doll makes it all too clear Mancini and Kirschner still have the longtime fans on their side.