The reboot of Child’s Play immediately rubbed me up the wrong way. This is because creator Don Mancini has dedicated himself to the franchise for more than 30 years, turning out a series of excellent trashy horror flicks and is currently working on a Child’s Play TV series. When he learned that a reboot was in development without his input, he was furious. Then they explained that Chucky wouldn’t be voiced by series mainstay Brad Dourif. Who on earth could voice Chucky better than Dourif?
Well, they picked pretty much the one guy who might be in with a shot: Mark Hamill. While most know him as Luke Skywalker, he’s also one of the finest voice actors in the business. His performance as the Joker across the Batman franchise is legendary and he’s generally known as a seriously talented individual. And now it seems as if he’s going to use all of these talents to bring Chucky to life.
In an interview with CinemaBlend, Child’s Play producer Seth Grahame-Smith raved about Hamill’s performance, saying:
“Not only was he into it, he really started wanting to talk to us a lot about it from a standpoint of creating a character, and he wanted to do it as an acting challenge. And when we showed up the first day and the first recording session, he had watched all seven of the original movies, and he had sort of written a whole series of notes about his progression through the character, and development of voice. And then he showed us some of the voices he was developing. It was insane. He really jumped into it like a serious acting challenge.”
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While I have to admit that the producer being surprised that someone would take the role seriously is a teeny bit of a red flag (were they expecting him to half-ass it or something?), it’s awesome to get a glimpse into how Hamill works on these projects.
Continuing on, Seth said:
“We’re still actually doing the last little records right around now, and I’m star-struck every time I’m in his presence. I can’t believe that I’m in a recording booth with Mark Hamill. But that goes away really quickly when he starts to do the Chucky voice and match to picture. He becomes that character. And I think that like everything we’re trying to do, there’s a difference, right? You’re not imitating Brad [Dourif]. That would be insane, and not respectful. I think cast-wise, voice-wise, we couldn’t have done better in terms of the people that we attracted to the movie.”
I appreciate the shout-out to Brad Dourif here. Perhaps it’s the animation nerd in me talking, but right now Hamill’s performance as Chucky is the number one selling point for this film for me. So far, the trailers have shown what looks like a fairly effective horror movie about a killer doll, but perhaps Hamill’s performance can give Child’s Play the twisted personality that made Mancini’s original takes such devilishly fun horror classics.