Despite being shot, exploded, shredded and dismembered, Chucky is still going strong. It’s been 32 years since Child’s Play hit cinemas, with last year’s reboot of the franchise rising above the skepticism of fans to deliver a classic horror experience (Stephen King even named it as one of his films of the year). The reboot was a hit and will almost certainly get a sequel, but for now, all eyes are on original creator Don Mancini’s upcoming SyFy TV show, Chucky.
This will bring back Brad Dourif and Jessica Tilly as Chucky and Tiffany and is being billed as a continuation of the original franchise. We don’t know a whole lot about it just yet, but Mancini hosted an online watch party for the 1988 original earlier this week and revealed the “mission” of the show, saying the following:
“With this TV show, our mission has been to preserve the straightforward scariness of the original film or the first couple of films. But at the same time, continue on with this ever-expanding tapestry of consistent story that we’ve spun over the course of seven movies and 30-some years. I think fans are really gonna love to see the new characters that we introduce into this realm and just to see how they came off of our classic characters. Not just Chucky, but some of the others that you may be hoping to see. There’s a good chance they may turn up.”
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Now, building on top of a franchise with such a long history as Child’s Play does risk alienating new viewers. After all, it’s a bit of an ask for people to watch seven horror films (of varying quality) before they settle down to catch a TV show. But it seems that Mancini will use them as a foundation for something new rather than wallowing in nostalgia. He went on to explain his thinking on what Chucky would be doing in the 2020s, stating:
“One thing I think I can probably safely say is that it’s a look at what it means to be a kid today in the 21st century, as distinct from what it was like to be a kid in the 1980s, when we first showed up on the scene. That’s one thing I think people can look forward to and thinking about: ‘How does Chucky operate in a world where kids spend so much of their time on social media?’, for example.
Playing video games, interacting with one another on social media as opposed to in a park, which is what we might have depicted 30 years ago. I think the prospect of seeing Chucky sharpen his skills and add to his toolbox, some of the technical goodies that we have at our disposal now, that’s something I think people will find pretty interesting. It’s so important to give Chucky new weapons, new strategies, and new targets, new goals… Chucky has a different goal in the TV show than he’s ever had before, and it’s specifically something that is designed to evoke something that’s going on in the zeitgeist today.”
Right now, Chucky is on ice as far as production goes due to the COVID-19 lockdowns. As such, it will probably head before the cameras in the second half of 2020 for a 2021 release. Here’s hoping that the unexpected quality of 2019’s Child’s Play will ignite some competitive spirit in Mancini and make him want to show us what the real Chucky can do when he’s let off the leash.