Steven Spielberg Played Major Role in Rescuing the 'Child's Play' Franchise

The first Child's Play debuted in 1988 and became a horror sensation, with the killer doll Chucky standing shoulder to kneecap alongside slashers like Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger. The seventh film in the series, Cult of Chucky, debuted last year, proving that audiences are still rabid to get more of the entertaining series. Despite its prominence in the horror world, the series almost stagnated after the original film, until the intervention of Steven Spielberg.

“They immediately ordered a second film because it had done so well and was received so well,” franchise producer David Kirschner shared with Bloody Disgusting. “We were in pre-production and getting everything ready, and I’m on a plane to Cincinnati when Richard Burger (head of production for MGM and United Artists) called. ‘There’s a guy by the name of Christopher Skase at Quintex, they’re buying the company and don’t want to make horror movies,’ he said. I was enraged.”

While Quintex might not have been keen on developing horror movies, this didn't necessarily signal the end of the series, but required the filmmakers to find a new home for the Child's Play brand.

"Within 24 hours, everyone in town is going to bidding on this thing,” Kirschner recalled.

Of the many phone calls in that 24-hour period, one of them was from Spielberg. The filmmaker pushed the minds behind Child's Play to meet with Universal Pictures, who helped foster the relationship between the two parties.

"Steven said, ‘Look, you made your first film with Universal, just give them your wish list of what you want and I would have done my job in giving them the first crack at it,’" Kirschner detailed. "I owe my career to him and that’s still the case today – I went back to them and said, ‘Because of Steven, we’re bringing it to you first,’ and they met almost all of the demands. That’s how we got into the relationship with Universal when five other studios were bidding on it.”

What makes this anecdote especially relevant is the recent announcement that MGM aims to reboot the Child's Play franchise, despite writer Don Mancini, Kirschner, and actor Brad Dourif all still working together to deliver films and an upcoming TV series. While MGM may have balked at the franchise initially, they're now hoping to figure out a way to put their own spin on the series while having to compete with the series creators.

Earlier this year, Spielberg paid respects to Chucky by including him in a massive battle sequence in his adaptation of Ready Player One.

Stay tuned for details about the Child's Play franchise.


Do you think the franchise would have been different had Spielberg not gotten involved? Let us know in the comments below or hit up @TheWolfman on Twitter to talk all things horror and Star Wars!

[H/T Bloody Disgusting]