Child's Play debuted in 1988 and delivered audiences Chucky, the killer doll who has become a horror icon that is arguably more popular today than ever. The film depicts a serial killer using a voodoo ritual to inject his soul into that of a child-sized doll, though an early iteration of the killer saw the toy eradicating anyone who had wronged the story's young protagonist.
"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," writer Don Mancini shared with The Hollywood Reporter. "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."
At the time, the film was referred to as "Blood Buddy" as opposed to "Child's Play," with the title being a much more direct reflection of the concept. The released film features countless characters doubting Andy and his claims that his doll is committing deadly deeds, with Blood Buddy instead seeing the killer enacting revenge on behalf of the boy.
"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."
Ultimately it was when producer David Kirschner came across the script and offered his insight in changing the doll's origins that the project finally moved forward.
"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."
Mancini and Kirschner are both still involved with the franchise, whose next direction will be a TV series. Additionally, a reboot of the premise is currently shooting, which will also reimagine the premise and deviate from the killer doll's supernatural origins to instead explore the potential dangers of artificial intelligence.
Stay tuned for details on the future of the Child's Play franchise.1comments
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[H/T The Hollywood Reporter]