The Child's Play franchise launched in 1988, depicting the murderer Charles Lee Ray using his final moments on earth to inject his soul into the body of a child's toy using a voodoo ritual. The film proved to be a success, thanks to its blend of an absurd premise and genuine scares, resulting in six sequels that continued the narrative. Fans of the series have had conflicting emotions about the Child's Play reboot, as it reimagines some of the core components of the franchise, though it brings the series back into the spotlight. Mark Hamill, who voices Chucky in the new film, recently detailed why this new story was worth telling.
"They sent me the script, and I thought the crucial element that was different from the original – which I liked, and I'm a huge fan of Brad [Dourif]'s interpretation – is in this one, Chucky has a different origin," Hamill shared during a recent press event, per Screen Rant. "So, it's not the soul of a serial killer, [it's] that someone deliberately goes in and alters his operating system and takes off the safety measures. So, he was really like an innocent child, really just learning from what goes on around him. That was crucial... Also, the age of the boy; he was like five or six [in the original]. Gabriel [Bateman] plays a character who's a young teenager, and that was a fundamental difference from the original."
While some fans are frustrated that the new film reinterpreted the source material, writer Don Mancini, producer David Kirschner, and actor Dourif will continue their work from the previous seven films in a new TV series.
"Just from having worked on Hannibal and Channel Zero… I saw an opportunity to reinvent the franchise yet again," Mancini shared with the Post Mortem Podcast last year. "One of the things that has kept the franchise alive and thriving for so long is that we've reinvented it in different ways, by making it a comedy, and then back to horror. But the sheer storytelling real estate of doing eight to 10 episodes… will allow us to delve into characters and relationships in a way that we're never afforded in just a 90-minute movie. That's really exciting to me."
He added, "We're going to be able to explore different avenues with different characters that are among fan favorites. A lot of times people will say, 'What's Tiffany's back story?' and 'What about Glen or Glenda?' All these different avenues. Now we have a way of exploring all of this, and that's really exciting."
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