Filmmaker Don Mancini has pulled off an impressive feat, having written all seven entries in the Child's Play franchise to ensure they all fall in line with his original vision, while having also directed the last three installments. A reboot of the property is currently in production, which Mancini and producing partner David Kerschner and actor Brad Dourif have all opted to avoid entirely. Mancini opened up to the Post Mortem Podcast (H/T Bloody Disgusting) about how the reboot will have a personal impact on his career.
"MGM retained the rights to the first movie, so they're rebooting that," Mancini pointed out. "They asked David Kirschner and I if we wanted to be executive producers. We said no thank you, because we have our ongoing thriving business with Chucky. Obviously my feelings were hurt. Ya know, I had just done two movies… forgive me if I sound defensive, [they] were both at 83 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Even though they didn't get theatrical releases, they were well regarded. And I did create the character and nurture the franchise for three f-cking decades."
Despite Mancini being allowed to develop the franchise as he saw fit over three decades, MGM retained the title, with this new iteration of the concept undergoing some massive tweaks to its narrative. Rather than the killer doll being possessed by the spirit of a murderer, the reboot will focus on a doll's artificial intelligence malfunctioning, allowing him to kill.
"So when someone says, 'Oh yeah, we would love to have your name on the film'… it was hard not to feel like I was being patronized. They just wanted our approval. Which I strenuously denied them," Mancini admitted. "I hesitate to say too much about it because I don't want to sound like I'm belly-aching too much. But the producers of that movie are the producers of IT. How would they feel if there was some legal loophole that allowed David Kirschner and I to swoop in and make our own IT movie with our own version of Pennywise and say, 'Hey guys, we would love to put your names on it,'? I imagine they wouldn't like it. That's how I feel."
The reboot won't keep Mancini, Kirschner, or Dourif down, as the trio are reportedly working on a Child's Play TV series to continue the official narrative. Despite their own plans, this new reboot could impact the brand's future.
"The people who are making that movie, they don't know how that's going to affect my livelihood," the filmmaker confessed. "It's not just a paycheck. It's very personal. MGM's screwing with that… potentially."
The new Child's Play is slated to hit theaters on June 20, 2019. Stay tuned for details on the future of the Child's Play TV series.
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