Child's Play Creator Explains How Hannibal Inspired New Chucky TV Series

While some long-running franchises and series have undergone creative shifts over the decades, the Child's Play franchise has seen filmmaker Don Mancini at the helm since the first film hit theaters, with the 2019 reimagining of the concept being the only project he opted not to have involvement in. To the delight of many, Mancini is continuing the narrative he created in the upcoming SYFY TV series Chucky, with the filmmaker recently detailing that the inspiration to continue the narrative he came up with in the form of a TV series was surprisingly inspired by his time working on Hannibal. The new Chucky series is set to premiere this fall.

"I think I first started thinking about it when I was working on Hannibal," Mancini revealed to Entertainment Weekly. "I was such a huge fan of that franchise, the films, the books, so when it became a TV series I was initially skeptical. A TV series? And no Anthony Hopkins? How is this going to work?"

He continued, "Of course, like everybody else, I was blown away. Anyway, I ended up in the Hannibal writers' room. I really loved working on that show, and I loved working for Bryan Fuller, and learned a lot from him. I saw that one of the things that made that show so interesting and exciting was that it was kind of fan fiction written by experts. It was a sort of fanciful imagining initially. What was Hannibal like when he was a practicing psychiatrist consulting with the FBI before anyone knew he was the big bad? That's when I started imagining doing the same thing with Chucky, having eight hours of narrative to play with and doing it with a bunch of like-minded horror geeks and legit Chucky fanatics."

Another factor that made the Child's Play franchise so unique is that, while some horror series will jump forward or backward in time, or feature narratives that deviate from the core mythology, Mancini has been exploring Chucky and his mayhem in a relatively linear fashion for more than three decades.

"I've been around for quite a while now, and I meet a lot of younger people who love the franchise and who grew up on it, and so I felt, 'Wow, if I can cultivate the excitement that they have for Chucky, in the same way I felt Bryan Fuller was able to cultivate my and the other writers' excitement for Hannibal, we could have something really special,'" Mancini pointed out. "At the same time, one of the things I've always tried to do with the franchise over the years is find ways of reinventing it. I realized that taking it into the medium of television would change the lens through which we view the characters in the franchise in a potentially really fruitful way. Just having eight hours of story to deal with necessarily puts you in a position where you're dealing much more with characters and relationships than you can in any single 90-minute movie. All of that just seemed really mouth-watering to me and I'm delighted and slightly shocked that it all worked out."

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Stay tuned for details on Chucky before it debuts on SYFY this fall.

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