Although Child’s Play creator Don Mancini may not be too happy about it, MGM is planning to move ahead with its remake of the classic ’80s horror flick about a possessed doll named Chucky who terrorizes a young boy and his mother, and we may now know which actors are in line to play the lead roles. We also have a first look at the doll and an analysis of some facts surrounding both, the new film, and the sequential spinoff series from Mancini that might strike you as a surprise.

PLOT CHANGES

Image via Universal Pictures

There are seven films in the Child’s Play franchise, which skewed from a true horror to a film chalk full of comedic one-liners as the series went along. It’s unclear whether this reboot will embrace that sense of humor, or return to the darker roots of the original film. Tom Holland directed that horror classic, which starred Alex Vincent as young Andy Barclay, Catherine Hicks as his mother, and Chris Sarandon as a detective.

In the original 1988 movie, a serial killer named Charles Lee Ray is critically injured and, before dying, casts a spell that projects and traps his spirit into the body of a Good Guy doll, allowing the pint-sized terror to come to life to fulfill Chucky’s murderous proclivities, starting with the young boy the doll is given to.

This re-imagining is said, “to follow a group of kids much like IT and Stranger Things and a technologically-advanced doll that enters their world.” While this sounds interesting and could add to the level of gore they show with some kids meeting a fatal end, and other living for a sequel, one aspect worries us.

The new film will lean into technological terrors over voodoo. Sources shared with ComicBook.com earlier this year that one character, named “Chen,” is a “Chinese factory worker who commits suicide shortly after re-programming a Buddy doll to have no limitations.” As far as the iconic killer doll is concerned, Chucky is described as “a defective ‘Buddy doll’ whose programming code was hacked so that he has no limitations to learning and also violence.”

These details confirm that two of the biggest elements of the franchise will be absent from the film. The overall supernatural concept will be abandoned, which was what allowed the spirit of the killer to return in multiple films. Additionally, it seems as though the entire identity of the doll will be devoid of personality, with Chucky’s crass humor being another major selling point of the series.

 

CASTING

Image via FX

According to Collider, MGM’s Child’s Play reboot has found its leads on FX. Apparently, Aubrey Plaza (Legion) and Brian Tyree Henry (Atlanta) are in negotiations to star in the killer doll movie. Though not confirmed just yet, it’s believed that Plaza will play the equivalent of the mother character from the original, while Henry is expected to portray the detective investigating the case.

The new Child’s Play movie is an interesting choice for both actors, whose casting should be considered a coup for the project.

Plaza is coming off the acclaimed indie movie Ingrid Goes West, and she has also earned rave reviews for her turn as Lenny opposite Dan Stevens on Legion. The Parks and Recreation alum’s other feature credits include Safety Not GuaranteedScott Pilgrim vs. the World and the under-seen indie gem Mystery Team, led by Plaza’s NYU classmate and Henry’s Atlanta co-star Donald Glover.

Image via FX

Meanwhile, Henry is a two-time Emmy nominee who, in the span of just a few years, has become one of the busiest actors in Hollywood, with four solid feature credits to his name in 2018 alone. Not only does he have supporting roles in Steve McQueen‘s Widows and Barry Jenkins‘ If Beale Street Could Talk, but he recently appeared in Drew Pearce‘s Hotel Artemis and can currently be seen in Yann Demange‘s White Boy Rick. You’ll also hear him voice Miles Morales’ father in the upcoming animated movie Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. In addition to all that, he spent the summer filming Superintelligence with Melissa McCarthy, and he plays another detective in Joe Wright‘s The Woman in the Window, which pairs him with an all-star cast including Amy Adams, Julianne Moore, Gary Oldman, and Anthony Mackie.

Both Plaza and Henry are represented by CAA, where they share the same agent. Plaza is also repped by MGMT Entertainment and Schreck Rose, while Henry is also repped by JWS Entertainment and attorney Darren M. Trattner.

CREW AND CREATIVE 

Lars Klevberg, who directed the as-yet-unreleased horror movie Polaroid, is set to direct from a script by Tyler Burton Smith (Kung Fury 2). It producers David Katzenberg and Seth Grahame-Smith will produce via their KatzSmith Productions banner, while Aaron Schmidt will serve as an executive producer.

Don Mancini has written all seven installments in the Child’s Play franchise but has chosen not to be involved with the upcoming reboot of the original film, as he continues to develop sequels to his franchise which is rumored to extend into a TV series. In addition to having written each chapter, Mancini directed the last three films, the most recent of which being last year’s Cult of Chucky.

Mancini isn’t the only one who has been involved since the beginning, with producer David Kirschner and actor Brad Dourif, the voice of Chucky, also contributing to every film. Both of which are reportedly sticking with the series they’ve been developing for 30 years instead of contributing to the reboot in any capacity.

Iconic horror movies have regularly undergone the remake treatment, yet this seemingly marks the first time that a reboot has launched while sequels to the original continue to be developed, generating two different canons under the same title.

What makes fans apprehensive about this reboot is that Mancini, Kirschner, and Dourif are all still continuing to develop additional films, as well as a possible TV series. The trio won’t be involved with the reboot, which could explain why the film is deviating from the source material.

FIRST LOOK

Thanks to Orion Pictures, fans have gotten their first look at Chucky from the upcoming reboot, which began production earlier this week.

Which prompted creator Don Mancini to take to Twitter to share his thoughts.

The filmmaker might not have directly addressed the subject of his tweet, but his message came shortly after the first look at the new Chucky doll debuted, making it quite clear what his post was in reference to.

So, with the last entry into Mancini’s Child’s Play franchise having released less than a year ago, with pretty well reviews, and not only sequels but a TV show in the works, we have no idea why MGM would want to reboot this franchise. I mean who is actually going to see this film when the original franchise with the majority of the original cast and crew still involved remains well in the works? We are not really sure, but if you do have interest from what you have heard today, being that the reboot does have a strong cast and set of producers despite having a seemingly awful direction, please do us a favor and let us all know what to expect. Whether we should give it a shot, and would be pleasantly surprised, or whether we would be walking into the stink bomb most of us are anticipating.

What are your thoughts on the matters at hand? Are you optimistic and looking forward to a fresh breath into the famed franchise and feel the current continuity has become stagnant? Do you feel that the more the merrier applies here and are will to take on dual continuities for more and varied arcs? Or are you putting on your hazmat suit when approaching any sight of this production?  Are you baffled by MGM’s decision to pick now of all times to make this move? Or do you think the pure blockbuster power could wage stronger than the originators low budget profile?

Be sure to sound off in the comments below, and don’t forget to stay tuned for any further development, you can subscribe by email on the sidebar, or follow us on social media via links below.

Source: Collider/The Hollywood Reporter

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