A reboot of Don Mancini’s popular 1988 horror film, Child’s Play, has been in the works for years. Now, the official cast has been announced along with a teaser image of the new “Chucky.”
Come Out And Play!
Child’s Play is arguably one of the biggest horror franchises ever created. Over the last 30 years, it has spawned 7 movies, 2 short film series, a comic series, and even a spot in Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights festival. With a solid place in horror fans’ hearts, it’s no wonder why there would be interest in bringing back the original story for the current generation.
MGM owns the rights to the original Child’s Play as well as 2004’s Seed of Chucky, so they are the ones producing the upcoming remake. They have officially released the starting cast of the film, as well as the first teaser image (Shown below).
Cast & Synopsis
The reboot will star Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation, Legion) as Karen Barclay, Brian Tyree Henry (Atlanta, Vice Principals) as detective Mike Norris, Gabriel Bateman (Lights Out, The Dangerous Book for Boys) as Andy Barclay, and it will be directed by Lars Klevberg (Polaroid, The Wall). The studio’s press release also included a short description of the film:
Child’s Play follows a mother (Plaza) who gives her son (Mike and Gabriel Bateman) a toy doll for his birthday, unaware of its more sinister nature
On the surface, the film seems faithful to the source material. but more details have been released that have fans and cast members of the original, up in arms. According to Comicbook.com:
As far as this reboot is concerned, sources shared with ComicBook.com 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.
This definitely deviates from the premise of the original Child’s Play. In it, a serial killer known as Charles Lee Ray uses voodoo magic to transfer his soul into a Good Guy doll just before he is gunned down. After receiving it for his birthday, a little boy known as Andy witnesses his doll, called Chucky, come to life and as he begins to murder those preventing him from possessing Andy so he can live again.
If this source is correct, the voodoo and “killer doll” aspect from the original franchise will be absent. Instead, we’ll see a malfunctioning animatronic moving about and killing people due to its hacked programming.
It’s Not All Fun And Games
Much like the Puppet Master franchise, plans to reboot the series are developing at the same time as the main series is continuing its story with future films and even a TV series in the works. However, unlike the Puppet Master franchise, the reboot of Child’s play does not have the blessing of the original creator, Don Mancini.
Don was contacted by MGM and asked to work with them as an executive producer. However, he declined to work with them and opted to continue his plans with Universal. When asked how he felt about the reboot continuing without him, he had only this to say on Twitter:
The shade of it all.
There are some worries I have, as a fan of the film. I understand the concern of making Chucky into a robot instead of a possessed doll. It completely changes the premise of the movie, especially Chucky’s motivation. There’s also the fact that Andy will be significantly older in this iteration compared to the original.
Gabriel Bateman is currently thirteen years old and by the end of filming will probably be about fourteen. Alex Vincent, the original Andy, was only about six or seven. Even if they set the new Andy’s age back a bit, it’s only believable to say he’s about ten or eleven. It just doesn’t seem believable having Andy be that old.
Time To Play The Waiting Game
Overall, I remain cautiously hopeful about the reboot. I’m a huge Aubrey Plaza fan, and I can definitely see her doing well as Andy’s mom. However, without the inclusion of the original creator or Brad Dourif (who has voiced Chucky over the last 30 years), it’s not looking good.
Part of me wishes Don had agreed to work on the film. I can understand his apprehension, but I once again look to The Puppet Master franchise. Charles Band was approached in a similar fashion when there was interest to reboot the series. He embraced it as he figured there was enough room for both stories.
Child’s Play is Don’s baby and, as a creator, I know it must be frustrating to see someone else trying to move in on something you’ve worked hard to create. However, I feel like it had been better to have a hand in the reboot to ensure it stays close to your vision instead of allowing a studio (who will make it regardless) have full control over it.
Whether or not the reboot will succeed or fail remains to be seen. Many fans have already committed to boycotting the film altogether. For the rest of us, I guess we’ll all just have to wait and see when more information is made available.