Sure, Game of Thrones coined the phrase, “What is dead may never die.” But that concept can also apply to just about every major horror franchise, as classic killers from Freddy to Jason appear to die, but always figure out how to return to create chaos. This is fine. Audiences WANT to spend more time with these terrifying threats. But it means that storytellers have to find fresh ways to bring the beloved horror threats back, and Child’s Play thinks it figured something out.
We are getting a new Child’s Play movie on June 21, from producers Seth Grahame-Smith and David Katzenberg. The new movie will serve as both a remake and a reboot of the classic Child’s Play franchise, which followed a doll named Chucky who was possessed by the spirit of deranged serial killer Charles Lee Ray. In the new movie, the team found a new way to revive Chucky, and detoured away from the serial-killer spirit inside of the doll.
It’s a major switch to the doll’s origin, and at a recent press event for the film, producer Grahame-Smith told CinemaBlend:
We sort of lean into more of the AI/Kaslan story and hint at a Chucky that is driven by something different than he is in the original series, when he’s Charles Lee Ray and he’s just a truly psychopathic killer in the body of a doll. [Also, there is] the mother/son story, the emotional component of the movie, which I feel like the movie really delivers. And then above all that, just the intensity, the gore, the fact that the movie is rated R, that it really does go there when it goes there. I think the movie looks big, is much bigger than a lot of movies that are our size – very affordable movie, we are. But we had big ambitions. Those are, I’d say, the primary things we’re going for.
As the conversation continued – and also, as is made evident in the recent Child’s Play trailer that we are including below – the new Chucky is driven more by demonic Artificial Intelligence, and not by the spirit of a serial killer. This appears to give Chucky the ability to control more technology, as the new trailer appears to show him taking over drones, controlling power tools, and more.
Child’s Play producer Seth Grahame-Smith elaborated to CinemaBlend on the origin angle of Chucky in the new movie, explaining:
You’re getting at the heart of, I think, what a lot of people are inherently skeeved out about AI. Does it have its own agency, or is it just a series of processes and commands and executions? The truthful answer is by the time the movie’s over, I don’t know. I think at the beginning of the movie, you’ll see sort of briefly why this particular doll is the way that he is, and it’s not every one of these dolls, right? So why is our Chucky special. And then it’s going at that inherent need to make his child happy no matter what, right? To bond with him, to be with him. It starts out like you saw in the clip, very sweet. It’s two characters in Chucky and in Andy that both in their own ways at that point in the movie been rejected. Andy is certainly in need of a friend, and finds one in Chucky. So that’s the reason we showed you that clip, because we wanted to sort of lean into that this is a relationship that is genuine that goes off the rails in a big way. It’s not just brooding, and it’s not sinister from the jump. It gets there, for sure, but that I think just gets to the heart of what we’re trying to do here, and why we felt like there was a why and a cultural relevance to doing a different version of this classic series.
As the conversation played out, CinemaBlend learned that Child’s Play isn’t just changing Chucky, at his core. It’s also making changes to the boy who befriends Chucky, thereby changing their relationship. Andy in this new movie is older than he was in the 1988 Child’s Play, which kind of means that he’s past the point of playing with dolls. Seth Grahame-Smith assures fans that the movie will address that immediately, and goes on to say:
He’s not necessarily like super excited about this gift when he gets it. But once he realizes that this thing has his interest in his heart and mind, they grow on each other. We knew that one of the differences we wanted to do here was to ultimately put more pressure on kids having to do this than in the original movie where it’s Karen and Detective Mike, primarily Detective Mike, hunting this [doll] down. And now Detective Mike is a big part of the movie. Brian Tyree [Henry] is amazing in the movie, and obviously Karen – Aubrey [Plaza] – is amazing in the movie. But that really helped us give Andy sort of a life away from mom that we could exploit for different things.
All in all, it’s sounding like the team behind the new Child’s Play went above and beyond to make their story stand apart from previous versions of the Chucky story, hoping to make improvements while also luring a fresh audience into this world. Remakes and reboots aren’t always guaranteed successes, but it sure is looking like the new Child’s Play has updated the look and feel of Chucky, as evidenced by this most recent trailer.
Child’s Play will hack and slash its way into a competitive summer blockbuster frame, arriving on June 21 where it will go toe-to-AI-toe with Toy Story 4 (a totally different story about toys with emotions), and the pending Annabelle Comes Home. The competition for the horror dollar will be intense, but because of the major changes introduced into this new Child’s Play take, we think it looks interesting enough to lure both fans of the original franchise, and newcomers looking for creative, never before seen thrills.
What do you think of the changes made to the new Child’s Play? Does it make you excited to see it? Weigh in down below in the comments section. Maybe you’ll make a new best friend while you are down there.