Thanks to MGM, we can count on seeing no less than two alternate Child's Play timelines playing out in the future. Although the films in the franchise provided a new entry as recently as last year, MGM is fast-tracking a remake of the original film with an all new killer doll. Regardless, Chucky creator Don Mancini is still moving forward with his planned TV series continuation, keeping the original timeline alive. As it turns out, however, MGM isn't the first studio to plan a reboot of the series, as Universal had been looking into the idea several years ago as well, only to nix the idea at the zero hour. So, what happened?
According to Mancini, who spoke about the situation at a Q&A session for Screamfest, it was the negative reception of similar remakes which put the kibosh on a rebooted Child's Play. As every horror fan knows, the new millennium saw the controversial remakes of beloved films like Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street. While financially successful, the films weren't appreciated by the majority of the horror crowd. Although Universal and Mancini were considering the idea of doing their own reboot for Child's Play, those plans were shelved once it became apparent how unwelcome the film would be for fans, leading to the new sequel Curse of Chucky instead.
"They didn't really make that much of a splash, so then people started to rethink that. We thought with Curse we could have our cake and eat it too. We made it sort of a tonal reboot that turned out to be a sequel in disguise if that makes sense."
In Curse of Chucky, the titular killer doll finds new victims to terrorize in a seemingly all new story. Although Brad Dourif was voicing Chucky once again, its connection to the prior films doesn't become apparent until one finishes watching the movie. It's only by the end when the loose ends are tied, which sees the returns of both Jennifer Tilly and Alex Vincent. Last year's Cult of Chucky, which picks up where Curse left off, ends with many unresolved storylines, which was deliberately done to set up Mancini's planned TV series continuation. By sticking with the original storyline established in 1988, Mancini's Chucky saga remains one of the very few franchises to maintain a consistent timeline over the course of three decades.
MGM is clearly not as concerned about the fan reception towards a remake. News of their upcoming reboot has been met with vitriol from both the fans and several cast members from the original films. Still, the film is in the works with an expected release for next year, with Aubrey Plaza and Brian Tyree Henry attached to star in the lead roles of Karen Barclay and Detective Norris. This time, the killer doll's actions will be the result of his artificial intelligence going haywire, rather than a serial killer's black magic.
Don Mancini is continuing to promote his upcoming TV series, promising it will be closer in tone to the original Child's Play than its comedic sequels. There's no word on when we can expect it to be released, but it will likely come some time after the premiere of MGM's upcoming reboot. Mancini's words were originally printed at Bloody Disgusting.