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Don Mancini Talks Chucky And Why He Made The Leap To TV

Gizmodo Australia logo Gizmodo Australia 11/10/2021 Asha Barbaschow

The Child’s Play franchise is making a leap to the small screen with its first TV show, Chucky. We’ve already been teased about what to expect from the show that premiers this week but this weekend we were lucky enough to hear what the creator himself, Don Mancini, has to say about Chucky.

Chucky is set after the seventh film Cult of Chucky and sees the murder-happy doll continue his reign of terror. The first episode of Chucky premiered at New York Comic Con (NYCC) over the weekend and judging by the reaction from the audience, we’re in for an epic television debut.

Don’t worry, this post doesn’t contain spoilers, Gizmodo Australia is yet to see any episodes.

Why Did Mancini Move Chucky to The Small Screen?

Mancini has been the brains behind Chucky for over 30 years. But what motivated him to create one of the most iconic horror slasher media franchise?

“I wanted to write a dark satire about how marketing can affect children – that was the original [idea] and that was when Cabbage Patch Kids were all the rage,” he said, speaking at NYCC.

Chucky has starred in seven movies, so why change it up and bring his terror to the small screen?

Although making a joke that nobody goes to the movies anymore, the inspiration actually came from Mancini’s time working on Hannibal.

“I started thinking about it when I was working on the TV show Hannibal … I was so amazed with the process of television and going into the writer's room, it didn’t feel like work to me,” he said.

“I just liked the idea of inviting more people into the process, I knew it could elevate our franchise the way Brian Fuller was able to elevate Hannibal.

“I was also excited about having … eight hours of story to tell, because that would allow us to focus on character and relationships, to a degree that we’ve never been able to before.”

It also allowed Mancini to head down different storytelling avenues, such as the origin of Charles Le Ray.

This Time Teens Are In Chucky’s Sights

“I wanted to bring the franchise back to its Child’s Play roots and we hadn’t focused exclusively or substantially on kids in a while, but having done little kids already I thought that 14-15 year-olds would be super interesting, because people are at a really interesting time in their lives,” Mancini said.

“They’re finding themselves, and I just thought introducing Chucky into that mix could be really interesting.”

To some degree, there’s a lot more autobiographical elements in this series. Mancini seems to be making Chucky the ally we never knew we wanted.

“It was a great opportunity to give young gay fans representation and to see themselves on screen in a way that I wasn’t able to,” he said.

“I wanted to not only normalise that, and the notion of being gay, and gay romance, I wanted to make it cool.”

Chucky Brings Back The OGs

The eight-episode series will also feature Jennifer Tilly, original Chucky foe Alex Vincent and Brad Dourif as the voice of Chucky, among other series veterans. Tilly, who shared the NYCC stage with Mancini, said we can expect the originals to be back “in a big way” by about the fifth episode.

Mancini said it was important to him to have consistency.

“It’s a really unique situation and with Cult Of Chucky, I ended that movie deliberately on a series of cliff-hangers with the hope of setting up a TV show,” he said.

“Because I knew a TV series would be the perfect place to explore the ramifications of all of the cliff-hangers we left all of the characters at.”

Mancini didn’t rule out introducing Bride of Chucky to the series in the future.

“Keep watching,” he said. “You’ll see.”

According to Tilly, Chucky gets “so fucked up and twisted”.

Chucky premieres on USA and Syfy on October 12, and although we’re only a few days out, we’re still tracking down how you can watch in Australia.

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