An unused story concept for the original Child’s Play (1988) is finally returning in the new Chucky TV series. Since first terrorizing movie screens more than 30 years ago, Chucky has gone on to become one of cinema’s most notorious slashers, appearing in a total of seven movies in the original continuity, as well as a 2019 Child’s Play reboot. 2021 will mark the killer doll’s first foray into television, with the new series heading to Syfy on October 12.
The Chucky show will tell the tale of a small town plunged into supernatural chaos when a vintage Good Guy doll appears at a yard sale. When lonely teenager Jake Weber (Zachary Arthur) purchases the doll, the possessed item quickly becomes a conduit for his own struggles and insecurities. Jake eventually becomes fully aware that Chucky (voiced once again by franchise legend Brad Dourif) is alive, and a reign of terror begins that sees both new and familiar characters from the Chucky horror movies enter the picture.
While the idea of Chucky partnering up with a human child is certainly a new direction for the series as we know it today, the concept isn’t a new one. In fact, the origins of this idea can be traced back to the origins of Chucky himself, and to the first version of the film that would become 1988’s Child’s Play. As originally conceived by series creator/writer Don Mancini, Chucky wasn’t a doll possessed by the soul of a vengeful serial killer, but rather a supernatural extension of a young boy’s rage and murderous tendencies.
In Mancini’s original version of Child’s Play, the relationship between the child character of Andy Barclay and Chucky was much closer. The initial concept described Andy as an angry and embittered child whose subconscious seeks to destroy all the people in his life who he believes have neglected him. Instead of becoming the vessel of serial killer Charles Lee Ray, Chucky was instead brought to life by Andy’s dark thoughts and compelled to kill while the little boy slept. The doll would murder Andy’s mother, babysitter, and teacher before ultimately killing Andy, untethering itself from the boy’s unconscious.
Ultimately, much of this early version of the film would be abandoned, with producer David Kirschner and director Tom Holland altering the plot to include Charles Lee Ray, voodoo possession, and the idea of Chucky needing Andy’s body to escape the doll. And although these new elements certainly helped make Child’s Play and its sequels the beloved horror films they are today, it seems that Don Mancini never forgot his initial concept. The plot for the Chucky series seems eerily similar to Mancini’s unused idea of a boy partnering with a killer doll as a form of revenge against a world that doesn’t understand him. Although obviously altered to fit within the established formula and universe for the Child’s Play franchise, it’s clear that Chucky has finally found a new and exciting use for one of the ideas that led to the conception of the character over three decades ago.