Don Mancini answered questions about his new series, Chucky, at a panel on Monday, which also included series star Jennifer Tilly ahead of the show’s premiere on USA/SyFy in October. The series brings Chucky full circle, reuniting him with a number of characters from the last three decades including Andy Barclay, the demon doll’s arch-nemesis played by Alex Vincent who reprises his role, Nica Pierce, played by Fiona Dourif, and Kyle, Andy’s foster sister played by Christine Elise. During the TCA panel, Mancini discussed the 8 part series and addressed why after so many movies, the series will be taking a look into the past of the notorious Charles Lee Ray.
“Exploring Charles Lee Ray’s origins has been something that the fans have wanted to see and have been asking for literally for decades now,” Mancini said. “And one of the reasons I was excited about taking the franchise into the medium of television was because having so much storytelling real estate, eight hours of Chucky, that provided such a great opportunity for exploring that stuff, among other stuff. But, yeah, so one of the things I was most excited about doing with the show was exploring Charles Lee Ray’s origin.”
While there is always a sense of trepidation going into reboots and remakes, one thing that Don Mancini was adamant about is that this series is completely and wholly an old style Chucky project that doesn’t retcon its old characters in any way.
“One of the things that was important to me, that we’d be able to retain all of the aspects of the franchise that the fans love, one of which is the gore, the other of which, of course, is Chucky’s propensity for dropping f‑bombs,” Mancini said. “We also have a habit of bringing actors back in different roles from movie to movie. We were doing that before Ryan Murphy started doing that with the repertoire company he put together on American Horror Story. So even if someone dies, they can come back in another role. I started doing that with Jennifer back in the ’90s.”
While the series is being welcomed by fans of the original franchise, Jennifer Tilly gave a mention to the 2019 reboot of Child’s Play, which did not involve her or Mancini and replaces Brad Dourif with Mark Hamill as the voice of the doll and came at a time when the series was already in production, and it did put a small spanner in the works.
“It did throw a crimp in things a little bit because we were kind of like, ‘Well, now, where do we belong in the Chucky universe?’, she said. “And apparently the film was very good and very well reviewed. But the fans, I don’t know. Remember they came out with New Coke and everyone liked Coke Classic better, so they brought back the old Coke and now they call it Coke Classic. I think this is a similar thing. I mean, people, they love the original Chucky with the voice of Brad Dourif.”
Chucky arrives on USA/SyFy on October 12th to wreak havoc this Halloween.