Chucky Comes A-Calling This October; Don Mancini Talks SYFY/USA Series

After weeks upon weeks of teasers, previews, and social media production updates, fans of the "Child's Play" franchise who've been looking forward to USA Network and SYFY's series take Chucky were on the receiving end of some very good news on Friday. First up, we have the first teaser for the series as well as a date announcement (both courtesy of EW)- with October 12 at 10 pm on both cable channels officially locked in. Along with the news came some more insights into the series from franchise creator & series showrunner Don Mancini, including more background on Zackary Arthur's character, why the franchise works well whether on the big or small screen, and which Chucky look inspired the series version.

chucky
Image: Screencap

Meet Zackary Arthur's Character: "The main character is a 14-year-old gay boy who's bullied and sort of lost after the recent death of his mother. He's a young artist [making] sculptures with doll parts. He finds Chucky at a yard sale and buys him, but it turns out that he gets much more than he bargained for. One of the things I wanted to do was bring [the franchise] back to its Child's Play roots and have the protagonists [be] kids. But since, with the first couple of movies, we'd already delved into having little kids I wanted to explore something different, so this time we're exploring young teenagers."

Why the Franchise Works So Well for Television & Film: "One of the things that we pride ourselves on, and I think makes our franchise singular, is that we have spun a relatively consistent and coherent narrative over the course of 33 years and seven films and now eight episodes of television. I think that's one of the things that our fans like about the Chucky franchise. I deliberately ended 'Cult of Chucky' on a series of cliffhangers, major cliffhangers, because I knew a TV series would be the ideal place to accommodate delving into the ramifications. So we begin the series introducing our new story, our new milieu, and then we start to bring the veteran characters into the story, and it all comes together for a big showdown."

Fans of "Child's Play 2" Will Be Big Fans of This Chucky's Look: "Over the years, I've heard that the consensus fan favorite among all the movies is 'Child's Play 2'. I think one of the reasons for that is how Chucky looked in that movie and how the late director John Lafia, who passed away last year, shot Chucky. Our goal with the series was to bring Chucky's look precisely back to that. Tony Gardner and Peter Chevako [special effects artists who create the show's puppets] have done a great job. I think fans are really going to love that."

Just in case you need a quick recap, Chucky focuses on the vintage doll (with the soul of notorious serial killer Charles Lee Ray riding shotgun) as it turns up at a suburban yard sale. Soon, an idyllic American town is thrown into chaos as a series of horrifying murders begin to expose the town's hypocrisies and secrets. Meanwhile, the arrival of enemies (and allies) from Chucky's past threatens to expose the truth behind the killings, as well as the demon doll's untold origins as a seemingly ordinary child who somehow became this notorious monster.

Chucky
Image: NBCUniversal

SYFY's Chucky stars Zackary Arthur (Transparent), Teo Briones (Ratched), Alyvia Alyn Lind (Daybreak), Björgvin Arnarson (The Seventh Day), Devon Sawa (Final Destination), Jennifer Tilly (reprising her role as Tiffany Valentine from the films), Fiona Dourif (reprising her role as Nica from the films), Alex Vincent (the original Andy Barclay), and Christine Elise McCarthy (Kyle- Child's Play 2, Cult of Chucky)- with Brad Dourif returning to voice the demonic doll.

An easy target for Chucky, Athrur's Jake Webber is a loner trying to find his place in the world after his mom's death while never connecting with his dad or his peers. Briones' Junior Webber is Bree and Logan's son and Jake's cousin, an all-American, over-achieving, jock – the opposite of his loner cousin Jake. Lind's Lexy Taylor is the self-appointed princess of her school and Jake's primary bully- who also dates his cousin Junior. Arnarson's Devon Lopez is the boy-next-door and true-crime junkie who is hellbent on making sense of Hackensack's mysterious tragedies- both past and present. No details were released on Sawa's character at this time (though the "always reliable" Wikipedia lists the character as "Logan Webber"). Chucky is being developed by Mancini, producer David Kirschner, and Antosca via his Eat the Cat banner. Harley Peyton (Twin Peaks, Channel Zero) serves as an executive producer. Mancini will work triple time on the series, beyond his executive producing responsibilities: writing the adaptation, serving as showrunner, and directing the first episode.

daily dispatch
(Shutterstock.com)

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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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