Last time we checked in with SYFY and USA Network's series take on the modern horror classic Child's Play, we were getting a first look at the teaser. The series storyline focuses on a vintage Chucky (the name of the series) doll that 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.
However, we discovered one nemesis that even the demonic doll can't defeat: COVID-19. Deadline Hollywood reports that production on the series has been pushed to 2021 due to pandemic-related production delays. Originally, the series was set to film this fall in Toronto and though the delays push production off by a few months, there is a silver lining. Since the series wasn't expected to air until 2021, there's still the possibility of Chucky making a fall (Halloween?) debut.
Chucky is being developed by franchise creator Don Mancini, producer David Kirschner, and Nick Antosca (Channel Zero) and 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. Brad Dourif (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest) will reprise his role as the voice of Chucky from the original 1988 movie and its six sequels. Jennifer Tilly (Tiffany Valentine in the Bride of Chucky, Seed of Chucky, Curse of Chucky, and Cult of Chucky) is also involved in the series. Now here's your first look at the series, which welcomes back an "old friend" to the original series- and he brought the party knives… favors!
Speaking with SYFY Wire at the end of May, Mancini explained how a series format would give them the opportunity to both stay true to the character and expand the franchise's universe: "With this TV show, our mission has been to preserve the straightforward scariness of the original film or the first couple of films. But at the same time, continue on with this ever-expanding tapestry of consistent story that we've spun over the course of seven movies and 30-some years. I think fans are really gonna love to see the new characters that we introduce into this realm and just to see how they came off of our classic characters. Not just Chucky, but some of the others that you may be hoping to see. There's a good chance they may turn up."
Part of what makes the franchise work is its ability to not only change thematic focus but also keep itself grounded in the times it's taking place in: "One thing I think I can probably safely say is that it's a look at what it means to be a kid today in the 21st century, as distinct from what it was like to be a kid in the 1980s when we first showed up on the scene. That's one thing I think people can look forward to and thinking about: 'How does Chucky operate in a world where kids spend so much of their time on social media?', for example. Playing video games, interacting with one another on social media as opposed to in a park, which is what we might have depicted 30 years ago. I think the prospect of seeing Chucky sharpen his skills and add to his toolbox, some of the technical goodies that we have at our disposal now, that's something I think people will find pretty interesting."
With changing times comes a change in focus, and while franchise fans will recognize the series as being a "Chucky series" doesn't mean there won't be some new roads traveled down: "It's so important to give Chucky new weapons, new strategies, and new targets, new goals … Chucky has a different goal in the TV show than he's ever had before, and it's specifically something that is designed to evoke something that's going on in the zeitgeist today." That doesn't the series will be taking a deep-dive into CGI when it comes to our pint-sized killing machine: "I think it's so important to keep Chucky as a practical puppet effect, partly because it's important for the actors to have something to respond to on set … I also think it's important that Chucky have the feel of a doll, of a puppet. He should be a little bit herky-jerky."