MGM and Orion announce the beginning of production on their reboot of the horror classic Child’s Play, and also confirm the casting of Aubrey Plaza and Brian Tyree Henry in the lead roles. Released in 1988, the original Child’s Play first introduced the classic horror character Chucky, a child’s doll possessed by the spirit of a dead serial killer. The film became a sleeper hit with $44 million at the box office, and spawned an entire series of sequels continuing right up to 2017’s Cult of Chucky.
Guided by creator Don Mancini, the Child’s Play series has gone through a lot of twists and turns over the decades, evolving from the straight thriller tone of the first movie into satiric comedy and finally back to the old school mind-bending horror of Cult of Chucky. Now, Child’s Play will get a reboot from David Katzenberg and Seth Grahame-Smith, the producing duo responsible for last year’s mega-successful Stephen King adaptation IT. Lars Klevberg (Polaroid) will direct from a script by Kung Fury 2 scribe Tyler Burton Smith.
Given the old school inspiration of the rebooted Child’s Play, it’s perhaps fitting that old-school studio MGM will team up with a re-born Orion to produce the film, which is now officially underway. Also official is the previously reported casting of Aubrey Plaza and Brian Tyree Henry in the movie’s lead roles. Plaza and Henry will be joined by Gabriel Bateman (pictured below) as Andy, the young boy who unwittingly becomes the owner of a killer doll. In addition to announcing the start of production, MGM also released a brief synopsis:
Child’s Play follows a mother (Plaza) who gives her son (Bateman) a toy doll for his birthday, unaware of its more sinister nature.
Child’s Play director Klevberg will work with a production crew that includes Director of Photography Brendan Uegama (Riverdale), production designer Dan Hermansen (Star Trek: Beyond), editor Tom Elkins (Annabelle), costume designer Jori Woodman (The Boy), and special effects supervisor Dan Keeler (The X-Files). According to previous reports, the rebooted Child’s Play will somewhat alter Chucky’s origin story, ditching the serial killer storyline in favor of an arguably more topical plot that sees “Chucky” being reprogrammed to behave violently by a Chinese factory worker who subsequently kills himself.
Unfortunately for die-hard fans of the original Chucky, Brad Dourif will not return to voice the doll in the movie reboot as he is committed to play Chucky in the Child’s Play TV series currently being developed by original movie creator Mancini. The Child’s Play show incidentally has nothing to do with the movie reboot. It will be interesting to see which new take on Chucky goes over better with horror fans: the new movie version with a different origin story, or the TV series take with the original creator and Chucky voice actor involved.