Child’s Play – USA, 2019

‘More than a toy… he’s your best friend.’

Child’s Play is a 2019 American horror feature film directed by Norwegian Lars Klevberg (Polaroid) from a screenplay by Tyler Burton Smith (Kung Fury 2 and Quantum Break and Sleeping Dogs video games). David Katzenberg (IT) and Seth Grahame-Smith (IT) are producing the MGM/Orion movie which stars Aubrey Plaza, Brian Tyree Henryn, and Gabriel Bateman (Lights Out).

Plot:

A mother (Aubrey Plaza) gives her son (Gabriel Bateman) a Buddi toy doll for his birthday, unaware of its more sinister nature…

Previously, The Hollywood Reporter‘s Richard Newby had noted: “While discussions of a Child’s Play reboot have been bounced around for years, the news comes as something of a surprise given that the Child’s Play franchise, since rebranded as the Chucky franchise, is still ongoing, and stronger than ever. As one of the few horror franchise’s to be born out of the era to hold onto a single continuity, the news of a reboot feels like a blow to horror fans.”

Meanwhile, Child’s Play creator Don Mancini, who is developing a Child’s Play TV series, plus more film sequels to follow the favourably received Cult of Chucky (2017), has expressed his dissatisfaction with MGM’s decision to suddenly develop a reboot – without his involvement – and posted a link to The Hollywood Reporter article quoted above. Chucky fans have been quick to support Mancini’s dismay.

Don Mancini has expressed further exasperation with the reboot in an interview with Mick Garris on the Post Mortem podcast. He said:

“MGM retained the rights to the first movie, so they’re rebooting that. They asked [producer] David Kirschner and I if we wanted to be executive producers. We said no thank you, because we have our ongoing thriving business with Chucky. Obviously, my feelings were hurt. You know, I had just done two movies… forgive me if I sound defensive, [they] were both at 83% on Rotten Tomatoes. Even though they didn’t get theatrical releases, they were well regarded. And I did create the character and nurture the franchise for three fucking decades.

“So when someone says, ‘Oh yeah, we would love to have your name on the film’… it was hard not to feel like I was being patronized. They just wanted our approval. Which I strenuously denied them. I hesitate to say too much about it because I don’t want to sound like I’m belly-aching too much. But the producers of that movie are the producers of IT (2017). How would they feel if there was some legal loophole that allowed David Kirschner and I to swoop in and make our own IT movie with our own version of Pennywise and say, ‘Hey guys, we would love to put your names on it.’ I imagine they wouldn’t like it. That’s how I feel.

“The people who are making that movie, they don’t know how that’s going to affect my livelihood. It’s not just a pay check. It’s very personal. MGM’s screwing with that… potentially.”

To listen to this episode of Post Mortem in its entirety, click here.

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