The doll that claimed he’d be your friend ’til the end is getting a new beginning, as MGM is developing a remake of the 1988 horror classic Child’s Play, sources tell Collider.
Lars Klevberg, who directed the as-yet-unreleased horror movie Polaroid, is set to direct from a script by Tyler Burton Smith, whose credits include Kung Fury and the video game Quantum Break.
It producers David Katzenberg and Seth Grahame-Smith will produce via their KatzSmith Productions banner, while Aaron Schmidt will serve as an executive producer. Production is slated to start in September in Vancouver.
Plot details remain under wraps so MGM hasn’t confirmed any of this, though Collider has learned that it’s a contemporary reboot involving a group of kids (a la Stranger Things), and a technologically-advanced doll that enters their world. That’s right, this doll will be able to do some cool stuff that may have been beyond Chucky 1.0’s grasp. It’s likely that the new doll will be named Chucky, though it’s possible that the doll will have a new name. We haven’t read the script, so we don’t know for sure. All we know is that the original Child’s Play followed Charles Lee Ray, a serial killer who casts a spell that traps his soul inside the body of a Good Guy doll, who is given the name of Chucky.
At this point, there is no cast confirmed, but if you’re really trying to reboot the Child’s Play franchise, you need a clean start, which is why I believe that MGM will recast the voice of the killer doll. Now, that doesn’t mean that Brad Dourif has voiced Chucky for the last time. If you’ll recall, Child’s Play creator Don Mancini recently took to Twitter to announce a Chucky TV series, so perhaps that’s why MGM has been a bit cagey about this project, which was developed under a code name in the hopes the studio could pull off a reveal similar to how Adam Wingard’s The Woods was later revealed to be a new Blair Witch movie. In any case, the Child’s Play rights situation is complicated, and Universal owns the home entertainment rights, though it seems like MGM has figured out a way to separate the rights, so that it can move forward with a movie on its own terms, from a new creative team, while Mancini can still do his TV series with his regular cast of Chucky collaborators. We’ll have to wait and see if it ever comes to fruition.
There are seven films in the Child’s Play franchise, which introduced more and more comedic one-liners as the series went along. It’s unclear whether this reboot will embrace that sense of humor, or return to the darker roots of the original 1988 movie. Tom Holland directed that horror classic, which starred Alex Vincent as Andy Barclay, Catherine Hicks as his mother, and Chris Sarandon as a detective.
Theatrical sequels were released back-to-back in 1990 and 1991, and you can even see a copy of Child’s Play 2 on the shelf in Jerry Seinfeld‘s apartment on Seinfeld. The franchise laid dormant for seven years before being resurrected with 1998’s Bride of Chucky, which was followed by 2004’s Seed of Chucky, 2013’s Curse of Chucky and finally, last year’s Cult of Chucky, which wasn’t half bad.
Klevberg directed several short films before turning one of them into the feature film Polaroid, which bounced around the release calendar and remains in limbo due to the tricky legal situation surrounding the Weinstein Company and its horror label Dimension Films. Sources say that MGM and the producers saw Polaroid and Klevberg won the job on the strength of that film. He’s represented by WME and Good Fear Film + Management. WME also represents the writer.