Last Thursday, Collider attended the red carpet festivities for the 40th Annual Saturn Awards, held at at the Castaway Starlight Ballroom in Burbank, Calif. Always one of the best events for geeks with eclectic tastes, this is the only award show where you can find cinematographers from obscure exploitation movies walking the red carpet right alongside A-list directors, with both getting equal attention.
During the show, we got a chance to talk with Don Mancini who has written all six movies in the Child’s Play series and directed the last two. With him were series star, Brad Dourif and his granddaughter, Fiona Dourif, who joined the franchise 2013’s more serious-minded, The Curse of Chucky. In our interview, Mancini and the Dourifs talk extensively about Chucky movies that were almost made, where Chucky’s children Glen and Glenda would be today, contending with decreasing budgets, Universal Hollywood Horror Nights’ Chucky themed shows and mazes, his abandoned hijacking-themed children’s movie The Fur Flies and Mancini says he’s writing Chucky 7 and it continues “quite quickly on the last movie and Chucky bedevils [Fiona’s] character again.” Hit the jump for more.
Here’s the video interview with a time index followed by a transcript of most of the interview.
- How did the reboot come about? Moving away from comedy?
- Seed of Chucky talk.
- Other Chucky movie ideas.
- Where would Dourif have taken Chucky
- Psycho influence
- Budgets of the movies in the series.
- 6:45 – Is there a follow up to Curse of Chucky in the works? Will it follow the new, darker tone? Mancini reveals he’s working on a 7th installment.
- 7:25 – How do you use budget restrictions to make the movie better?
- 7:55 – The time it takes to get the puppets right.
- 8:15 – Will Andy return in the next film.
- 8:45 – Mancini’s abandoned animated children’s film The Fur Flies.
- 9:45 – Other development hell stories and why he has made so few things outside of Chucky.
DON MANCINI: You know, the ongoing quest to keep making a living doing this. It had been a few years since the last one. We had spent a few years doing comedy versions of this idea and felt we had tapped that out. And we were ready and the fans had been telling us that they were ready for this to go back to its straight-up horror roots. So that’s what we wanted to do, was make a movie for the fans. And we wanted to build a nostalgia factor into it, which is why I wanted to have Brad [Dourif] in it physically as well as the voice of Chucky, cause I thought that would be a nice valentine to all the fans who have supported us for the last quarter-of-a-fucking century.
I actually enjoyed a lot of Seed of Chucky. And I always wanted to know, at the end of that film—
There are parts of it that were clearly written beforehand that ended up in production a little bit afterwards. It really seems like it got held up and it was designed to be made right after…
MANCINI: No, you’re right, actually. There was a lot. It was several years past.
At the end of the movie you have the arm coming out, you have the twins. And I wanted to know, where was that going? Did you have an idea where it was going? Did you just end it like that because it was cool?
MANCINI: I did have an idea. And I love that character, actually. Glen, Glen and Glenda. I think we’re in the minority in that. It didn’t catch on in the way that Chucky and the Bride of Chucky did. I really liked that character. I wanted to do something surprising with it because I thought, people wouldn’t expect the offspring of Chucky to be this pacifist, sweet-natured schizophrenic. Maybe the schizophrenic part. But, anyway, I do have ideas for those character and I do think about them a lot. Whether or not we’ll actually get to come around to depicting them again; I don’t know?
Well, if we’re not going to get around to it, can you tell us what the ideas were?
MANCINI: Nobody wants to see a Chucky movie were there are no dolls involved. I picture Glen and Glenda, the human versions of those characters. Now they’d be in high school. And you know, Glen is taking his boyfriend to the prom and Glenda is poisoning the punch. But their mom, Tiffany, is secretly stitching Chucky back together to wreck havoc on their lives and teach them lessons the way that fathers are always going to have to do to teenagers. Doesn’t that sound great?
Where would Dourif have taken Chucky?
BRAD DOURIF: This was one idea, a new Tiffany-Chucky movie called Chucky Goes Ballistic.
Mancini: No, Chucky Goes Psycho. It’s actually more timely now because it’s a Universal thing, we thought Chucky at the Bates Motel. Because they have it on the lot and I was on the tour one day and I was like, ‘That would be hilarious!’
You recreated a lot of shots from Psycho in [Seed of Chucky].
MANCINI: Yes, I did. I definitely have a Psycho fixation.
DOURIF: But Chucky’s father, who’s an old guy, looks rather like me. He has to teach this young, awkward version of Tiffany who is now alive, to replace as the doll. So he gives her Tiffany lessons until she slowly turns into Tiffany where then she can become Tiffany’s bride again. And that would be, yeah.
MANCINI: You’re probably wondering why, ‘How did these these awesome ideas never come to fruition?’
DOURIF: I am too! They’re crazy over there! They’re just crazy over there! They should have done this!
Chucky’s adventures at Universal Halloween Horror Nights with Chucky’s Insult Emporium. Mancini wasn’t involved and couldn’t even get free tickets to see it.
MANCINI: Not only do they not tell us about this stuff, they don’t even give us tickets sometimes. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. But it’s kind of, ‘What have you done for us lately?’ One time I called up to say, ‘Hey, can I have a couple of tickets to go up to Halloween Horror Nights?’ And it’s like, ‘Oh, we don’t really do that.’
Is there a follow up to Curse of Chucky in the works? Will it follow the new, darker tone?
MANCINI: I am working on Chucky 7, yes.
FIONA DOURIF: Wow, he said it.
Is it going to take that darker path that Curse did?
MANCINI: Yes, it continues quite quickly on the last movie and Chucky bedevils [Fiona’s] character again.
So [Fiona] you’re back for seventh, can we say?
FIONA DOURIF: Apparently?
You haven’t signed a contract yet, so.
MANCINI: It’s all early days for all of us, I’ve probably said too much.
The time it takes to get the puppets right.
FIONA DOURIF: The dolls get seventeen takes and the actor gets one.
DOURIF: Gosh, you’ll have to see it.
FIONA DOURIF: who knows?
MANCINI: Would you like to see it? No seriously, would you like it?
Mancini’s abandoned animated children’s film The Fur Flies.
MANCINI: The one with the animals was an animated movie called The Fur Flies which was a parody of disaster movies about all of the pets that are traveling on an airline in a cargo hold. You know how the formula for disaster movies is, a group of people from different classes have to set aside their differences and work together to save the day. In this case, it’s animals of different species who may even want to eat each other under normal circumstances have to work together to save an airliner that has been hijacked.
This is a children’s film?
MANCINI: It was a children’s film. But done light. But then 9/11 happened and so no one was going to make a children’s comedy about hijacked planes.
Other development hell stories and why he has made so few things outside of Chucky.
MANCINI: That’s the nice thing about Chucky, they want to make the movies. And what’s happened to Hollywood is, they only want branded stuff. It’s so hard to get original material going. So, I think we all feel very lucky to have hitched our wagons to a character who has taken off in pop culture.