Child's Play (franchise)
Child's Play (also called Chucky) is an American horror franchise that comprises of eight slasher films created by Don Mancini. The films mainly focus on Chucky (portrayed by Brad Dourif and Mark Hamill), a notorious serial killer who frequently escapes death by performing a voodoo ritual to transfer his soul into a "Good Guys" doll. The original film, Child's Play, was released on November 9, 1988. The film has spawned six sequels, a remake, comic books, a video game, tie-in merchandise, and an upcoming television show. The first, second, and fourth films were box office successes with all of the films earning over $182 million worldwide. Including revenues from sales of videos, DVDs, VOD and merchandise, the franchise has generated over $250 million. It also won a Saturn Award for Best Horror Franchise.
Child's Play logo as used in the original film (top) and the Chucky logo (bottom)
|Created by||Don Mancini|
|Original work||Child's Play (1988)|
|Comics||List of comic books|
|Films and television|
|Film(s)||List of films|
|Television series||Chucky (2020)|
|Video game(s)||Chucky: Slash & Dash (2013)|
The film series originally started out as straight horror with the first installment Child's Play, which appears to have more psychological horror elements, while the next two installments are straightforward slasher films with elements of dark humor. As the films progressed, they became satirical and campy, until the series briefly became a horror comedy, with 1998's Bride of Chucky and 2004's Seed of Chucky. In 2012, it was confirmed that a new film would be made under the title Curse of Chucky and be released direct-to-video. Unlike Bride and Seed, Curse of Chucky is a full-fledged horror film much like the original three installments. However, it does maintain the campy humor to a small degree. The latest installment to the series, titled Cult of Chucky, was released on October 3, 2017.
Several short films have been made featuring the Chucky character: on the DVD release of Seed of Chucky, a short film entitled Chucky's Vacation Slides, set during the events of the film, was included, and a series of short films inserting Chucky into the events of other horror films entitled Chucky Invades was released in the run-up to the release of Curse of Chucky. On television, Chucky has appeared in commercials and also on Saturday Night Live, with a separate voice actor voicing the character. Chucky appeared in a pre-taped segment during an October 1998 episode of World Championship Wrestling's Monday Nitro program as a heel, taunting wrestler Rick Steiner who was a face at the time and promoting Bride of Chucky.
|Film||Release date||Director||Screenwriter(s)||Story by||Producers||Distributed by|
|Child's Play||November 9, 1988||Tom Holland||Don Mancini and John Lafia and Tom Holland||Don Mancini||David Kirschner||Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer|
|Child's Play 2||November 9, 1990||John Lafia||Don Mancini||Universal Pictures|
|Child's Play 3||August 30, 1991||Jack Bender||Robert Latham Brown|
|Bride of Chucky||October 16, 1998||Ronny Yu||David Kirschner and Grace Gilroy|
|Seed of Chucky||November 12, 2004||Don Mancini||David Kirschner and Corey Sienega||Rogue/Relativity Media|
|Curse of Chucky||September 24, 2013[a]||David Kirschner||Universal Pictures|
|Cult of Chucky||October 3, 2017||David Kirschner and Ogden Gavanski|
|Child's Play||June 21, 2019||Lars Klevberg||Tyler Burton Smith||David Katzenberg and Seth Grahame-Smith||United Artists Releasing/Orion Pictures|
|Chucky||2020||Don Mancini||David Kirschner
Child's Play (1988)Edit
Child's Play is the first and only in the series to be distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/United Artists (until Seed of Chucky which is distributed by Rogue) before the franchise was sold by Universal Pictures. The film is directed by Tom Holland, written by Holland, John Lafia, and Don Mancini, and starring Catherine Hicks, Chris Sarandon, Alex Vincent, and Brad Dourif. The film was released on November 9, 1988. Set in 1988, a serial killer and voodoo practitioner named Charles Lee "Chucky" Ray is mortally wounded and transfers his soul via a voodoo ritual into a child-sized "Good Guys" doll. The doll is found by a homeless peddler and sold to Karen Barclay, who gives it to her son Andy as a birthday gift. As time goes on Chucky has to get his soul out of the doll before it turns human and the transfer becomes permanent, and thus has to possess the first person he told his secret to—Andy. Desperate to leave his doll body, Chucky terrorizes the Barclays in order to restore his soul.
Child's Play 2 (1990)Edit
Child's Play 2 is the second film in the series and the first film distributed by Universal Pictures. The film is directed by John Lafia, written by Mancini, Vincent and Dourif reprise their roles as Andy Barclay and the voice of Chucky. The film was released on November 9, 1990. The movie takes place in 1990, two years after the events of the first film. While Andy is living in foster care, the doll's manufacturer has taken a positive corporate stance and remade it to prove there is nothing wrong with the Good Guys brand. After a freak electrical malfunction brings Chucky back to life in a new Good Guys doll, he continues to follow Andy in order to transfer his soul from his doll body before it will once again become his permanent form.
Child's Play 3 (1991)Edit
Child's Play 3, also known as Child's Play 3: Look Who's Stalking!, is the third film in the series, and the last film to be titled as Child's Play, before the title changed as Chucky. The film is directed by Jack Bender, written by Mancini, and had Dourif reprise once again his role as Chucky, while Alex Vincent was replaced as Andy Barclay by Justin Whalin as an older version of Andy and a supporting cast of Perrey Reeves and Jeremy Sylvers. The film was released on August 20, 1991. Set in 1998, eight years after the events of the second film, the Good Guys factory has re-opened after the negative publicity, and as Chucky's remains are removed, some blood from his destroyed human-doll body drips into a vat of melted plastic used to re-mould the Good Guys line. Chucky returns in a new body, going on a hunt for the now 16-year-old Andy Barclay, who has left to attend a military academy after the results of the first two films. While attempting to reach Andy, Chucky finds a new boy, Ronald Tyler, who he shares his "secret" with. With a new "Good Guys" doll body brings the possibility of possessing a new human body, and Chucky attempts to restore his soul to human form through Tyler as Andy attempts to stop the killer Good Guys doll once and for all.
Bride of Chucky (1998)Edit
The film picks up a month after the events of Child's Play 3. Unlike the first three films, this film focuses entirely on Chucky and Tiffany. Charles Lee Ray's former girlfriend and his accomplice, Tiffany, acquires Chucky's remains, stitches them together and via a voodoo ritual revives Charles Lee Ray, albeit in a much different form. Chucky kills Tiffany, transferring her soul into a bride doll, and the two maniacs force a young couple, Jesse and Jade (Nick Stabile and Katherine Heigl), to bring them to Ray's grave, where Chucky plans to use a voodoo amulet to finally get a new body. In the end, the Tiffany doll gives birth to a new form of life (Glen/Glenda) as it flies out of a now dead Tiffany and attacks a detective. No one knows whether the detective is dead or alive as the screen cuts to black and closing credits roll.
Seed of Chucky (2004)Edit
Seed of Chucky is the fifth installment, and the first film other than the original Child's Play not to be distributed by Universal Pictures. Chucky and Tiffany's child Glen finds his parents six years later, in 2004, and brings them back to life, but is horrified by their murders. Chucky and Tiffany force a pregnancy on actress Jennifer Tilly, which is accelerated by voodoo magic. Glen suffers a split personality disorder, having both a male and female soul in his/her body, and dismembers his father. Tiffany uses the ritual to take over Tilly's body and as Tilly bears twins, Glen's dual personality now has a body each of its own. In an epilogue set five years later, in 2009, one of Chucky's severed arms is mailed to the home of his family, where it attacks the now-human Glen.
Curse of Chucky (2013)Edit
Curse of Chucky is the first direct-to-video film in the series and the sixth installment. In 2013, nine years after the events of the fifth film and four years after its epilogue, Chucky is delivered to the family home of Nica and Sarah Pierce, where Chucky terrorizes and kills the family one by one. Chucky is driven by revenge, as Sarah was the one who called the police on him while he was still human, leading to his original death in the first film by detective Mike Norris and responsible for Nica's disability. Nica survives, but is institutionalized, and blamed for the murders. Chucky is collected by Tiffany, who delivers him to Alice. Chucky successfully transfers his soul into Alice's body which will be explained in Cult of Chucky; as he does the soul ritual the camera moves to reveal Alice's grandmother emerging from the basement, with a plastic bag around her head, slowly dying. Six months later, Chucky is mailed to his next victim, who just so happens to be none other than his longtime original nemesis from the original first three films, Andy Barclay, who points a shotgun at Chucky and shoots him through the head.
Cult of Chucky (2017)Edit
The second direct-to-video film and seventh installment in the franchise, it is set in 2017, four years after Curse of Chucky. Chucky returns to terrorize Nica at the mental institution where she is admitted. Chucky goes on yet another murderous rampage, killing disbelieving employees and tenants at the institution with various dramatic tricks. When a now vigilante Andy Barclay figures out Chucky's plan, he breaks into the institution in an attempt to disarm his newly created voodoo plot. But in the end, Nica ends up being possessed by Chucky, which causes her to gain the ability to walk and leaves with Tiffany.
Child's Play (2019)Edit
The 2019 version of the film is a remake of the 1988 film, putting a modern spin on the origin story of Chucky. Rather than a Good Guys doll taking on the soul of a dead serial killer, this Chucky is a piece of rogue AI (a "Buddi" doll with the ability to control all the technology in a house remotely via the cloud) who becomes self-aware and violent after a disgruntled sweatshop employee disables all of his safety features as an act of spite. Andy Barclay is now portrayed as a 13-year old boy living with his mother Karen in a new apartment building in Chicago, who, while less enthusiastic about the toy than in the original, finds use in him as a tool to scare his mother's detestable boyfriend, if nothing else. While using the Buddi Chucky having fun with his new friends Falyn and Pugg, it attaches itself to Andy at the hip, and with his violence inhibitors turned off, begins to kill those Andy dislikes (starting with the family cat, Mickey Rooney, who hurt Andy by scratching him). Once the doll murders his mother's boyfriend and delivers his skinned face to Andy's room, he realizes it is evil and has to be destroyed - but Buddi proves much easier to find than to lose. With no one believing his story about the doll turning evil, Andy has to take on Chucky himself and stop his murderous rampage in its tracks.
In October 2017, Don Mancini stated that he intends in having Glen and Glenda from Seed of Chucky return in a future film, and acknowledged that most references to that character had been cut from Cult of Chucky. In February 2018, it was announced that a Child's Play television series will be a continuation of the film's story arc. Mancini also stated that following the TV show, feature films will continue to be developed in the future.
In an interview with Bloody Disgusting Mancini discussed the potential of a Child's Play film set on a train as well as revealing plans for a crossover film with the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, tentatively referred to as Child's Play on Elm Street.
I would like to do Freddy and Chucky, just because I think they would be a fun double act," he explains. "I'm more really interested in the characters. My pitch for Freddy vs. Chucky is Child's Play on Elm Street. Chucky ends up in some kid's house on Elm Street, and Chucky and Freddy inevitably meet in the dreamscape. Chucky sleeps. Why not? Chucky sleeps, Chucky dreams. And they have this admiration for each other. But they realize quickly that Elm Street isn't big enough for the two of them, so in a riff on Dirty Rotten Scoundrels they have a contest: who can kill the most teenagers before the sun comes up?
In September 2017 in a separate interview with Cinema Blend, Mancini confirmed his intent to make the crossover film, describing it as "cool and doable", confirming that the film would be titled Child's Play on Elm Street and that he was currently in discussion with New Line Cinema about the film. The foundation for a crossover film was previously laid in Bride of Chucky, in which Freddy Krueger's bladed glove had appeared in the Lockport police evidence depository at the beginning of the film.
Television series (2020)Edit
In February 2018, it was announced that a television series is in development with involvement from franchise creator Don Mancini, and producer David Kirschner. The show will share continuity with the original film series, and be a continuation of that story. Mancini stated that besides the TV series, feature films will still continue to be developed. By June of the same year, it was confirmed that Brad Dourif would return for the 8-part series to voice Charles Lee "Chucky" Ray.
In January 2019, Syfy Wire announced that the series will air on Syfy with Mancini writing and executive producing the series with David Kirschner and Nick Antosca. In February 2019, Antosca announced that the current working title of the series is Chucky. Mancini announced that the series will be released in 2020.
Chucky's Vacation SlidesEdit
On the home media DVD and Blu-ray release of Seed of Chucky in 2005, a short film entitled Chucky's Vacation Slides was included in the special features. The short, set during the events of Seed of Chucky, follows Chucky, Tiffany, and Glen after having returned from a family vacation. The film implies that the events of Seed of Chucky take place over the course of 5–10 years. While browsing through their photographs of their vacation on a slide projector, Tiffany notices various corpses in the background of certain photographs, realizing that Chucky has been killing people again. Tiffany leaves, with a distraught and sickened Glen, while Chucky continues to view the photographs. After a delivery man arrives with a pizza, Chucky leads him to his garage and kills him off-screen. Brad Dourif, Jennifer Tilly and Billy Boyd all reprise their roles from the films.
Leading up to the DVD release of Curse of Chucky in 2013, a series of short film videos were released. The clips showed Chucky interrupting the events of several other horror films. Brad Dourif and Edan Gross reprised their roles as Chucky and the Good Guys Doll, respectively.
- The first clip, Chucky invades Psycho, has Chucky taking the place of using a stepladder to kill Marion Crane in a shower, he is then discovered by Norman Bates. Janet Leigh and Anthony Perkins appear in archival footage.
- The second clip, Chucky invades The Purge, has Chucky invading the Sandin family's home. Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Adelaide Kane and Max Burkholder appear in archival footage. The film is designed in the form of a trailer for a film.
- The third clip, Chucky invades Mama, follows Chucky as he hides under the bed of Victoria Desange before attacking her. Jessica Chastain and Isabelle Nélisse appear in archival footage.
- The fourth clip, Chucky invades Drag Me to Hell, follows Chucky attacking Christine Brown in her car. Alison Lohman appears in archival footage.
- A dark grey cell indicates the character was not in the film, or that the character's presence in the film has not yet been announced.
- A indicates an appearance through archival footage taken from a previous film of the franchise.
- H indicates an appearance as the human form of an occasionally non-human character.
- P indicates an appearance in onscreen photographs only.
- C indicates a cameo appearance.
- V indicates a voice-only role.
|Child's Play||Child's Play 2||Child's Play 3||Bride of Chucky||Seed of Chucky||Curse of Chucky||Cult of Chucky||Child's Play||Chucky|
|Director||Tom Holland||John Lafia||Jack Bender||Ronny Yu||Don Mancini||Lars Klevberg||Don Mancini|
|Don Mancini||Tyler Burton Smith|
|Producer(s)||David Kirschner||Robert Latham Brown||David Kirschner||David Kirschner||David Kirschner
|Grace Gilroy||Corey Sienega|
|Composer(s)||Joe Renzetti||Graeme Revell||Cory Lerios
|Graeme Revell||Pino Donaggio||Joseph LoDuca||Bear McCreary|
|Cinematography||Bill Butler||Stefan Czapsky||John R. Leonetti||Peter Pau||Vernon Layton||Michael Marshall||Brendan Uegama|
Roy E. Peterson
|Edward Warschilka||Scott Wallace
Edward A. Warschilka Jr.
|Chris Dickens||James Coblentz||Randy Bricker||Tom Elkins|
|Production company||United Artists||Living Doll Productions||Universal Pictures||David Kirschner Productions||La Sienega Productions||Universal 1440 Entertainment
David Kirschner Productions
|Distributor||Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer / United Artists||Universal Pictures||Rogue / Relativity Media||Universal Pictures||Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer / United Artists Releasing||NBCUniversal Television Distribution|
|Running time||87 minutes||84 minutes||90 minutes||89 minutes||86 minutes||97 minutes||91 minutes||90 minutes||TBA|
|Release date||November 9, 1988||November 9, 1990||August 30, 1991||October 16, 1998||November 12, 2004||October 8, 2013||October 3, 2017||June 21, 2019||2020|
Box office performanceEdit
|Film||Release date||Box office revenue||Budget||Reference|
|North America||Other territories||Worldwide||Worldwide adjusted|
|Child's Play||November 9, 1988||$33,244,684||$10,952,000||$44,196,684||$83,933,325||$9,000,000|||
|Child's Play 2||November 9, 1990||$28,501,605||$7,262,000||$35,763,605||$64,740,8729||$13,000,000|||
|Child's Play 3||August 30, 1991||$14,960,255||$5,600,000||$20,560,255||$35,716,113||$13,000,000|||
|Bride of Chucky||October 16, 1998||$32,404,188||$18,288,000||$50,692,188||$73,581,099||$25,000,000|||
|Seed of Chucky||November 12, 2004||$17,083,732||$7,745,912||$24,829,644||$31,099,354||$12,000,000|||
|Child's Play||67% (36 reviews)||58 (18 reviews)|
|Child's Play 2||40% (15 reviews)||37 (16 reviews)|
|Child's Play 3||23% (13 reviews)||27 (13 reviews)|
|Bride of Chucky||46% (35 reviews)||48 (17 reviews)|
|Seed of Chucky||33% (75 reviews)||46 (17 reviews)|
|Curse of Chucky||76% (21 reviews)||58 (5 reviews)|
|Cult of Chucky||77% (22 reviews)||69 (5 reviews)|
|Child's Play||64% (173 reviews)||47 (31 reviews)|
Joe Renzetti composed the first Child's Play, followed by Graeme Revell, who composed the soundtrack for Child's Play 2 and Bride of Chucky. John D'Andrea and Cory Lerios wrote the score for Child's Play 3, while Pino Donaggio composed Seed of Chucky. Joseph LoDuca composed the score for Curse of Chucky and Cult of Chucky.
The following crimes have been associated with the Child's Play films:
In December 1992, four people who tortured and killed 16-year-old Suzanne Capper were said to be influenced by one of the Child's Play movies. During the torturing of the girl, the perpetrators taunted her by playing her a song, (Hi, I'm Chucky (Wanna Play?) by 150 Volts, featuring samples from the movie Child's Play.
In 1993, two youths who abducted and murdered a toddler named James Bulger were said to have been influenced by the film Child's Play 3. The supposed link between the murder and the film was denied by film censor James Ferman.
According to a relative of two boys aged 10 and 12 who brutally attacked a nine-year-old and 11-year-old boy in Edlington, South Yorkshire in April 2009, the attackers watched horror movies, including Chucky films, from the age of about six or seven.
Elena Lobacheva, a Russian serial killer arrested in 2015, was reportedly obsessed with the film Bride of Chucky, which she cited as being an inspiration for the murders that she and her gang committed throughout Moscow.
Beginning in 1992, Innovation Publishing released the first comic books based on the films, in the form of a three-issue adaptation of Child's Play 2. It was later collected in a trade paperback. The success of the adaptation led to a monthly series of new stories starting in 1991. The series, titled Child's Play: The Series, ended in 1992 after only five issues. This was followed by a three-issue adaptation of Child's Play 3.
Devil's Due PublishingEdit
In 2007, Devil's Due Publishing obtained the license to publish Child's Play comics and released a one-shot crossover with Hack/Slash titled Hack/Slash vs. Chucky which takes place after the events of the Seed of Chucky film. This was followed by a four-issue series called Chucky. A second volume began in early 2009 but ceased publication after only one issue.
Slimstown Studios announced an endless runner video game titled Chucky: Slash & Dash. The game is scheduled to be released on iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Android devices. It is the result of an agreement with Universal Partnerships & Licensing to develop and publish the first officially licensed smartphone and tablet Child's Play video game. The gameplay is actually inspired by the second film's climax.
In the game, Chucky is stuck in a never-ending nightmare in which he's endlessly running through the factory that produces Good Guys dolls. Players control Chucky while sprinting through the factory floor, the catwalks, the warehouse, or even outside, and need to avoid conveyor belts, forklifts, acid pools, barrels and other obstacles. Chucky can also eliminate security guards patrolling the factory using his classic knife or other more outlandish weapons like a cleaver, screwdriver, or hatchet. As they play, gamers collect batteries that can be used to purchase in-game items or power-ups, such as a double battery bonus, a fast start, or extra lives that can extend a run after dying.
Halloween Horror NightsEdit
In 2009, the climax of Child's Play 3 received its own maze, entitled Chucky's Fun House. Curse of Chucky has also received its own scarezone in the 2013 lineup. In 2017, Chucky was the host of the Hollywood event's Terror Tram, joining Freddy, Jason, and Leatherface in terrorizing guests as a promotion for the new Cult of Chucky movie. The following year, he featured in his own scarezone at the Orlando event.
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- Mancini, Don (26 April 2019). "TV series! 2020!".
- Faux, Ronald; Frost, Bill (1993-11-25). "Boys guilty of Bulger murder". The Times. London. Retrieved 2011-04-21.
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- Referred to as Chucky on the Orient Express.
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- Davis, Carol Anne (2007). Sadistic Killers: Profiles of pathological predators. Chichester: Summersdale Publishing. pp. 298–304. ISBN 978-1-84024-581-3.
- "Film censor Ferman dies". BBC News. December 25, 2002. Retrieved October 1, 2017.
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