29 Sep

‘Child’s Play’ Creator Don Mancini Talks ‘Cult of Chucky’ and Chucky in the Age of Annabelle [Interview]


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Cult of Chucky is the seventh Child’s Play movie featuring Chucky, the killer doll. After the events of Curse of Chucky, Nica (Fiona Dourif) is in a mental institution where doctors have convinced her she made up Chucky to justify the murders. Chucky (still the voice of Brad Dourif) won’t stay silent as both Andy Barclay (Alex Vincent) and Tiffany (Jennifer Tilly) converge around Nica.

Don Mancini has written every Child’s Play franchise screenplay and directed Seed of, Curse of and Cult of Chucky. Currently working as a writer on Channel Zero, Mancini spoke with /Film about the franchise and its latest entry. Cult of Chucky will be available on Blu-ray, DVD and digital Tuesday, October 3.

Was it important that everything in the Child’s Play franchise is canon? You erase nothing, even possible regrets you may have had about previous entries. Those still happened.

That is correct. Everything fits together. There were certain things, for example the mention of Glen and Glenda which we shot but which didn’t make the final cut. I think, as in Curse of Chucky, even though the movie does not specifically explicitly mention those characters, we don’t do anything to contradict their existence. That was important. I want it to work, ideally, both ways. I want it to work for someone who’s coming into the franchise cold and hopefully that the experience of this one movie would work, that the movie would do its job in the opening act of setting up, like any sequel does. Any sequel, that’s what you try to do of course, but for people who are paying close attention over seven movies in 30 years, there’d be nothing that would be utterly contradictory. Over the course of the series, I think there have been a couple of things like, for example, the Heart of Damballa in Bride of Chucky was a device that I introduced because I basically needed a Maguffin to justify the road journey structure of that movie. They needed a reason to get from point A to point Z. So it was handy to create this notion of the Heart of Damballa. We need that to transfer our souls to human bodies. Now, on the one hand you could say, “Hey, that contradicts what Chucky’s been trying to do in the first three movies,” but my feeling was no, maybe that’s why he was unsuccessful in the first three movies. He wasn’t using the Heart of Damballa. He was a student of voodoo so I went with the logic that he was constantly learning about this very complicated mythology.

That was also before Voodoo for Dummies was published.

Right, there you go.

Even things like the military academy, you acknowledge that Andy was still there. You never try to say, “If people didn’t like 3, we’re pretending that didn’t happen.”

Oh, and clearly had a big influence on his personality because when we pick him up in this movie, we see that he’s quite the gun nut, which to me made sense given that he had experience in military school and given the PTSD that he would’ve been dealing with his entire life.

With that, I imagine you’re not pro gun but Andy has a reason to arm himself, doesn’t he?

Exactly. First of all, I thought opening that little can of worms at the beginning of the movie, it just seemed like to talk about the second amendment just seemed like a really topical date discussion, something you would really be talking with someone about if you were out on a date and that you might have a disagreement about. I talked about this a lot with Alex. Like me, Alex is very lefty and he’s not pro gun. The idea was that doesn’t mean our character can’t be and that doesn’t make him a bad guy at all. It’s something that actually we felt made him interesting, where he was affected by his experiences.

The biggest thing you’ve acknowledge throughout the whole series is that voodoo was sort of forced on you in Child’s Play. It was added by other screenwriters and the director, but you’ve run with it throughout the series even when you had total control. 

It’s such a big piece of the mythology. There’s really no turning away from it I think. Also a lot of people just really like it. This is my perspective and I can’t be objective about it. I didn’t create that so I always had problems with it but it might just be that I can’t be objective. Plenty of people seem to like it. It’s also just very useful, which is why Tom Holland used it in the first movie. It’s a useful device. Like the Heart of Damballa, it’s the same sort of thing. It can just be a useful catch-all to make the supernatural happen in a simple way. I felt that my original script, where, as you and I have discussed for decades, how Chucky came to life was different and I thought for me, that also worked. Anyway, people really like the voodoo so I’ve used it. I’ve used it comedically, I’ve used it practically. It’s a part of the mythology, no running away from it.

Is the Glen/Glenda moment in the deleted scenes for Cult of Chucky?

No, it’s not unfortunately. It was fairly minimal. It was just a mention of their existence at the end of the movie that got cut out. I definitely wanted to keep it.

There certainly could have been an approach to the Child’s Play franchise where every movie it starts over and Chucky comes after a different kid or family. Was it always important to you that the franchise be a continuing story?

Well, we’ve kind of had several soft reboots in a sense. Even Bride of Chucky introduced a new character from Charles Lee Ray’s past, Tiffany, who we were unaware of in previous movies. Then we dovetail it in with the existing mythology so that it will work and hopefully even make the existing mythology even more interesting now that we’re armed with this new information. So we did that with Tiffany in Bride and then we did it with Nica Pierce in Curse. I feel like with those two movies, what I was trying to do was have my cake and eat it too. I’m trying to introduce new characters so that there is a feeling of beginning and [for] people who are not aware of the specifics of what Chucky is other than the urban legend that has accrued around him over the course of the events of the seven films.

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The post ‘Child’s Play’ Creator Don Mancini Talks ‘Cult of Chucky’ and Chucky in the Age of Annabelle [Interview] appeared first on /Film.

Source: Slash Film

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