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Back in 2013 the world witnessed the return of Chucky in the film CURSE OF CHUCKY. Receiving mostly positive reviews, the movie gave birth to a classic franchise thus opening up the door to many possibilities. With the film just becoming available fans are eager to see what Chucky has in store for them next as he wreaks havoc within an asylum.
Director Don Mancini is excited for everyone to check out CULT OF CHUCKY. AITH recently spoke with Mancini about all things Chucky.
On if the original CHILD’S PLAY had sequel plans:
“I did, especially on the first one because the script was reworked by John Lafia and Tom Holland, so there were things in my original script that didn't make it into the first movie. My first dream about sequels was, "I can use the factory," because the factory was a big thing in my original script that didn't make it into the first movie. The set-piece with someone getting killed while they're in the bubble bath with the TV going in, causing all the bubbles to waft, that was in my original script, the way the babysitter died. Tom Holland changed the details of that and had her go out the window, which was awesome in and of itself. It's one of the nice things about having a franchise, these ideas that fall by the wayside you can just put in a file and pull them out for later.
I always try to approach it in terms of character, really, and not just Chucky's character, but also in the first three movies Andy Barclay, I was just trying to track that character's evolution. Of course now we've brought him back into the fold with Curse and really a lot more with Cult. As a writer, it's great to be able to revisit these characters and see where they are in their lives, and how they've been affected by past traumas. And also to set these characters on collision courses with one another, characters from disparate parts from the franchise, and to see what happens, what combustion might happen, when you put them together. That was really fun too.”
How Chucky fits into different sub-genres:
“That's exactly the way I think of it. I don't want to make the same movie more than once, and he's a very versatile character. You can plug him into straight-forward horror, you can plug him into the old dark house movie, which we did with Curse, you can plug him into parodistic comedy as we did in Bride, meta-comedy as in Seed. He's a very versatile character. With this one, we tried to plug him into the mental hospital sub-genre, the mindf*ck sub-genre, a tricky psychological thriller where we're screwing with the characters' heads and, by extension, the audience's heads. That was the intent, anyway, and it seems like so far the response is quite positive.”
The game-changing ending to CULT OF CHUCKY’s and how he sees the series changing in the future:
“I can't get too specific, because it will not only spoil the future but spoil Cult of Chucky, but it's just what we've been talking about, always wanting to be surprising. I've said in other interviews, I find writing sequels very interesting beasts. They provide you with opportunities to subvert audience expectation, because when you come to a sequel, you come with a lot of baggage, you have all kinds of expectations based on what's come before. To me, that provides us with a very unique opportunity to f*ck with the viewer's head! That's what we hope to do again going into the future. Again, can't say too much, but people reading reviews know that where we end up is somewhere extremely new and different from anything we've done before. Hopefully that sets up us for our new path.”
On the chances of Chucky returning to the big screen again:
“I'd like to think that they're decent. It's something I would love to do. It really comes down to money, to be honest. It's just getting more and more difficult, or pricey, to fund theatrical releases. From my perspective, I just want to make a good movie, and the rest of it is out of my hands as to how it's going to be seen. I'm certainly gratified Cult - because the response was so positive out of London - we're going to be playing a lot more film festivals around the world over the next few weeks. I'm glad some people will be able to see it with an audience, because horror movies are, by design, audience movies. That's the ideal place to experience them. All I can do is make the best movie possible and pass the results on to distribution and marketing people and they'll do with it what they will. But I think the chances are decent.
Curse of Chucky was our first time straight to video, and initially I was a little disappointed. It was always designed to be one, we knew going in where we were headed, and I think my initial reaction was that I was disappointed, like I had been demoted to the minor leagues, but there's also something to be said about being a big fish in a small pond. The reaction to the movie was great, and that was very gratifying, so ultimately it's up to the audience. If people want to see it on the big screen, rent this up the wazoo!”
If Mancini ever hand over the wheel and let someone else steer the Chucky ship:
“Well, sure. That's inevitable. Whether or not that happens next movie or five movies from now or after I'm dead... [Laughs] It is inevitable. This character and franchise will outlive me, but for the time being I feel very proprietary about it, and I also love it. As a lifelong horror fan, I'm always thrilled that this character I created has been embraced by horror audiences... I just really love the character, and I really love the opportunity to keep building on this elaborate, 30-year, seven film mythology, and I'm pretty proud of what we've done. We have this fairly consistent mythology that we've built up over 30 years with a lot of the same people involved. David (producer David Kirschner) and I, in some of our more grandiose moments think of ourselves as the Broccolis of the horror genre; just as the Broccoli family has steered the Bond franchise for decades, so we have stayed in control of this. So far it seems like the audience feels like that's a good thing. As long as the audience keeps responding positively, I want to keep doing it.”
On Brad Dourif would always play Chucky:
“I think so, yeah. We're really good friends, and I'm really good friends with Fiona (Dourif), Jennifer (Tilly) and Alex (Vincent). That aspect of it is important to David and I as well, I really like the family aspect that we've built up. That's the thing, it's all very personal to all of us. We're all very passionate about it, it's not just people making a product. We really care about it and want it to be good. I think I could speak for Brad that as long as I'm involved he'll keep doing it. And vice versa. The thought of replacing him is ridiculous, he's such an integral part of the franchise. Brad is Chucky. The reviews out of London have been, "Oh wow, he's awesome in this role."
CULT OF CHUCKY follows Fiona Dourif's character Nica Pierce from the previous film CURSE OF CHUCKY.
“Confined to an asylum for the criminally insane for the past four years, Nica Pierce (Fiona Dourif) is erroneously convinced that she, not Chucky, murdered her entire family. But when her psychiatrist introduces a new therapeutic "tool" to facilitate his patients' group sessions — an all-too-familiar "Good Guy" doll with an innocently smiling face — a string of grisly deaths begins to plague the asylum, and Nica starts to wonder if maybe she isn't crazy after all. Andy Barclay (Alex Vincent), Chucky's now-grown-up nemesis from the original Child's Play, races to Nica's aid. But to save her he'll have to get past Tiffany (Oscar®-nominee Jennifer Tilly), Chucky's long-ago bride, who will do anything, no matter how deadly or depraved, to help her beloved devil doll." CULT OF CHUCKY stars Fiona Dourif as Nica Pierce, Jennifer Tilly as Tiffany, Summer H. Howell as Alice, Alex Vincent as Andy Barclay, and Brad Dourif as the voice of Chucky. Newcomer Grace Lynn Kung joins in on the fun as the "hard-edged" Claire."
Mancini wrote, directed, and was executive producer on CULT OF CHUCKY which was also produced by David Kirschner and Ogden Gavanski. Leading the special effects team as well as associate producing is Tony Gardner. Michael Marshall is the director of photography, Craig Sandells is the production designer and Patricia J. Henderson is the costume designer.
CULT OF CHUCKY is now available on Blu-ray, DVD, and Netflix.