Halloween is a few weeks away and that means we will see the release of several scary TV shows and movies, with one of those being recently released is the TV series Chucky.
The Chucky doll is well known in the horror genre, and particularly around the Halloween period, so the return of the killer doll – which made its first appearance back in 1988 in the film Child’s Play – should come as no surprise.
But newcomers to Chucky, the foul-mouthed killer doll who first terrorised viewers in 1988, might be more surprised by what happens in Episode 2. In it, Jake (Zackary Arthur), a 14-year-old boy who unknowingly purchases Chucky at a yard sale, is miffed that the little maniac has read his diary entries about his crush on a classmate, Devon (Björgvin Arnarson). That’s when Chucky tells Jake about his own queer and gender-fluid child.
For Don Mancini, the gay man who created the Chucky character, Chucky premiered Tuesday on USA and Syfy is more than just the franchise’s first foray into episodic television. “I wanted to create a final boy instead of a final girl,” said Mancini, 58, in a video call from his home in Los Angeles. “It’s not something I ever saw when I was Jake’s age. Fortunately, the world has turned.”
Buzz around Chucky has been building since 2018 when Mancini first announced the series. Production was delayed by a clash over rights to the Chucky character, a conflict that resulted in a 2019 Child’s Play reboot that Mancini wanted nothing to do with and that Chucky fans mostly disregard.Then came the COVID-19 pandemic, which delayed shooting until March of 2021.
Mancini brought back longtime collaborators from the Child’s Play universe, including Brad Dourif, the original voice of Chucky, and Alex Vincent, who reprises his role as Andy, Chucky’s young owner in the first two films.
Also returning is Tilly, a close friend of Mancini’s and a major player in the franchise, having portrayed Tiffany in four films. His chunky gold necklace that reads, “CHUCKY DADDY”? It’s from her. Tilly said that she believed “all people who are disenfranchised” will feel seen in the show’s underdog through lines and complex family dynamics.
“The show has really important lessons, but it’s not like an ‘After School Special,’ ” she added. “In its humanity, it’s going to show people how the world is and how to behave.”