MastersFX will reimagine Chucky for the upcoming Child’s Play reboot
As the upcoming reboot of the horror franchise Child’s Play creeps closer to existence, MGM and Orion have partnered with the effects company MastersFX to reimagine what the homicidal Chucky will look like. Now rebranded as the BUDDI doll, a contemporary version of the iconic Good Guys doll, will help redefine Chucky for a new age.
Though we don’t get a clear look at the new Chucky just yet, MastersFX is using a mixture of practical on-set puppet work and digital FX enhancements to bring Chucky to life like never before. Todd Masters, founder of MastersFX, and his team took six weeks to prepare and assemble seven practical animatronic puppets, each with interchangeable arms and heads that perform a variety of required actions on set. The FX team, led by ace puppeteer Keith Arbuthnot, along with Mike Fields, Jason Ward and Josh Raymond each controlled a different part of the doll.
“Reconceiving a well-loved classic always feels like wading into tricky waters, however, Lars’ fresh vision for this film turned what could have been a challenging process into a seamless and beautiful collaboration,” said Masters. “MGM and Orion’s Child’s Play is not a remake or retelling but a completely new style and concept and we believe that BUDDI fits with this vision perfectly.”
Aubrey Plaza (Ingrid Goes West) and Brian Tyree Henry (Atlanta) are headlining the new Child’s Play, under the helm of filmmaker Lars Klevberg (Polaroid). Tyler Burton Smith wrote the screenplay based on the 1988 film. In the reboot, Plaza stars as a mother who gives her son Andy, portrayed by Gabriel Bateman (Lights Out), a toy doll for his birthday, unaware of its more sinister nature. The new version of the killer doll won’t be a doll possessed by a serial killer but will be a defective Buddy doll whose programming code was hacked so that he has no limitations to learning and also violence.
Additional cast includes Beatrice Kitsos (The Exorcist) and Ty Consiglio (Wonder) who will be playing the roles of Falyn and Pugg respectively, two friends of Andy Barclay in the new film which is currently shooting in Vancouver. Carlease Burke (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle) will also star in the film.
David Katzenberg and Seth Grahame-Smith will produce under their KatzSmith Productions banner. The duo produced last year’s smash hit remake of It, the highest grossing horror film of all time bringing in $700 million at the global box office. Aaron Schmidt and Chris Ferguson will executive produce.
This will be a complete diversion from the original Child’s Play movie series created by Don Mancini, which featured Brad Dourif playing a serial killer who used voodoo to place his spirit in a ‘Good Guy Doll,’ which would become the Chucky we all know and love. Though Mancini and producer David Kirschner are currently working on making more Child’s Play movies, as well as a TV series, with Dourif still voicing Chucky, this new take on Child’s Play by MGM will essentially be a competing property, and Mancini and company will not be involved at all. So, it’s essential that MGM separated their Chucky from the one audiences have known since the late 1980s.
The Child’s Play series has been running for 30 years, with the first film dropping in 1988 to box office success, generally positive reviews and a cult following, spawning six sequels that remained box office successes but slowly started earning more mixed and negative reviews, until the revitalized Curse of Chucky, which returned to the franchise’s horror roots and earned very positive reviews. The most recent installment, Cult of Chucky, was released on Blu-ray and video on demand last October and received strong reviews from critics. Brad Dourif has been a staple of the franchise since its inception, lending his voice to the murderous doll in all of the films.
Child’s Play relaunches its film franchise on June 21, 2019.