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Chucky's origin in Child's Play was originally quite different

Believe it or not, but this Friday serves as the 30th anniversary of CHILD'S PLAY, the first film in the horror franchise which followed Chucky (Brad Dourif), a deadly doll inhabited by the spirit of a serial killer. After witnessing the shopping frenzy over Cabbage Patch Kids and My Buddy dolls in the mid-80s, Don Mancini began to craft a dark psychological tale about a boy and his murderous doll, but it wasn't yet the story which we'd become familiar with.

While speaking with THR, Mancini explained his original vision for CHILD'S PLAY, then called BLOOD BUDDY, which found him taking inspiration from and expanding on previous killer doll projects by treating the doll as a full-fledged character. It also helped that animatronics had reached a point where a mechanized character could successfully be realized. "I recognized post-Gremlins that they were sophisticated enough now that the doll could convey emotions and a characterization, and you could give him dialogue, stuff that really hadn’t been done that much before," Mancini said. "The idea was always to have this story about a little boy crying wolf about his doll, and that doll becomes this f-bomb-dropping, wisecracking terror." Although this certainly sounds like the film we'd come to love, Don Mancini said that Chucky, or Buddy as he was known at the time, wasn't possessed by a serial killer; instead, Chucky/Buddy was brought to life through Andy's unconscious rage.

One of the features the Good Guy dolls had was fake blood in them, because I was inspired by my sisters’ dolls — they peed, you could make their hair grow — and I thought in the context of a horror movie, how awesome to have a doll that would bleed. And since we were doing a satire on marketing, the idea was that when you’re playing with the doll, if you played too rough with it the latex skin would break and then this blood would start to seep out, so you had to go out and buy official Good Guy band-aids to put on. It was just a way to sell products. … So the way that the doll came to life was that because Andy is a lonely kid — no dad around, his mom is a busy working mother — in that classic rite of brotherhood he cuts his own thumb and the doll’s thumb so they’ll be best friends forever —friends ’til the end’ — and after that the murders start.

"Chucky was like an expression of the kid’s unconscious rage," Mancini continued. "In the Blood Buddy script, Chucky only comes alive when Andy’s asleep. The way the rules were, we gradually come to understand that because Chucky is the embodiment of Andy’s unconscious he decides if he kills the kid then Andy will be asleep forever and he’ll be alive forever." That certainly strikes a different tone, with Andy taking on much more of a budding psychopath role, but the script was passed over until David Kirschner took an interest and came up with the idea of Charles Lee Ray (Dourif) putting his soul into the doll. The rest, as they say, is history, and CHILD'S PLAY would go on to spawn six sequels, with a reboot now shooting and a TV series currently in development. You can't keep a Good Guy down.

Source: THR

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