Syfy’s recently trailer-teased Chucky television series just made a move that will likely assuage skeptical fans of the classic Child’s Play horror film franchise, the return of the murderer-possessed-doll’s definitive voice actor, Brad Dourif.
Indeed, the Child’s Play band is getting back together, with star Dourif now secured, joined by creator Don Mancini (who serves as showrunner,) and perennial producer David Kirschner to tackle a most intriguing small screen proposition with Chucky. The series, which manifests under the NBCU umbrella via Universal Studio Group’s Universal Content Productions, will enjoy the platform of two major cable channels in corporate cousins Syfy and USA Network; an advantageous position that just improved, having secured the sinister cackle and brutal one-liners of Dourif’s voice role, which he’s thus-far fielded for seven of the franchise films.
Syfy’s Chucky will see the eponymous effigy stir chaos in an idyllic American town in which he arrives as a yard sale’s vintage item—specifically one of many mass-manufactured “Good Guys” dolls that the evil spirit of Charles Lee Ray regularly inhabits. However, after a series of murders stir the pot in this peaceful town, Chucky’s own past will catch up to him with the arrival of old enemies and allies. Moreover, the series will actually delve into the origin story of the man who became the demonic doll at the center of the slasher franchise.
Yet, the past will collide with the present, since the series also aims to bring the classic diminutive death-dealing doll into contemporary times—notwithstanding the modestly-earning 2019 Child’s Play reboot movie, in which Mark Hamill voiced the doll. Indeed, the aim here is to inject the classic Chucky into the zeitgeist in which we live, which, largely defined by social media, has created cultural sensibilities that are ironically solipsistic in its extroversion. Consequently, our favorite overalls-rocking reaper of woe will have a completely new set of weapons in his arsenal, some of which may not be as obvious as the stabbing utensils he famously wielded in the film series.
Chucky will be a homecoming for star Brad Dourif, although one that wasn’t too long in the making, since he last voiced the role for 2017’s Cult of Chucky, the seventh film in the Child’s Play franchise. He, of course, was there since the very beginning with 1988’s original Child’s Play, followed by Child’s Play 2 (1990), Child’s Play 3 (1991), Bride of Chucky (1998), Seed of Chucky (2004), Curse of Chucky (2013) and the aforementioned 2017 sequel. The veteran actor, who earned a 1976 Best Supporting Actor Oscar nod for his early-career role in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, is also best remembered onscreen from film such as Dune, Blue Velvet, Alien: Resurrection and, perhaps most notably, as Doc Cochran on HBO’s Deadwood, and as Grima Wormtongue in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and the Extended Edition of The Return of the King.
Chucky is expected to premiere on Syfy and USA Network in 2021 on a date to be revealed.