Child’s Play is one of the few horror franchises notorious for not being remade or recasting its lead villain. As such, fans were rightfully shocked when MGM announced plans to remake the 1988 original film. While Universal owns and controls the sequels, MGM possesses the first movie and apparently has the right to remake it as well. The original film’s co-writer, Don Mancini, who has remained part of the franchise ever since – understandably wasn’t too happy about the remake.
In fact, he had this to say while appearing on the Post Mortem podcast:
“MGM retained the rights to the first movie, so they’re rebooting that,” Mancini explained. “They asked [producer] David Kirschner and I if we wanted to be executive producers. We said no thank you, because we have our ongoing thriving business with Chucky. Obviously my feelings were hurt. Ya know, I had just done two movies… forgive me if I sound defensive, [they] were both at 83% on Rotten Tomatoes. Even though they didn’t get theatrical releases, they were well regarded. And I did create the character and nurture the franchise for three fucking decades.”
He especially emphasized how painful it was to see MGM go behind his back, regardless of asking him to cooperate.
“So when someone says, ‘Oh yeah, we would love to have your name on the film’… it was hard not to feel like I was being patronized. They just wanted our approval. Which I strenuously denied them. I hesitate to say too much about it because I don’t want to sound like I’m belly-aching too much. But the producers of that movie are the producers of IT (2017). How would they feel if there was some legal loophole that allowed David Kirschner and I to swoop in and make our own IT movie with our own version of Pennywise and say, ‘Hey guys, we would love to put your names on it.’ I imagine they wouldn’t like it. That’s how I feel.”
“The people who are making that movie, they don’t know how that’s going to affect my livelihood. It’s not just a paycheck. It’s very personal. MGM’s screwing with that… potentially.”
While some fans are hopeful that the remake can give them some semblance of a dark Child’s Play story, I’m more interested in Don Mancini’s Child’s Play TV series. There’s certainly a lore and universe there that’s more rich and full of stories to tell than any hacked robot conjured up by MGM could offer. Let’s just hope the TV series can still get made without the remake interfering.