By Jaimz Dillman
You'd think after 8 movies and a whole tv show series there wouldn't be much more of the story of Chucky to tell. But you'd be wrong. Dead wrong.
Based on the 1990 movie Child's Play, Chucky is the creation of writer Don Mancini. The Good Guys doll isn't quite done with his reign of terror as evidenced in season two's premiere of the USA SYFY show. I recently got to chat with the younger members of the cast and Mancini about how this little fella has gotten such a hold on pop culture.
Chucky's been barbecued, beheaded, shot, and mangled in every way possible, yet he always finds a way to come back. When asked what inspired the idea to split Chucky's soul into a plethora of awaiting boxed maniacs, Mancini explained, "It's long interested me to have many Chucky's- largely motivated by giving Brad (Dourif- the original and current voice of Chucky) more things to do. I love actors and I like giving them shit to do- watching them go down new avenues. I like looking at different aspects of his (Chucky's) personality and the tv show gives us time to explore that."
Season 1 introduced us to the next generation of vict...um... characters, in a small suburban and seemingly perfect Americana town. Until one someone buys Chucky, mysteriously in a garage sale, and brings him home. Murder and chaos ensue and the rest of the episodes are filled with the best kills, blood, and gore fans have come to love from the franchise. , Bjorgvin Arnarson (Devon) told me about how the first season affected him, "For me, it was interesting because going back to school everyone said they loved the show."
As a first-run fan of the original movies, I had to ask if the younger cast had seen the previous installments for research on the storyline. Arnarson said, "Halloween was our favorite holiday. I grew up watching them." Actress Alyvia Alyn Lind (Lexi) came along a little later, "The first thing I did (when cast) was watch all the movies." Even at 15 years-old- Bella Higginbotham (Nadine), from 2021 Mighty Ducks fame, gives credit to Mancini for his creation. "I appreciate the source material. Don's dedication to make it all come to life and make Chucky who he is."
In addition to what most expect from something in the horror genre, the first round of Chucky also tackled some of today's hot-button issues like suicide, bullying, and a gay romance between two of the main characters. Zachary Arthur (Jake) said, "It's really important to portray that in a series with teens, and with Don's writing, it's not there in your face- it's just there." Mancini adds, "It was really gratifying that viewers seemed to like the Jake/Devon relationship. We were very happy that relationship landed. It was very important to me for our younger viewers to see a queer relationship." This season the location shifts to a theologically driven academy for violent juvenile offenders and Arthur said, "This season is crazy. I don't want to give away too much."
Last year, we saw serious growth in the story arc for bully Lexy turning her from Mean Girl to hero when she joined in the fight against 3 feet of evil. Lind said of her growth, "The amount of loyalty she has in the second season is a good takeaway of what teens are really facing these days." In the season 2 premiere episode, we'll meet a couple of new faces. Higginbotham as Nadine said, "Everyone was really nice and so welcoming. Growing up I wasn't a big horror fan, so I was definitely new to the genre but definitely excited to be cast in this role." Mancini says we'll be treated to some of his film inspirations in the coming storyline. "You'll see a lot of the Omen and Exorcist which was a big influence on me." We can also look forward to more revenge taken out on anyone who's wronged Chucky. And that includes his love interest Tiffany, voiced by Jennifer Tilly- who also plays herself in an episode. Plus, there are a lot of fan theories on the return of their child Glen/Glenda.
Alex Vincent who, at 6 years old, played Andy Barclay in the first movie and then the sequel, returned late last season, now an adult ready to take out the pint-sized murderer once and for all. Andy teamed up with his original babysitter Kyle (Christine Elise) and they're doing everything they can to prevent any further deaths and a nefarious plot for a doll army. The only thing Vincent would say about what we can expect was, "Pray for Andy".
Season 2 of Chucky premieres on SYFY and USA Network Wednesday, Oct. 5 at 9 p.m.- check out more info on Chucky | SYFY Official Site