There Was No Voodoo Or Serial Killer In The Original Script For Child’s Play

Chucky as we know him is a revived serial killer, like his burnt cousin Freddy Krueger, Maniac Cop, and Horace Pinker of Wes Craven’s “Shocker.” Before its string of sequels and a 2019 reboot, Chucky was one Charles Lee Ray, a killer on the run when a bullet wound and a ticking clock prompted him to transfer his soul into the nearest thing: a life-size “Good Guy” doll. The voodoo ritual he used would invoke the sky god Damballa to grant immortality, giving him a new lease on life as a redheaded commodity. Neither Andy (Alex Vincent) nor his hardworking single mom Karen (Catherine Hicks) could have guessed that their latest addition to the toy chest was actually a dangerous grown man with warrants out for his arrest.

The original story, as Mancini wrote it, felt “more like a ‘Twilight Zone’ episode” to Holland, who tells Mental Floss, “The little boy fell asleep and the doll came to life. It didn’t emotionally involve you.” The doll’s name in this early version was Buddy, not Chucky, and it was more ambiguous as to who was doing the nighttime killing. 

Speaking with William Bibbiani, Mancini credits longtime franchise producer David Kirschner with distilling the good vs evil dynamic down to something an audience could quickly digest. From the jump, it’s clear who’s dropping bodies in “Child’s Play,” though the idea of a 6-year-old pushing his babysitter to her death is just as unsettling as a battery-free toy trying to kill mom. 

Mancini goes on to guesstimate that 50% of his original script is in the final product, with the Charles Lee Ray mythology credited as a welcome Tom Holland addition. But with Mancini’s “Chucky” series recently getting renewed for a third season, it seems that he and old Chuck will remain friends to the end.

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