New York Comic Con witnessed many celebrations and events, but one little guy had a very special birthday and he brought all his friends out to the party. Chucky celebrates his 25th anniversary this year and Universal Studios Home Entertainment had a panel to discuss this as well as the release of the new film, Curse of Chucky. Moderated by AintItCool's Harry Knowles, guests included Don Mancini, Brad Dourif, Danielle Bisutti, Fiona Dourif, Jennifer Tilly, and Alex Vincent.
Before the panel started, the warm up act held a quick contest to see who can do the best Chucky laugh. Three fans took the challenge with varying degrees of success and they all took home their own ticket to an autograph session with the cast.
The panel kicked off with a special greeting on the big screen from Chucky himself. He reflected on his past, which includes 43 kills and more resurrections than he can count. Then he introduced a mega mix created by Mike Relm, which you can check out below. Be careful because it's catchy as hell.
The guests then joined Knowles on stage and the discussion began. The moderator started by asking creator Don Mancini about the origin of Chucky. Mancini explained that his father worked in advertising, so he became fascinated with how the ad industry looked at children. They considered them “consumer trainees” instead of people. Chucky is a reaction to that idea. Over time, the doll became a full-fledged character and with the advancements in animatronics, the story could be translated to film. The puppet came first in the process, followed by Brad Dourif's voice.
The group talked about how Chucky has evolved over the now six films. Mancini said that the character has really changed three times. First he was a killer, then he fell in love. The final change wasn't entirely explained, but based on how the new film Curse of Chucky is explained, it's a return to form for Charles Lee Ray.
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Jennifer Tilly spoke briefly about the recording process for Bride of Chucky. Brad Dourif was excited to have someone else to talk to in the booth as Mancini had the two of them record at the same time. They were encouraged to adlib as well. Tilly revealed that the line in the scene where Chucky and Tiffany have sex, in which her character asks if Chucky has a condom and he replies “Baby, I'm all rubber.” was improvised. She followed up by mentioning that you shouldn't believe someone if they say that as it could lead to an unwanted pregnancy. Safe sex, everyone!
Alex Vincent, the original Andy from the first Child's Play, returns for Curse of Chucky. Knowles asked him about how the audition was for the film. Vincent told a story about how it was down to him and two other children and he had to read in front of a new group of people. For some reason his mother was there in the room and he started panicking as the lines had the word “bitch” in them, which he didn't want to say in front of her. After claiming to forget the lines twice, he ran out of the room on the third attempt. His mother chased after him and found out what was wrong. After explaining that Vincent knew the lines but just didn't want to curse in front of her, he was hired as he had fooled the execs into thinking he didn't know the lines. That's acting!
Mancini was actually not on set for the making of Child's Play due to a writer's strike that was going on at the time. As a result, he didn't meet Dourif or Vincent until much later.
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On the subject of reinventing the character, Mancini said that he didn't want to keep making the same movie over and over again. The first three stand together while Bride and Seed are more humorous. Curse of Chucky is an attempt to make Chucky scary again. He tried to have a family but now it's back to business.
Brad Dourif's daughter Fiona stars in the new movie as Nica. When asked about growing up with Chucky for a dad, she said that everyone knew who she was as a kid. It was the coolest thing about dating her in high school and college. When auditioning for the film, she was told she wasn't coming off likable enough so she went out and got a flower dress and some makeup before reading for the studio.
Danielle Bisutti joins the cast as Nica's sister Barb. She was not alone in saying that Chucky had ruined aspects of her childhood by making her afraid of her toys. Bisutti actually had relatives that worked on the first and third Child's Play films, so she's been connected to the franchise for some time.
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A question about creepy moments with Chucky fell flat, but Mancini picked up the slack to explain how labor intensive the puppet process is. It takes six people to bring each puppet to life. Each is assigned to a specific part, such as the eyes, mouth, arms, or legs. Walking takes the longest to film as it's a very complicated system. Jennifer Tilly chimed in to say that the puppeteers were always practicing between takes. You'd look over and Chucky would be scratching his “little doll balls” and then walking over to the craft services table and touching all the food with the same hand. He was also a little pervert, grabbing a boob whenever he could.
There were three puppets used for Curse of Chucky, each with different looks. The one seen in the opening greeting was the Phase 2 puppet that looked as if he had gained a little weight, but is creepy under the right lighting. Without revealing too much, Mancini said that the different versions were needed for the story and make sense when you see the film.
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When asked about crossovers, Mancini said the request he sees most often is Chucky vs. Leprechaun. This was met with huge applause from the crowd. Mancini felt that this crossover was a little too obvious, but based on the fan reaction, he might have to change his mind. He had an idea for a team up with Freddy Krueger called Child's Play on Elm Street, where Chucky would end up in a house on the famed street. They'd then do an Inception-like look into Chucky's dream where the two horror legends would meet. Obviously they're fans of each other's work. The two then embark on a contest to see who could kill the most teenagers before sunrise, like a bloody version of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. This sounds AWESOME.
The following are a few quotes and odds and ends that popped up throughout the panel:
- Dourif said “Barbie is a slut” in Chucky's voice while talking about playing with toys as a child.
- ”It's hard to be serious when you're playing a Chucky doll jerking off into a cup.”
- Jennifer Tilly's acting advice: Get good lighting to make you look cute.
- Dourif almost played the Joker or Riddler in a previous Batman film but the studio shot him down.
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