Child's PlayChucky (voiced by Mark Hamill) and Gabriel Bateman
Credit: Orion Pictures

After seven Child’s Play films, horror fans have grown accustomed to killer-doll Chucky murdering pretty much everyone who crosses his path. But in director Lars Klevberg’s remake of the original 1988 movie, the toy starts off wanting something simple: to be best friends with his new owner, Andy (Gabriel Bateman), watching over him lovingly as he sleeps in an early scene.

“At this point in the movie, at least, Chucky has no ulterior motives,” says producer Seth Grahame-Smith. “He’s just full of love for his best buddy and dreaming of ways to make him happy. It just happens that this particular toy is not all that it seems.”

Child’s Play costars Brian Tyree Henry as a detective named Mike, and Aubrey Plaza as Andy’s mom, Karen. Plaza says she was attracted to the project for personal reasons. “My mom, when I was a child, gave me a doll that tried to kill me,” deadpans the actress. “No, I had a really young mom, and in fact, I think the age difference is actually what my age difference is with Gabriel, so there was something about that that I really connected to.”

Revered character actor and Oscar nominee Brad Dourif (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest) voiced Chucky in the original films (and is set to do so again on a forthcoming Chucky TV show). To fill his ironically large shoes for this film, Grahame-Smith approached Star Wars legend and pedigreed voice actor Mark Hamill. “He was our first choice,” says the producer. “The fact that we have an icon reimagining an iconic character is just an incredible gift for us.”

Bateman, 14, had a small role in the first Annabelle film (2014), while his sister Talitha starred in the 2017 sequel, Annabelle: Creation. So, who is the scarier doll: Annabelle or Chucky? “Chucky,” says Bateman. “Talitha will probably get mad at me for saying that, but definitely Chucky.”

Child’s Play hits theaters June 21. See a new, exclusive image from the movie, above.

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Child's Play (2019)
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