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Killer news! Brad Dourif to return as the voice of evil doll for 'Chucky' TV series

By Benjamin Bullard
Chucky Child's Play 2

In a huge score for old-school fans of the Child’s Play slasher-verse, Brad Dourif is returning to the role that put everyone’s favorite pint-sized killer on the map. Yep, SYFY and USA have revealed that Dourif will be coming back to reprise his famous role as the inimitable namesake voice of the upcoming series, Chucky

The setup for the new series finds an idyllic, modern American town thrown into chaos after a vintage Chucky doll turns up at a suburban yard sale, just as a series of horrifying murders begin to expose the town’s hypocrisies and secrets. Meanwhile, the arrival of both enemies and allies from Chucky’s past threatens to expose the truth behind the killings, as well as the demon doll's untold origins as a seemingly ordinary child who transformed into a notorious monster.

Dourif, who voiced Chucky in the original 1988 movie and its six direct sequels, was announced for the role this morning, ahead of tonight’s Comic-Con@Home panel "Shudder Presents: Horror is Queer" featuring Chucky creator Don Mancini, among a slew of other participating horror luminaries.

Brad Dourif and Don Mancini

Mancini, along with David Kirschner (Child’s Play, Hocus Pocus), Harley Peyton (Twin Peaks, Channel Zero), and Channel Zero creative mastermind Nick Antosca, are executive-producing the Chucky series, with Mancini set to direct the first episode.

No other casting news for the upcoming live-action series has been revealed, but Chucky is set to air on both SYFY and USA when it debuts next year. Along with Mancini and Kirschner, Dourif becomes the latest member of the original film to return for the series. Mancini penned the entire franchise and directed three of the seven original films, with Kirschner producing them all.

Chucky slashed his way into the pop culture zeitgeist all the way back in 1988 with the original Child’s Play, directed and co-written by Tom Holland. Dourif himself appeared briefly on screen in the first film as serial killer Charles Lee Ray — before the character transferred his vengeful soul into the deliciously trash-mouthed, murderous, red-haired Chucky doll.

An Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner, Dourif (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Deadwood) may be forever linked with the Child’s Play franchise, but his acting chops run deeper than even Chucky’s malevolent mean streak. No stranger to the dark side of horror and fantasy, Dourif has racked up a career’s worth of genre credits including The Exorcist III: Legion, Dune, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Urban Legend, Graveyard Shift, Alien Resurrection, and Rob Zombie’s Halloween and Halloween II.

Last week, Mancini gave fans a first glimpse at how the iconic demented doll will look in the new series (check out the teaser above), and we’ve gotta say — Chucky definitely appears to be in the same killer shape as his gory, ‘80s big-screen glory days. You can catch Mancini talking horror tonight, when he’ll take the virtual stage at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT for Comic-Con@Home’s "Shudder Presents: Horror Is Queer" panel. Then at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT on Saturday, July 25, Mancini and Antosca will appear together for the con’s "Scary Good TV: A Conversation with Horror’s Top Showrunners" panel.

As for Chucky’s first-ever serial spree on the small screen, we’re just a calendar flip away. Chucky will debut — complete with Dourif doing all the chilling doll-voicing honors — at SYFY and USA in 2021.

(SYFY, SYFY WIRE, and USA are all owned by NBCUniversal.)