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At New York Comic Con 2021, horror fans got a first look at SYFY & USA’s upcoming series Chucky at the world premiere screening. And while we’re not going to divulge the details of the episode here — you’ll have to watch when it premieres on both networks next Tues., Oct. 12 — we do have plenty to talk about from the conversation between series creator Don Mancini and Tiffany Valentine herself, Jennifer Tilly, right after.
Tilly, donned in her now-iconic sequined Bride of Chucky dress, introduced Mancini, who first created Chucky over 30 years ago for 1988’s Child’s Play. At the time, Mancini was inspired by his own father’s work in marketing and advertising, and he wanted to write a dark satire about how marketing can affect children.
Thus, the Good Guy doll and Charles Lee Ray were born.
As for the upcoming series? Mancini really started considering the potential of a Chucky series when he was working on NBC’s fan-favorite Hannibal series alongside creator Bryan Fuller. Mancini found himself amazed by the television process — walking into a writers’ room every day and talking about one thing you truly enjoy talking about — and thought it would translate well for his most iconic creation.
“Because that would allow us to focus on character and relationships to a degree we never had before,” he enthused. “And we’d be able to go down different storytelling avenues,” including the origin story of Charles Lee Ray and how he became the monster we all first met in that first film.
Chucky’s backstory isn’t the only aspect Mancini wanted to explore in the series. For him, there’s an autobiographical element to the story, as it focuses on Jake (played by Zackary Arthur), a 14-year-old boy who identifies as gay and has to contend with bullies and his own growing sense of self. Mancini, who identifies as gay, wanted to normalize seeing a young gay man onscreen, normalize seeing gay relationships onscreen, and, as he said, “Make it cool.”
While Jake will be joined by plenty of new faces to the franchise, there will be plenty to be said for what Tilly referred to as “the OGs” of the series. Mancini teased that the legacy characters show up in Episode 5, and Tilly added that when they do show up, the drama transitions from a storm to a straight-up avalanche.
Many of these characters were last seen in Cult of Chucky (2017), which Mancini says he intentionally left open-ended with plenty of cliffhangers so he might explore those results in this series.
As a final surprise along with the fan Q&A, Jake actor Zackary Arthur and original Andy Barclay actor Alex Vincent (who will appear in the series) came onstage from where they’d been sitting in the audience, officially merging the films and the show as they stood on either side of Mancini.
Check out Chucky to find out more when it premieres on SYFY & USA on Oct. 12.