While Spielberg has some horror films under his belt as a director and a producer, including Jaws and Poltergeist, the acclaimed filmmaker was responsible for keeping Chucky and company alive in the early years.
According to an interview with Bloody Disgusting, Child's Play co-creator David Kirschner revealed that Spielberg played a pretty major part in making it a success. Back in 1988, MGM and United Artists released Child's Play, which performed well at the box office for a horror film, taking in roughly $33 million. While they were getting ready to shoot a sequel, the studio had been sold and was no longer in the horror movie business as a result.
It didn't take long before people were blowing up Kirschner's phone to bid on the property. One of those calls came from Spielberg himself.
"Steven said, 'Look, you made your first film with Universal, just give them your wish list of what you want and I would have done my job in giving them the first crack at it.'" Kirschner explained.
"I went back to them and said, 'Because of Steven, we're bringing it to you first,' and they met almost all of the demands. That’s how we got into the relationship with Universal when five other studios were bidding on it."
And with that, Spielberg saved one of the most beloved, and long-running, horror franchises of all time. It also sheds some light as to why there's a Child's Play reboot in development while sequels and spin-offs from the first film are still being made.
Since MGM made the first installment, they retain enough rights to start over with their own Child's Play movie. Meanwhile Universal is still working with Kirschner and co-creator Don Mancini on projects within the franchise's original canon — including an upcoming TV series.
All considering, it's a pretty good time to be a Child's Play fan. Aside from multiple projects on the big and small screen, Spielberg dropped in a noteworthy Chucky cameo in his pop-culture VR adventure Ready Player One earlier this year. For those who need more Chucky in their real lives, Trick Or Treat Studios is manufacturing a line of Good Guy dolls thanks to a very well-funded Kickstarter campaign.
How excited are you to see so many Child's Play projects in the works?