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iFeature | Inside CHUCKY Season 3 with DON MANCINI

A Behind The Scenes Interview


Creator and Executive Producer of the Original Series CHUCKY on USA SyFy Network DON MANCINI has been pulling the strings of this horror icon proving decades later that assembly is still required keeping fans on the edge of their seats!


CHUCKY

Navigating the treacherous curves of franchise success in Hollywood is for some people child’s play. For Don Mancini the creator and executive producer of USA and SYFY Networks CHUCKY, he’s been in the driver’s seat since the devilish doll's very first feature film. Mancini was a writer on the 1988 slasher film Child’s Play which introduced Chucky to the cinematic lexicon and gave it one of the horror genre’s deadliest and most deranged monsters. The creator has contributed to such hit shows as NBC’s Hannibal before serializing Chucky for primetime.


CHUCKY -- “Wondercon Panel” -- Pictured: Don Mancini, Creator / Executive Producer at the Anaheim Convention Center on March 30, 2024 -- (Photo by: David Yeh/SFY)
CHUCKY -- “Wondercon Panel” -- Pictured: Don Mancini, Creator / Executive Producer at the Anaheim Convention Center on March 30, 2024 -- (Photo by: David Yeh/SFY)

The braggadocious “Good Guy” talking doll, Chucky (brilliantly voiced by actor Brad Dourif) has consistently been terrifying audiences in an enduring franchise that has yielded multiple sequels, reboots, and even a recent requel, and through every iteration, Mancini has overseen the mythology, in many cases navigating the mythology to maintain its consistent success. “I feel like I work for Chucky,” Mancini revealed. “It’s been such a thrill and privilege to keep exploring the different facets of this character.” It’s not surprising that the character has provided Mancini with a fanbase that reaches across borders and is internationally renowned. “People love ‘Chucky’. I’m very grateful to him.”


The longevity and popularity of the character don’t escape Mancini, who has a co-writer credit on the original franchise film from 1988, a cinematic era that gave rise to similarly supernatural monsters like Wes Craven’s Freddy Krueger, even as the slasher genre spearheaded by (no pun intended) the likes of serial killers Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers were largely in decline. “It was always important that we switch it up,” Mancini said, “the constant reinvention of Chucky — we go for a crucially different vibe and tone with every movie and every season, and I think that’s one of the reasons he’s had longevity.” With more than a half-dozen features, and now three seasons, Chucky has come a long way.


CHUCKY -- “Jennifer’s Body” Episode 303 -- Pictured in this screengrab: Chucky -- (Photo by: SYFY)
CHUCKY -- “Jennifer’s Body” Episode 303 -- Pictured in this screengrab: Chucky -- (Photo by: SYFY)

The origins of the demonic doll fully accessorized with every imaginable means of murderous weapon to carry out its malicious murders is supernaturally based. The doll becomes a vessel for infamous serial killer Charles Lee Ray (Brad Dourif) who through means of offering “sacrifices” to an evil deity. Chucky’s blood-soaked trail has landed him in the unsuspecting hands of several owners over the years, from high-rise apartments to the burbs. In season 3 of Chucky, he’s moved on up the echelons of power and found himself a seat at the table in the White House, of all places!


Translating the villainous demon seed’s storyline to a serialized television format came with its narrative hurdles, but it was something that Mancini had been pursuing for several years, even as he worked on other series, including Hannibal. “One of the reasons that show was so vital,” Mancini expressed, “was that Brian Fuller had such a vision for it, but also all the writers he assembled were Hannibal fanatics.” Realizing that if he could transpose that energy, gathering a team of creatives who were just as passionate about Chucky as he was, Mancini suspected that would elevate the franchise, and make it accessible to a new audience. “I think that worked.”


With the horror genre often reflecting society’s fears and elevated trauma, it was a simple matter to move the story into the White House and imperil the First Family in season 3. “I think we can all agree, the White House can be a scary place,” he admitted. “It’s ripe with metaphor, and that’s something we’re always looking for in the horror genre.” If the series has moved into the tenants of following the pattern of the genre, then it’s entered into requel territory, which means that even its legacy characters are in danger of facing the final wrath of Chucky!


CHUCKY -- “Murder at 1600” Episode 301 -- Pictured in this screengrab: (l-r) Björgvin Arnarson as Devon Evans, Zackary Arthur as Jake Wheeler, Alyvia Alyn Lind as Lexy Cross -- (Photo by: SYFY)
CHUCKY -- “Murder at 1600” Episode 301 -- Pictured in this screengrab: (l-r) Björgvin Arnarson as Devon Evans, Zackary Arthur as Jake Wheeler, Alyvia Alyn Lind as Lexy Cross -- (Photo by: SYFY)

The series stars Zachary Arthur, Björgvin Arnarson, and Alyvia Alyn Lind have all been orphaned at the hands of Chucky and have followed the killer who is desperately seeking to extend his life to Washington DC. Could one of them be Chucky’s next victim? Mancini insists, “Maybe, no promises. One of the things that we do is kill people we love — we have to keep one foot in the horror genre. No one is safe…necessarily.” Yikes! With that in mind, turn into Chucky when Season 3 returns on April 10th, on USA and SyFy Network, and steaming on Peacock. It’s a gruesomely good time!


Get your #FansEyeView of the full “Out Loud & Live!” interview featuring DON MANCINI below and subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcast:



CHUCKY Season 3 of the Original Series | returns April 10 on USA and SyFy Network.


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