Chucky Returns To Befriend Gay Teen in New TV Series

Don Mancini, who created the character of Chucky in the series of films he co-wrote and created, Child’s Play, is thrilled to be bringing the character to the small screen on SyFy’s Chucky.

 

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The new series sees the sociopathic toy befriend a 14 year-old doll collecting teen Jake Wheeler (Zackary Arthur)  who finds him at a Yard Sale.

@syfy#Chucky getting all of us in our feels! #fyp

♬ original sound – SYFY

Out Magazine: Mancini is as excited about the storyline of young Jake discovering and exploring his sexuality as he is about the affirmation that type of representation on the screen can bring. “I know as a 14-year-old, when I went to see movies like The Omen or Carrie or The Fury…Christine is another one…where a bullied kid gets supernatural revenge, you know, none of those movies has a single gay character in them. So I think it’s good to give kids who are horror fans someone to identify with.”

 

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Mancini, 58, found the horror genre to be “a hospitable place” for him as a young gay man starting out in his 20s — although he admits he was “relatively discreet” around studio executives about his identity. “I was never aware of being discriminated against…particularly as a gay guy,” he says. “Although, you know, it’s possible that I was and didn’t clock it… because it’s certainly — even more than it is now — was very much a straight white male club.”

Coming off a successful run as TV writer, Mancini, the New York Times says, “began thinking about a series as a way to take the Chucky-sphere in new directions — “in a subversive but positive way,” he said. In addition to its gay teen story line, a nonstarter for mainstream horror in 1988, “Chucky” also gives fans a long-requested childhood back story for Charles Lee Ray, the killer who supernaturally possesses Chucky.

 

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What ultimately sold the networks on the show was authenticity, said Alex Sepiol, executive vice president for drama series at NBCUniversal Television and Streaming. “When he told us about centering this chapter of the story on a gay teen and how personal that was to him, we embraced the notion.”

Mancini enjoyed “consciously injecting” queer content into the films, he said, but Chucky is “the most autobiographical” work of his career. It’s there in small details, like the poster of the cast of “The Outsiders” that Jake has in his bedroom, the same one Mancini had as a kid. (Unlike Jake, Mancini did not hang it next to a Pride flag.)

Chucky  premieres October 12 on Syfy.

 

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