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Feature Article

Child's Play: How Mark Hamill Brought Innocence To Chucky In Movie Reboot

Child's Play is in theaters on June 21.

The Child's Play reboot movie filmed in late 2018, though at that point, nobody was signed on to give a voice to the maniacal Chucky doll. Instead, it was revealed at WonderCon in March that Star Wars and Batman: The Animated Series alum Mark Hamill was taking on the role.

It presented an intriguing situation for both Hamill and director Lars Klevberg, as the physical embodiment of Chucky and the way he moves and acts was already set in stone. Still, as Klevberg told GameSpot during a recent interview, the iconic actor was able to help shape the character in ways even he didn't expect.

"I think that I had a clear idea of what I would like to have on this. But I said to [Mark], 'I want to be open,' and so we together we could find the perfect spot of creating this character," the director explained. "And he was just amazing; it's just super professional. But what had struck me the most is--I knew he could deliver all of that. It's not like you're hiring Mark Hamill and, 'Oh, can he deliver?' Like, you knew that immediately. But the way he was feeling and presenting these small bits, like the nuance in between takes. I can give him a line, and he presents three lines... It's words, beats, like milliseconds that he waited, so it was just, he's just amazing. And voice acting is difficult because you just have your voice. it's just internal; you're putting it on a piece of canvas like a painting."

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That nuance helped to establish Hamill's view of the character, whose origin story is much different from the original film. While the 1988 Child's Play saw a Chucky doll being possessed by the soul of a serial killer, the reboot instead presents Chucky as a smart toy with malfunctioning artificial intelligence.

Instead of being murderous right out of the gate, Hamill explained in a press conference for the film that this new Chucky "was really like an innocent child, just learning from what goes on around him." And in that, he was determined to protect his best friend Andy (Gabriel Bateman).

"For this movie, you understand Chucky's motivation, you understand he is going to be Andy's best friend, he's going to protect Andy and going to be his friend until the end," Klevberg said. "But he's self-aware. And self-aware entities, [the] first question is, 'What is my purpose in life? What am I here?' And that's cool with this one because Chucky kind of figures out, 'Okay, I have to be Andy's best friend and I'm going to protect him from whatever makes him sad,' but he doesn't have his experience, or skill set, or analytical gifts to understand what that means."

What that leaves the movie with is a thinking toy that reasons the only way to protect the child it has imprinted on is by killing and maiming anything it perceives as a threat. Of course, if you've seen a trailer for the new Child's Play movie, everything and everyone is a threat Chucky needs to take care of. What else would you expect from a friend until the end?

Child's Play is in theaters on June 21.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

chrishayner

Chris E. Hayner

Chris E. Hayner sat second row at the Ninja Turtles' Coming Out Of Their Shells tour.
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