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How the Original Child’s Play Ending Was Different From What We Got

How the Original Child's Play Ending Was Different From What We Got


  • Chucky’s dark origins were influenced by a variety of killer dolls and ’80s consumerism, leading to his iconic status in horror.
  • The original script for
    Child’s Play
    featured a much darker storyline where Chucky was an extension of Andy’s rage.
  • The legacy of Chucky continues to evolve through sequels, spin-offs, and merchandise, cementing him as a horror icon.

Chucky’s lore has been cemented across nine movies and one TV series. The original Child’s Play tells the story of a serial killer turned evil doll who is always hunting for Andy to return him to his former glory. However, Chucky saw some drastic changes from his first conception to where he was in 1988’s Child’s Play, with the original script taking a much darker approach. Yes, it can get grimmer than a serial killer inhabiting the body of a child’s beloved toy.

We will look at the history of Chucky leading up to his debut, as well as what changes made him into the horror behemoth he is today and how he continues to find new audiences over 35 years later.

The History Leading Up to the Creation of Chucky

The Creator of Child’s Play, Don Mancini, first came up with the idea of the killer doll while a film student at UCLA in the mid-1980s. The horror anthologyTrilogy of Terror inspired the doll with the segment of Karen Black versus the Zuni fetish doll. It has also been noted that Mancini drew influence from other killer dolls, such as the dummy from Magic, starring Anthony Hopkins, and the segment from The Twilight Zone, “Living Doll.” Still, Mancini points to the Zuni doll as the primary influence (via Hollywood Reporter). The other aspect that helped Macinin develop his story was the wave of ’80s consumerism, with the popularity of toys like the Cabbage Patch Kids.


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Mancini’s original screenplay was titled “Batteries Not Included” (not to be confused with the 1987 sci-fi comedy of the same name) and featured a doll named “Buddy.” Producer David Kirschner was interested in making a film about dolls and acquired Mancini’s script, which was re-titled “Blood Buddy.” Kirschner would bring on director Tom Holland and screenwriter John Lafia to work on the script, which included the introduction of Charles Lee Ray, the serial killer who would place himself inside the body of the “Good Guy” doll. This inclusion shifted away from how Don Mancini originally envisioned the killer doll.

The Original Script for Child’s Play Was Much Darker

While one can read the original script in its entirety online and note the many differences between Don Macini’s original idea and the rewrite, with the biggest difference coming from Chucky’s modus operandi in his slayings. Instead of being a serial killer inhabiting the body of a doll, Chucky was originally an extension of Andy’s rage, taking out his anger on others through the killer doll against Andy’s enemies, including his babysitter, teacher, and mother, Karen.

The means by which this pact was performed was removed from the movie, with the original doll being a mix of latex with blood, where in the case that the doll got hurt, families would have to order a kit for the doll to help bandage him up. In the original script, Andy and Chucky make a blood pact for the doll to ‘come alive’ and carry out the wrath of the young kid. This change would also only happen with Andy asleep, with one of the twists being that, eventually, Chucky believes that if he kills the sleeping child, he will have complete control over his own body.

The changes from Don Macini’s original vision came from John Lafia’s initial idea of Chucky coming to life, which involved a prisoner being electrocuted on death row and his spirit getting into the doll at the nearby toy factory. Producer David Kirschner changed the concept of serial killer Charles Lee Ray’s soul inhabiting the doll after being killed in a toy store. He also came up with the name, which was a combination of killers that haunted him as a child: Charles Manson, Lee Harvey Oswald, and James Earl Ray. Director Tom Holland was the one who introduced the concept of voodoo and the rule that Charles Lee Ray could only transfer his body to the first person to reveal his true self.

The Legacy of Chucky and Child’s Play

While the original concept of Chucky, aka Buddy, had plenty of room to explore a dark parasitic relationship between the red-headed doll and Andy, potentially pushing the series on a different trajectory, it is hard to argue with the franchise’s resulting success. Chucky has become one of the most recognizable horror icons in all of cinema, with the many sequels and spin-off merchandise celebrating the many versions, from the classic ‘good guy’ to the scarred and stapled face introduced in the 2019 Chucky movie. The series has also seen several tonal shifts, with more brutal renditions of dolls for the die-hard horror fans juxtaposed with campy horror comedy entries.

The killer doll certainly has achieved unparalleled success, with the team behind shaping Chucky to his original vision responsible for creating such an icon. Don Mancini, John Lafia, David Kirschner, and Tom Holland are undeniably all essential to the legacy of movies left behind, which includes the entire Child’s Play franchise.


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List of Child’s Play Films and TV:

  • Child’s Play (1988)
  • Child’s Play 2 (1990)
  • Child’s Play 3 (1991)
  • Bride of Chucky (1998)
  • Seed of Chucky (2004)
  • Curse of Chucky (2013)
  • Cult of Chucky (2017)
  • Child’s Play (2019) (remake)
  • Chucky The TV Series (2021–)
  • Living with Chucky (2022) (documentary)

Where to Watch Child’s Play

Child’s Play can be Streamed on Tubi, Hoopla, MGM+, Fubo, The Roku Channel, or Pluto TV, which means audiences wanting to revisit the horror classic have an abundance of streaming options. If you want to learn more about Chucky’s history, you can stream Living with Chucky on Prime or Tubi. To keep up with the killer dolls’ current exploits, you can watch all three seasons of Chucky on Peacock.

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