Once Upon a Time, Steven Spielberg Apparently Helped Save the Child's Play Franchise

Chucky, whose every still is terrifying.
Chucky, whose every still is terrifying.
Image: MGM/UA

Being one of the biggest directors ever brings with it a lot of power. There are a lot of ways to use that power. Fortunately, Steven Spielberg has opted to use that power to help good actors get good roles and, apparently, save cult classic film franchises.


That story comes from Bloody Disgusting, sharing a fun anecdote from David Kirschner, one of the two creators of the Child’s Play series, notoriously for its B-movie style and its creepy villain/protagonist Chucky.

So, after the first movie did rather well, a second Child’s Play was ordered—only for Kirschner to get a nightmare call from Richard Burger, the head of MGM and United Artists, who had distributed the first film.

“There’s a guy by the name of Christopher Skase at Quintex, they’re buying the company and don’t want to make horror movies,’ he said. I was enraged,” relates Kirschner.  

After that, all chaos broke loose, with multiple studios interested in the series, its direction and future on the line. “One of those calls was from Steven Spielberg himself,” said Kirschner.

He went on, saying, An American Tail became the highest grossing animated film of all time, at the time. Steven (who executive produced the film) 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.’ I owe my career to him and that’s still the case today – 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 that relationship has paid off—leading to six sequels and an upcoming television show, with creators Don Mancini and David Kirschner still involved. Sure, Child’s Play might’ve found a home at another studio, but the shape it is now, according to Kirschner, owes quite a bit to Steven Spielberg. Scary dolls all over the world thank him for his service.


[Bloody Disgusting]

io9 Weekend Editor. Videogame writer at other places. Queer nerd girl.



Spielberg also referenced Chucky in Ready Player One: