The Child’s Play franchise has gone through several tonal transitions over its 30-year history. After delivering a trio of seriously violent slashers, the series took a comic turn in 1998’s Bride of Chucky, a trend that continued with 2004’s Seed of Chucky. 2013’s Curse of Chucky went back to the series’ horror roots while 2017’s Cult of Chucky was the most unbridled chapter yet, embracing comedy and meta motifs.
One thing that has remained consistent throughout the history of Child’s Play is Brad Dourif; the actor has voiced Chucky in every single installment, and it’s difficult to imagine anyone replacing him. Just as Robert Englund is synonymous with Freddy Krueger to horror fans, Dourif is Chucky. It’s worth noting, then, that if it hadn’t been for a delay in production, he may have never been involved in the franchise he made iconic.
When Tom Holland came aboard to direct Child’s Play (released in 1988) he was still attached to Fatal Beauty, an action/crime/comedy starring Whoopi Goldberg. It was there Holland met Dourif, who played Leo Nova. He sensed the actor would be perfect for the as-yet-uncast voice of Chucky; here’s what he told The Hollywood Reporter:
“[Dourif] had played the villain for me in Fatal Beauty and he was able to convey a gleeful sadism; he made it fun. You can go look at the end of Fatal Beauty and see Chucky in Brad’s performance. The wicked sense of humor that his voice work brought to [Chucky] was intentional from day one.”
When Holland returned to Child’s Play, he brought Dourif along and the rest (as they say) is history! You can get a glimpse of Dourif in the trailer for Fatal Beauty at the bottom of the article (around the 1:15 mark).
Detective Rita Rizzoli (Whoopi Goldberg) is accustomed to donning costumes and going undercover to nail crooks. But she’ll be required to use all of her get-ups and more when a major cocaine ring is suspected of turning out a potent new strain of the drug, called “Fatal Beauty.” With the help of her partner, Jimenez (Ruben Blades), and a former bodyguard for a local cartel (Sam Elliott), Rita will do whatever it takes to find out who’s dealing Fatal Beauty and stop them.