Writer-director Don Mancini has been speaking to Bloody Disgusting about a surprising influence on the Chucky TV series – the sophisticated and erudite Hannibal.
Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal ran for three seasons between 2013-2015 and imagined what Hannibal Lecter would have been like as a practicing psychiatrist. It starred Mads Mikkelsen as Hannibal and Hugh Dancy as a FBI criminal profiler.
It was a spin-off from the series of films featuring the character (most famously played by Anthony Hopkins) including Manhunter, Red Dragon and most notably, the Oscar-winning The Silence of the Lambs. The films were based on the book series by Thomas Harris.
The show’s passionate fanbase were crushed when it was cancelled and it still has a loyal following on social media. Earlier this year, a teenager’s Hannibal fanart was selected to hang in the US Capitol.
Chucky’s Mancini was a producer and writer on Hannibal. He says that the strength of the show was that it worked as fanfic; “When I worked on that show, one of the things that was so exciting about it was that it felt in a way like fanfiction done by experts.”
Mancini continues; “I realised if I did that with my own franchise, we could do something really amazing. Because Bryan had done it with Hannibal. That was the initial inspiration for bringing Chucky to TV, when I worked on Hannibal.”
Mancini concludes; “I think that that was a fundamental appeal of that show. The making of the show was Bryan bringing his own amazing talent and vision, but also the talents and genuine enthusiasm and fan boyishness and fan girlishness of seven or eight like-minded Hannibal fanatics.”
Speaking of 2017’s Cult of Chucky, Mancini says; “I deliberately set up a bunch of different cliff hangers with the intention specifically of getting into the ramifications of those cliff hangers in the TV series…I felt like the ideal way to address the ramifications would be with television because you have so much room at your disposal, so much storytelling room, as opposed to just a film.”
The Chucky TV series is available on the Peacock streaming service in the US now and Chucky season 1 will have its UK premiere on Sky Max on December 3. A second season has been commissioned.