We cordially request the Jessica Walter cut of Child’s Play

Illustration for article titled We cordially request the Jessica Walter cut of Child’s Play

Screenshot: Child’s Play/Arrested Development

Everyone knows the great Brad Dourif as the raspy, profane voice of killer doll Chucky, but, though he was always cast as Child’s Play’s Charles Lee Ray, he wasn’t initially called upon to provide the toy’s voice. Originally, it was veteran actress Jessica Walter (perhaps best known as Arrested Development’s Lucille Bluth) who was hired to deliver Chucky’s one-liners, a fact that, despite having been acknowledged by the filmmakers in years past, is again dropping jaws.

Walter’s involvement was divulged on the Child’s Play commentary track, but it was also discussed in Mental Flossnew oral history of the film. “I tried to use an electronic overlay to the voice, like a Robbie the Robot kind of thing, because that’s how the toys with sound chips worked,” recalls director Tom Holland. “Then I tried Jessica Walter, who had been in Play Misty for Me. She could make the threats work, but not the humor. So we went back to Brad.” Writer Don Mancini added, “Tom’s logic was that the voice of the devil was done by a woman in The Exorcist. But her voice, while being creepy, just didn’t fit.” Mancini also confirms that a cut of the film featuring Walter’s voice exists, or did at one time.

As such, we humbly request that someone, anyone dig up that cut for our personal enjoyment. We love Dourif’s work—and we’re sure we’ll enjoy Mark Hamill’s go at the voice in the remake—but our curiosity is simply overwhelming.

The whole oral history is worth a read, as it touches on how Child’s Play’s original story—the doll was originally a “manifestation of a little boy’s unconscious rage”—and how it nearly became a Charles Band production. Mancini also offers some details on his own upcoming Child’s Play project, one that, unlike the remake, continues the franchise he’s long shepherded.

“We start production on the next Chucky in Winnipeg in January,” he says. “It continues the story of Nica, who was introduced in Curse Of Chucky. At the end of that movie, she’s taken the rap for the murder of her family and has been institutionalized in an asylum. That’s the basic premise and setting.”

Read it here.

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