When it comes to gory, R-rated horror movies, seeing the wildest, grossest, and scariest kills imaginable is what it’s all about, both for audiences and for filmmakers. But for the new Child’s Play, there were things the team couldn’t do when it came to kills. Legally, they couldn’t.
Speaking to Bloody Disgusting, director Lars Klevberg explained that because MGM released his movie, and it only owns the rights to the original film, his movie had to be very careful with how Chucky killed people.
Mainly, the film couldn’t even come close to duplicating any kills from any previous Chucky sequels for fear of legal ramifications from Universal, the studio that owns those movies.
“One story about that is the Shane kill, when he takes off his face,” Klevberg said. “In the original draft, Chucky chops off his head. So he puts the whole head on the desk for Andy, but apparently, they do it in the second or third one or something, so we couldn’t do that.”
“I was like, ‘That’s ridiculous. Why can’t we? Like, they do that in any other movie,’” Klevberg continued. “‘No, we can’t, it’s not ok.’ So then you’re forced [to] come up with something different, and an idea that I had was, ‘OK, can he chop off his face and stick it to a watermelon?’ ‘Like yeah, sure, that you can do.’ ‘Great, let’s do it.’”
And so they did. But this was a rare case where, when making a horror movie, the sky wasn’t the limit.
“Like, even if it resembled something from the other movies—from the first Child’s Play movies, like 2, 3 and also some of the Chucky movies—you couldn’t go into that, even if it wasn’t anything quite near it but it kind of felt similar, you couldn’t do it,” Klevberg said.
Read more about this particular kill, and how it ended up mirroring a different famous horror franchise, at this link.