Between playing Luke Skywalker and the definitive animated Joker, Mark Hamill has a whole lot of iconic going on. It apparently never gets old. The Star Wars actor signed on to voice the reimagining of one of the horror genre’s most recognizable villains: Chucky. Hamill felt the daunting weight of his role of his upcoming Child’s Play release. In his words:
When I agreed to it, and it sunk in that they wanted me to do this, I felt intimidation like I hadn't felt since I did the Joker. I thought, when I auditioned for the Joker, there's no way they're going to cast this icon of virtue, Luke Skywalker, as the Joker. Forget about it. So I had no performance anxiety because I knew they couldn't hire me. It's only when they hired me that I really thought, ‘Oh no, I can't do this because so many people have expectations of what he's supposed to sound like.’
When Mark Hamill auditioned for the role of Joker in the ‘90s show Batman: The Animated Series, his famed role hung over his head, as he notes in the Los Angeles Child’s Play press conference (via Den of Geek). He auditioned, but didn’t expect he’d actually nab the role. His Joker opened the door for him to another chapter of his life beyond lightsabers and Death Stars. Hamill still lends his Joker voice today, almost 30 years later.
Hamill felt similarly intimidated when he took on Chucky just as the Skywalker Saga officially comes to an end this December. The killer doll has been voiced by Brad Dourif since the 1988 original, so his iteration is the only version people know and love. Hamill continued by saying this:
I love Brad. It's a great responsibility, so I’m anxious to see how people react because it's not the Chucky that we all know from before.
Instead of the original’s origin of Chucky being the spirit of a serial killer, the new Child’s Play is about an A.I. doll gone wrong. A young single mom (Aubrey Plaza) and her son Andy (Gabriel Bateman) move to a new neighborhood. She gives him a “Buddi”, which is a piece of technology that is supposed to be a companion and interact with other devices such as your television and smartphone. Mark Hamill’s Chucky was created through a set of animatronic dolls the actors interacted with on set.
Hamill explained this Chucky is “like an innocent child” who learns from his surroundings to become the evil murderous doll to be feared. In the movie, someone goes in to his operating system and turns off the safety controls on the doll, setting off Chucky’s circumstances. He’s a more sympathetic version of the character that director Lars Klevberg has called a “greek tragedy” for the doll.
Oddly enough, Child’s Play is opening on the same day as Pixar’s Toy Story 4 on June 21. The horror film has used this to its advantage with its marketing illustrating Chucky murdering Woody and his friends, but the animated film is set to win the weekend by far, with debut expectations for Child’s Play between $12 and $20 million.
Are you excited for Mark Hamill’s Chucky in Child’s Play? Let us know in the comments below!