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Fans May Never Know How The M3GAN Doll Was Made

Little girls are surely regretting asking for a doll for Christmas if they've seen the trailers for the upcoming sci-fi horror film "M3GAN." Likewise, any adults who have a doll collection might be starting to grow wary of them. But, at the end of the day, they're just dolls, right? They couldn't possibly be that scary.

Universal Pictures has been fueling suspense with their movie's second trailer which dropped on December 8, 2022. The new trailer raised the stakes considerably; the dancing M3GAN means business, which may make it impossible for people to ever look at dolls the same way ever again. 

"M3GAN" follows the story of Gemma (Allison Williams) who has recently taken in her niece Cady (Violet McGraw) after Cady's parents perish in a car accident. Unsure of how to care for her niece, or for children in general, Gemma is able to compensate. As a roboticist, Gemma develops a Model 3 Generative Android, M3GAN for short, to provide friendly company for her bereaved niece. Cady forms a deep attachment with M3GAN, and this attachment goes both ways — with dark and deadly consequences. 

This isn't the first time audiences have seen a film starring a deadly doll with a penchant for murder. "Child's Play," featuring the red-haired Good-Guy Chucky doll (Brad Dourif) and released in 1988, paved the way with a long line of movies, sequels, and a TV show that started in 2021. There's also Annabelle as part of "The Conjuring" universe, who just makes the skin crawl despite more or less sitting around completely motionless. 

Meanwhile, M3GAN has something extra that makes her feel that much scarier than her contemporaries. The most disturbing thing about her of all? No one is allowed to know how she was made and brought to life on the silver screen.

Careful instruction by M3GAN's director ensures the film's antagonist remains horrifying on and off screen

According to an interview with Total Film via CBR, director Gerard Johnstone has sworn himself and the entire crew involved to secrecy regarding how they pulled off bringing M3GAN to life, "Fight Club" style. While actor Jenna Davis is credited as "M3GAN" on the production's cast list via IMDB, she only receives voice credit, meaning that there's a whole lot more to the sinister cinematic android that we've been told. When asked if Cady actress Violet McGraw bonded with M3GAN on set, Johnstone shared, "She did, but I would also say that she was relatively creeped out by M3GAN as well."

There's something comforting about knowing how things were done off-screen. For one, those who were terrified of Chucky from "Child's Play" would do well to know that the doll was created with multiple animatronics by technician Kevin Yagher, as explained by ChildsPlayMovies1's "The Making of Child's Play" special features cassette. Knowing the creators were in charge of Chucky's movements the whole time via remote control would certainly comfort a scared moviegoer. 

In order to make M3GAN truly terrifying, what could be better than hiding how they pulled it off? It's been over 30 years since "Child's Play" was released, leaving technology more advanced since then. As a result, Johnstone had multiple options to pull this sinister robot-doll protector to life. Instead of a puppet, they could use a real actor with CGI, adopt animatronics, or perhaps a concocted mix.

In this regard, Johnstone vaguely and — be it on purpose or not — ominously said that they employed a "multi-tiered approach," which is (hopefully) enough to keep those with doll phobias awake at night. For those eager for their first fright of the new year, "M3GAN" premieres on January 6, 2023.