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Child's Play teaser features significant updates and a string of murders

The wait is over. Your best friend has arrived.

MGM and Orion Pictures delivered a fright on Friday when the studios unveiled the first teaser trailer for the impending Child's Play remake

Much like the lacquered, pulled-taut new look its title character sports, the fresh Child's Play flick features a few major updates

No longer is a quaint toy shop at the center of the story, serving as the birthplace of the red-haired Good Guys doll in which serial killer Charles "Chucky" Lee Ray transfers his soul into following his death. Instead, it's a sleek company called Kaslan Corp that specializes in tech-y toys like drones and virtual home assistants and robots that vacuum your floors while you're at work. The conglomerate has taken up mass-producing a line of high-tech figures known as Buddi dolls in efforts to appeal to children and their parents — including one Karen Barclay, played in the remake by Aubrey Plaza.

Unbeknownst to Karen, the doll she purchases for her son Andy's (Gabriel Bateman) birthday isn't as innocent as his makers market him to be. He, as Child's Play franchise fans know, is a murderous maniac who will stop at nothing to quench his bloodlust. Worst of all, the doll gets away with murder after murder after Andy lets him out of the box — and not even Detective Mike Norris (Brian Tyree Henry) can crack the case without a hefty dose of complications and confusion. It looks like the remake will follow in the same footsteps of the original film by having Chucky frame Andy for the murders.This time around, that's more plausible, as Andy appears several years older than the six-year-old kid from the 1988 film. 

What's interesting about the Child's Play remake teaser is that Chucky's face is never shown, which was likely a move meant to build anticipation for the reveal in a full-length trailer still to come. Also, both the twist on the toy manufacturer and the name of the toy line are intriguing. 

A 21-years-later take on the film that spurred a genre-revolutionizing franchise does warrant updates to reflect the change in time, so the shift from a toy store to huge warehouse should inspire exclamations of "Oh, cool!" rather than head-scratches or sighs of irritation. 

Renaming the Good Guys dolls to Buddi dolls carries true significance, though, as it links back to a real-life line of dolls from the 1980s, My Buddy, that inspired Child's Play franchise creator Don Mancini to write an early draft of the original film. As Mancini explained to The Hollywood Reporter, Chucky was actually called Buddy at first, and the film didn't initially include the elements of possession and voodoo. 

"In the original premise, Chucky — or Buddy as he was called then — was not possessed by a serial killer. Instead, in my script, the supernatural inciting incident was different. One of the features the Good Guy dolls had was fake blood in them … I thought in the context of a horror movie, how awesome to have a doll that would bleed. And since we were doing a satire on marketing, the idea was that when you're playing with the doll, if you played too rough with it the latex skin would break and then this blood would start to seep out, so you had to go out and buy official Good Guy band-aids to put on. It was just a way to sell products," he told the outlet. "The way that the doll came to life was that because Andy is a lonely kid — no dad around, his mom is a busy working mother — in that classic rite of brotherhood he cuts his own thumb and the doll's thumb so they'll be best friends forever — 'friends 'til the end' — and after that the murders start. Chucky was like an expression of the kid's unconscious rage."

He further noted that Child's Play was initially called Blood Buddy, and that the doll would only come to life while Andy was sleeping. "The way the rules were, we gradually come to understand that because Chucky is the embodiment of Andy's unconscious he decides if he kills the kid then Andy will be asleep forever and he'll be alive forever," said Mancini. 

Now, this might not seem super consequential to casual Child's Play fans or those who enjoy other horror movies more, but the Child's Play remake including the name "Buddi" in such an important capacity is noteworthy, as it gives a wink Mancini's original vision. It's even more significant since Mancini isn't involved in the remake at all — and has indicated that he doesn't approve of the project and doesn't want to associate with it

Whether marking Chucky as a "Buddi" doll will make Mancini smile, we can't say for sure, but it might appease fans who are skeptical about how up-to-snuff the remake will be and should convince them to at least give the remake a shot. 

Also starring Tim Matheson as Kaslan Corp CEO Henry Kaslan, Marlon Kazadi as Andy's best friend Omar Norris, Ty Consiglio as Pugg, Beatrice Kitsos as Falyn, Anantjot S. Aneja as Chris, Nicole Anthony as Detective Willis, and more, Child's Play will open in theaters on June 21 — right alongside Toy Story 4