Over the years, the creepy doll trope has proven to be one of the most effective in the horror genre. The appetite for it never seems to wane, as evidenced by the massive success of the Child’s play franchise, whose multiple iterations of the vicious killer doll Chucky have been well received for three decades and counting. A man who is openly seduced by the idea of the killer doll is a titan of horror James Wan, who himself is set to introduce a new animated toy to the world of horror with his creation of the Model Three Generative Android, better known as M3GAN, an AI nanny/companion turned rogue who will serve as a titular antagonist in his next film, m3gan, ready to dance in theaters tomorrow.
Anticipation for M3GAN’Its release has been skyrocketing since the release of its first trailer saw a dance sequence from the titular robot go viral on social media. Wan recently sat down with Deadline for an interview sharing details about what inspired the film. According to the ace producer, the idea of M3GAN arose during his routine weekly conversation with employees of his company Atomic Monster Productions during pre-pandemic times, when they were just “playing” movies. In one such hangout, Wan shared how when the “topic landed on the evil doll subgenre and the evil puppet subgenre,” they realized how often he was referred to as “scary puppet”. made a standalone killer doll movie, leading them to come to the conclusion to make one.
While it’s true that Wan hadn’t yet ventured into making full-fledged killer doll films, he did incorporate the element of creepy dolls into his movies before, starting with his very first horror film, Saw, where the psychopath Jigsaw killer uses a scary puppet in a tuxedo to send messages to his victims in his killer games. His next films where creepy dolls would be featured include dead silence and Conspiracy, the latter rejected a spin-off focusing on the possessed doll, Annabelle.
In a more recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Wan shared the genesis of his love for creepy dolls, saying it all started when he was a kid after watching the 1982 horror classic. Fighting spirit realized by Tobe Hooper. The supernatural horror flick featured a creepy clown doll attack scene that Wan says “scarred him for life”:
“I would just note it for watching Poltergeist at a very young age. It was definitely a very influential movie for me, and I saw it at a really young, impressionable age, and it made a huge impression on me, and that creepy doll clown definitely scarred me for life. But I also like to say that I’m a big collector of this stuff. I love my collectibles, my action figures, and so naturally the idea of making movies based on one of those things come to life is exciting to me. It’s thrilling and, of course, in the horror genre, that means I can have a lot of fun with a story like that.
Wan certainly has a lot of fun making horror movies – his Saw is one of the highest-grossing horror movie franchises of all time. With the imminent release of M3GAN, we could be looking at the birth of another potential box office juggernaut. Estimates say the film could gross $20 million in its opening weekend, nearly double its $12 million production budget. If the movie breaks even for real, Wan said the idea for a sequel is already hatching, which is fun with the evil doll trope, because these beloved antagonists have usually more lives than a cat. Watch out Chucky, the rise of a new killer doll is on the horizon.
M3GAN hits theaters nationwide on January 6. Check out the trailer below:
James Wan On How Poltergeist Ignited His Love For Creepy Dolls – GameSpot