Chucky and Annabelle could have some competition with M3GAN set to reprogram the killer-doll genre.
If Child’s Play (2019), and Annabelle (2014) creeped you out, Chucky and Annabelle might need to step aside next year. They’ll face a new killer-doll competition in January 2023. While both have dominated the murderous doll market for years, M3GAN (2023) is taking a fresh look at how to use artificial intelligence against us. The alarmingly doll was revealed in April in a tweet from Universal Pictures, stirring lots of discussion about what could soon be dominating the “creepy doll” corner of the horror genre.
The film follows brilliant roboticist Gemma (Allison Williams)—whom horror fans will recognize from Get Out (2017) and The Perfection (2018)—who creates an A.I. within a doll bearing a striking resemblance to an American Girl. M3GAN is designed to be every child’s best friend and every parent’s sigh of relief. When Gemma unexpectedly gains custody of her niece, she calls upon the doll for help. It soon becomes evident that not all A.I. can be trusted in one’s home.
M3GAN is directed by Gerald Johnstone and co-written with Akela Cooper, and James Wan. Blumhouse and Atomic Monster have partnered for production, and Universal Studios have purchased the distribution rights. Cooper and Wan previously worked together on Malignant (2021). Stack that on top of the talented cast of Williams, Ronny Chieng, Violet McGraw, Kimberley Crossman, and Brian Jordan Alvarez, and Wan’s success with the Conjuring universe of films instill confidence that this new film will delight audiences.
Universal presented a first look at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, Nevada, as reported by Brennan Klein in an article for ScreenRant stating, “In the sequence they shared, a young girl loses her parents and moves in with her robot programmer aunt Gemma, played by Williams. Gemma brings her to work to show her the AI M3gan, which is designed to be a child’s best friend. Although the robot is creepy, she protects the little girl and they begin to bond. The young girl finds her move improving, becoming the happiest that she has been since her parents passed away, but then M3gan gets possessive and starts attacking other kids as well as anyone who threatens to shut her down. She can run and jump faster and farther than a normal human being, and at one point attacks someone with a nail gun.”
M3GAN is scheduled to release theatrically on January 13, 2023.