'Child's Play' Filmmaker John Lafia Dies at 63

We have him to thank for the line, "Hi, I'm Chucky, wanna play?"

BY Brock ThiessenPublished May 4, 2020

John Lafia — the filmmaker who co-wrote horror classic Child's Play and directed sequel Child's Play 2 — has died. According to the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner's office, Lafia died by suicide on April 29. He was 63.

On Saturday (May 2), Lafia's family confirmed his passing, writing in a statement to Deadline, "It is with great sadness we announce that loving father, film and television writer, director, producer and musician John J. Lafia passed away on Wednesday, April 29."

Child's Play creator Don Mancini, meanwhile, said, "We're devastated to hear of the passing of our friend John Lafia. He was a crucial part of the 'Chucky' family from the very beginning. He co-wrote the original Child's Play script along with director Tom Holland and myself, and John directed Child's Play 2 — the consensus favourite film among 'Chucky' fans."

Lafia was born on April 2, 1957, and actually first started his professional career in music. In the '80s, Lafia became as an influential figure in the Los Angeles experimental music scene — something that was celebrated on the 1980.1985 release by Discos Transgénero last year.

After shifting his focus to cinema, Lafia's first feature film arrived in 1988 with The Blue Iguana, which he both wrote and composed the soundtrack for. The movie also starred none other than Red Hot Chili Peppers bass hero Flea, in addition to Dylan McDermott, Jessica Harper, Pamela Gidley and James Russo. The Blue Iguana even came with a theme song done by rap legend Kurtis Blow.

Following that project, Lafia went on to co-write the screenplay to the 1988 horror hit Child's Play, coining the name "Chucky" and even writing the famous line, "Hi, I'm Chucky, wanna play?"

In the wake of the news, Tom Hollard added, "John was an incredibly generous artist. He let me tag along with him to every meeting, and shadow him on set; he taught me more about filmmaking during the production of that movie than several semesters in film school. John was also one of the most naturally curious and constantly creative people I ever met, someone who was always taking pictures, and jotting down ideas."

Lafia's other credits include Man's Best Friend (1993), the NBC earthquake miniseries 10.5 and 2006 sequel 10.5: Apocalypse. the Digital Pictures/Sega live-action video game Corpse Killer, and the 2012 musical drama The Ballad of Frank and Cora.

Tour Dates

Latest Coverage