M3GAN movie writer Akela Cooper explains horror doll’s name
Well, you’ve either seen M3GAN in a theater by now…or else it’s probably coming your way. After all, this is just the kind of ruthlessly methodical and proactive approach we’ve come to expect from the AI-enabled killer doll at the center of the first blockbuster of the new year.
Either way, the android played by Amie Donald, voiced by Jenna Davis, who takes the film to box office heights, serves as a perfect textbook example of getting exactly what you want – even if it means being more more than a little on the safe side. For a robot, in fact, you could say she has a distinct defining quality: a personality that cuts through all the BS when it’s time to get downright violent and start throwing those little plastic hands around.
Screenwriter Akela Cooper (Malignant Story, American Horror Story) helped shape M3GAN’s overprotective attitude from a story she created with James Wan, one of the film’s two producers, along with Jason Blum. Believe it or not (and we’re definitely too afraid not to), one of the earliest subjects Cooper was sure the film couldn’t do without was the very name “M3GAN” — because, as she recently explained Gawker, no one else. the moniker could exude just the right murderous-antihero vibes.
“Her name,” Cooper replied when asked point blank about the pint-sized slasher’s “non-negotiables.”
“It was on the way home after my initial meeting with him [Wan’s production company] Atomic Monster to get one more crack at the elevator they had—I knew her name was Megan,” she explained. “That kind of implies a certain personality. M3GAN is a force in her name alone: She’s not a Karen, because she’s not is asking to speak to the manager – she is handling the problem herself.”
With due apologies to all the Karens of the world, M3GAN’s buoyant box office numbers have definitively validated Cooper’s nuanced naming instincts. In its first week of release, Universal Pictures’ PG-13 horror flick has generated a worldwide box office haul of $56 million, including $38.5 million on North American shores.
Cooper said she’s delighted that M3GAN has struck such a resonant note with horror fans — especially since its synthy, witty, singing star is driving people to theaters right in the often-slow winter.
“A lot of movies come out in January, just to make sure they get released,” Cooper said. “But Universal Pictures had faith. And kudos to Universal, because it hit hard. Everyone’s response so far has been incredible. I am very happy that the audience is not only enjoying the film, but loving it and connecting with it.”
M3GAN is now playing – and slaying – in theaters nationwide.
Want another killer doll fix? Stream Chucky on Peacock.
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