The history of those murderous quirky little pets the Gremlins has been a rough one for fans. After their debut in 1984’s “Gremlins,” the world was taken by storm. Everyone had a Gizmo plush. Following up with 1990’s even bigger, even better hit “Gremlins 2: The New Batch,” and the franchise stapled itself in horror/comedy history. Even now, thirty years later, there remains a steady string of merchandise and fan love. You can get Gremlins Tiki mugs and action figures and price to own Mondo movie posters. But as for a new film? Despite all the merch, the fans, and the love, in thirty years we’ve all just been left asking: Where did the Gremlins go?
A sliver of relief is finally coming to fans, with a brand new animated series developed by Amblin and Warner Bros. Pictures titled “Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai” set to drop in 2022. A prequel story set in China about the origins of the mysterious creatures, it’s not the new big movie installment fans have been craving, but it’s something to whet the appetite at least.
What fans crave is a new Gremlins movie, something to bring back that quirky kid-friendly mix of fantasy and somehow acceptable gruesome violence that the 80’s delivered so well. Creator Chris Columbus (“Harry Potter“) addressed the missing Gremlins, and gave fans at least a little something to go on regarding the future of the franchise. The message Columbus delivered to fans? There IS hope.
“I can only say we’re working on it. We’re working towards that goal, but we haven’t gotten there yet.” Columbus said of the script for the as-of-yet untitled third live-action Gremlins film while speaking to ComicBook.
In a previous interview with Collider back in 2020, Columbus explained that the franchise faced some unspecified rights issues that were muddying the waters in making progress, but that he was excited to continue. Especially exciting to fans is his insistence that he still intends to use puppetry and physical effects, in the spirit of the original movies: “I would love to do it the same way, I would do it as tangible puppets, not CGI.”
Joe Dante, director of the original films, is consulting on HBO Max’s “Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai.” It’s due out sometime near the Christmas season of 2022.
Will we finally see that new Gremlins movie we’ve been denied so long? Only time will tell. Until then, we’ll leave you with the dulcet tones of Nick Lutsko, who understands the pain of being a “Gremlins” fan.