It seems like we have been reporting on “Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai” for years. Oh wait, we have. Of course, a lot has happened since 2019. Not the least of which was a global pandemic that delayed virtually everything, including this project. Here we are in 2023, and we finally have not only a firm release date, but a full on trailer!
Aside from a couple of video game releases, “Gremlins 2: The New Batch” was the last full-on piece of Gremlins content we received and that was all the way back in 1990. This series is set decades before the events of the films and features a 10 year old Sam Wing who would later grow up to become the owner of the curiosity shop where Billy’s father obtains Gizmo.
Speaking of which, Gizmo is back! Whether this is a different continuity or just an error that will need to be retconned, fans of the film will recall that the whole reason this particular Mogwai is called Gizmo, is because that’s the name Billy’s father gave him. However, in this teaser trailer Gizmo flat out introduces himself by name. So barring some kind of stable time loop scenario where the Gizmo of the future comes back to the past, we got ourselves a plot hole here. Also, Gizmo will be voiced by A.J. Locasio (“Voltron: The Legendary Defender,” multiple LEGO “Star Wars” projects).
We see a marked shift in tone and theme from the original Joe Dante films. The first was a comedy/horror/Christmas film. The second was a darkly comedic deconstruction of horror films and sequels. This series leans heavily into the realm of magical fantasy. Elements of Chinese mythology and mysticism seem to be woven into the Mogwai backstory and their world; a world that doesn’t seem to be of this dimension. It also seems to be aimed at a decidedly younger audience given the style of animation and humor.
B.D. Wong, Ming-Na Wen, the legendary James Hong, and guest appearances from George Takei, Sandra Oh, and others help buoy the cast. Not to mention Zach Galligan, who played Billy in the films, is also coming back. Which actually does add some potential credence to that stable time loop theory we mentioned earlier. If that ends up being a plot point, remember, we called it.
“Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai” premiers on May 23rd on MAX, the newly renamed amalgam of HBO Max and Discovery+.