There should be little surprise from any fan out there knowing that Warner Brothers is hot to rekindle the magic of Gremlins for the big screen. Unlike other recent remakes/reimaginings the property is guarded closely by both Chris Columbus (Home Alone) and Steven Spielberg, with both men on record indicating that, should a sequel proceed, it would be by their own hands and no one else’s. Now, one of the film’s stars has a new update for fans of Gizmo and Stripe.
Bleeding Cool sat down with Zach Galligan, who played Billy in both Gremlins and Gremlins 2: The New Batch. During the course of the interview, the topic of the gestating Gremlins 3 came up. (Edit – I swear, people are as hungry for Gremlins 3 as they were for Ghostbusters 3 before that project petered out.) Galligan offered the following update to Bleeding Cool;
I think you can tell what’s happening with Gremlins 3 the same way you could tell with Gremlins 2. It’s the same people and they tend to work the same way. There is a huge time gap but it’s Warner Bros, Spielberg and Chris Columbus. Now, Chris Columbus didn’t have anything to do with Gremlins 2 – because by his own admission he didn’t see a franchise. He kind of regrets it I believe, but he was ‘one and done’ I don’t think he cared for Gremlins 2 and the direction some of the characters went in, so he’s kind of wrested control back. Everything I’m quoting is stuff he’s publicly said…
’There will NEVER be a remake, There will NEVER be a reboot there will only be a SEQUEL’
He has been aggressively working on a Gremlins 3 that takes place in present day. He tantalisingly says there will be some NEW characters and some OLD characters – I guess in the style of a Force Awakens type sequel – One thing we know for sure is they have a writer on board. The only insight I can give is the following: There was a 6 year gap between Gremlins and Gremlins 2 most of that time was spent with them writing and rejecting ideas and re-writing. One of the ideas that was rejected was ‘gremlins in Vegas’ they went with that for 18 months and felt it was too expensive. Eventually they came up with the tower idea, where essentially I’m working for Donald Trump our new President! That took six years to happen. Carl Ellsworth, has been apparently working on the script for a year and a half now. If no new names start appearing on the IMDB listing then that means they like the script. If new names start appearing, y’know Kevin Smith appears, it means it’s back in rewrites with a new vision. Warner Bros definitely wants it, Chris Columbus wants to do it because he’d like to undo the Gremlins 2 thing as he wasn’t thrilled with it and Spielberg wants to do it I imagine – because he’s Spielberg – and why wouldn’t he want to do it. Once he’s found the right script he can attach his name and make a ton of money. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Warner Brothers has been attempting to cash in viewer’s nostalgia with another Gremlins tale for several years now, with all reports indicating the story would blend previous cast members with a new set of characters. Gremlins was released 32 years ago already and has since become a cult classic, heralding in the start of Chris Columbus’ career. (Spielberg and Columbus would team together again for 1985’s The Goonies.) 1990’s Gremlins 2: The New Batch took the madcap madness to Manhattan with a story ribbing cartoonish violence in the media, spearheaded by Joe Dante’s knack for slapstick and a plot that was very self-aware of its silliness. Though underappreciated at release, fans have come to herald The New Batch for being way ahead of its time for a film that made fun of itself and the story’s absurdity.
Audiences have become hungrier for a new Gremlins tale for years, since Gremlins has become a non-traditional Christmas classic in its own right. The news that a script is in the making is definitely good news but, without any sort of statement from either Spielberg or Columbus, we’ll never have an idea how close Gremlins 3 is to being lensed. For now, you can watch both movies on home video and hope eventually that the right script will be greenlit.