Variety is reporting that a new animated Gremlins project is in the works for WarnerMedia’s new streaming service.
Our sources tell us that this story was leaked prematurely, so there’s not a lot of detail yet. According to the article, the story would follow a young Mr. Wing (played in the movies by Keye Luke) as he travels the globe on adventures with Gizmo the Mogwai (voiced by Howie Mandel in the films). The series will be a co-production between Warner Bros. Television and Amblin Television, neither of which commented on the report.
Tze Chun, co-publisher at TKO Studios, is said to be attached as writer and executive producer. He’s coming off a run on Gotham, where he was a writer and executive story editor. His credits also include Cold Comes the Night, Once Upon a Time, and Cashmere Mafia.
Star Zach Galligan, who starred in the original two movies opposite Phoebe Cates, posted this reaction to the news:
I like it. Gets the franchise and mythology up and running for this generation.
No reason why live action film couldn't follow. Batman, Spider-Man, Godzilla all do both.
‘Gremlins’ Animated Series in the Works at WarnerMedia Streaming – Variety https://t.co/dTojRQlzeP
— Zach Galligan (@zwgman) February 25, 2019
The first Gremlins, directed by Joe Dante, was released in 1984 and grossed over $153 million, spawning a sequel in 1990. The first film was written by Chris Columbus, who revealed in an interview with /Film that a script for a third film is complete. He says this new story asks the question of whether or not Gizmo should be eliminated, since the existence of gremlins is the result of Gizmo getting wet and the offspring running amok. Columbus says the new script hearkens back to the macabre humor of the first film, which was one of the first to get the new PG-13 rating. He tells /Film, “I wanted to go back to the really twisted sensibility of the first movie. I found that was a very easy place for me to fall back into and start writing again so hopefully we’ll see that movie soon.”
However, there’s been no real news on that front for over a year now. Could this animated version be a change in direction for the franchise? Or could this be a way of testing the waters to gauge reaction and measure whether or not it’s worth the expense to make a third film?