Joe Dante Made Gremlins Prequel Show Because Gremlins 2 Is “Sequel-Proof”

Did you know that they are now auctioning the Gizmo doll from Gremlins 2?  A bargain at $80,000 - $120,000.

Did you know they are auctioning the Gizmo doll from? Gremlins 2 straight away? A bargain at $80,000 – $120,000.
PhotoFREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

We still don’t have a firm release date for HBO Max’s upcoming animated series Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwaithe first new installment in the beloved horror comedy franchise since the 90s Gremlins 2: The New Batch† But we do have some new ones details about its decidedly kid-friendly sounding first episode, that debuted this week at the Annecy Animation Festival, with series showrunners Tze Chun and Brendan Hay, and original director Joe Dante, present to premiere the series.

Which, yes: sounds pretty child-focused, as it tells that beloved series hero Gizmo is snatched from his magical homeworld by an eagle and taken to 1920s China, where he meets Sam, the 10-year-old version of mysterious curio shop owner Mr. Wing from the movies. There’s a villainous industrialist who wants to catch the Mogwai, a child thief who teams up with Sam and Gizmo, Ming-Na Wen and James Hong voice performance… It all sounds extremely healthy for the franchise that once gave us Phoebe Cates’ Christmas monologue and Mrs. Deagle’s brutal slapstick death, but that’s the way it goes.

When asked why the show works as a prequel, Dante had an answer: “What I reacted to the most was the idea of ​​doing a prequel,” Dante told the audience at the festival. “Eespecially after I kind of made a sequel to Gremlins follow-up proof.” Which seems to be a good description for a movie that both riffs on the conventions of sequels and transformed the already crazy Gremlins in something that is just one step too short for a living cartoon. (And now all of a sudden we have a strong desire to go back and watch Gremlins 2

Speaking of the show, Chun noted that the scariest part of the whole process was pitching the series to Steven Spielberg, who produced both films through Amblin Entertainment. Spielberg’s first question about the animation project: “Is Joe happy?”

For Dante’s part, he also told the story of what might be Spielberg’s greatest contribution to the whole. Gremlins mythos: “In the original script of Gremlinsturned the Gizmo character into a bad Gremlin after about half an hour. But Steven Spielberg, in his wisdom, decided that Gizmo should stay and be the hero’s friend. If we had made the film the other way around, no one would remember it. The addition of Gizmo made all the difference.”

[via Variety]

Leave a Comment