We’ve been hearing for a while now about a third Gremlins movie, and last we heard, the film was going to serve as a dark sequel to the previous two films that was more in line with the spirit of the first. However, it now looks instead like the movie — if it happens — is going to be a reboot.
Last year, Chris Columbus, who wrote the first film but not the tonally-different second, revealed he had written a script for a third film that was very dark and largely featured puppets for the movie’s creatures. This obviously sounds like something fans of the franchise would be interested in, but not necessarily something a studio is going to risk spending money on. And since Columbus co-owns the rights to the franchise with Warner Bros. and Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment, all three parties would have to come to an agreement on what the next film should look like before it gets made. This was explained last year by Joe Dante, who directed the previous two Gremlins films but does not own any rights to the franchise, when he stated his doubts that all three parties would ever agree on what the film should be.
But that agreement has perhaps finally been reached. In an interview with Metro, Columbus stated the next Gremlins film “will almost definitely be a reboot.” Just last year he was quite gung-ho about the film not being a reboot, so if it’s true that the studios preferred rebooting the franchise, it looks like all parties are now on the same page, which means a third Gremlins movie might actually happen. Columbus went on to say about the timelessness of Gremlins: “There was definitely an intention to make [the films I’ve worked on] timeless. Even when we were making Home Alone I was saying to the crew, ‘I hope when people are watching this on TV in 30 years that this still feels fresh.’ You are a product of the time you shoot the movie, so there are a few things that give away what year it was. But there is a timeless quality, which starts with the story, which you know has an emotional connection to the audience that you know will continue through generations. But then there is production design, visual design, and making sure that it is appealing. There is a certain appeal to those films that helps to retain a certain freshness.”
There’s still no confirmation that another Gremlins movie will happen; only that talks are still ongoing. If a reboot does get made, let’s just hope it maintains the darkly comedic tone of the original, while also favoring practical effects over CGI. That’s not asking for much, right?