A third Gremlins film has long been rumored, and while one may or may not still happen, one thing is now for certain: a Gremlins prequel series is on the way.
According to Variety, WarnerMedia. and Amblin Entertainment are developing an animated Gremlins series for Warner’s upcoming standalone streaming service. The series will take place before the events of the 1984 film and will focus on Gizmo’s adventures with his original caretaker, Mr. Wing in his younger days. Mr. Wing, portrayed by the late Keye Luke in the original film, was an old man in Gremlins, and the new series will be a “period piece” where he is much younger. That could place the setting of the new series possibly as early as the 1920s, depending on how old Mr. Wing is supposed to be (Luke was 80 in 1984), and presents the question: How long do Mogwai live for? Though this is just speculation on our part, the series could show firsthand how Mr. Wing came to understand the threat posed by gremlins and the importance of the rules for raising Mogwai by showing that he once made the same mistakes that Billy did decades later.
Tze Chun is attached to write and executive produce the series. Chun previously wrote and directed the thriller Cold Comes the Night and has worked as a writer on network series Once Upon a Time and Gotham. WarnerMedia has not yet given a name or release date for their new streaming service, but it’s possible a beta version could arrive later this year. However, according to Variety, any original programming — including the Gremlins series — would not be on the service until 2020 at the earliest.
It’s unclear what this series would mean for a prospective third Gremlins film. This could be Warner’s low stakes way of testing the waters for interest in reviving the franchise in a bigger way, or it could be a signal that the studio has moved on from the idea of another live-action movie. Whatever the case, it looks like Gremlins is finally coming back after 30 years away — just don’t get it wet.