There’s great nostalgia for the Amblin films of the ‘80’s, especially Back to the Future and Goonies. Gremlins was a big hit in its time, and outraged parents with its gooey creature FX, which by today’s standards are nothing, but it helped create the PG-13 rating.
Steven Spielberg had always wanted to make a horror film, and he let director Joe Dante run wild with Gremlins so the big Spiel’s family friendly reputation wouldn’t be directly harmed. (Yes, Gremlins isn’t really a horror film, but the film began with this conceit).
So with every single movie in the history of mankind being remade, it shouldn’t be any surprise to learn that Gremlins has been up for either a third movie, or a reboot at Warner Brothers. According to Giant Freakin Robot, the latest development on this is Seth Grahame-Smith (Dark Shadows, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) is writing the script for an all-new Gremlins flick. In addition, Grahame-Smith is writing the script for the Fantastic Four reboot, and he may also write the long awaited sequel to Bettlejuice.
Robot tells us that Spielberg has been involved in trying to get a new Gremlins off the ground, and apparently an Amblin movie can’t be rebooted, or have a sequel made, without the Big Spiel’s approval.
It will be interesting to see if a new model Gremlins will have an audience today. We’re not so sure ourselves because it was a big movie nearly thirty years ago, but today’s audiences may not care about a new reinvention of the franchise unless it’s done with an interesting new twist, or something different this time around. (In fact, Gremlins ran out of steam over twenty years ago when the sequel came out and didn’t do well).
I do recall seeing Gremlins opening weekend, and it was great fun to see it rile up a crowd. And seeing it again some years ago, it held up fairly well all things considered, especially the haunting story about Phoebe Cates’s dad dying in the chimney trying to play Santa Claus for the family.
But could Gremlins be an 80’s phenom that will stay stuck back in the eighties? We think a lot of this will also depend on the creature effects, because the OG Gremlins didn’t have CG, and they looked great as physical models that interacted with the actors. Too much CG could definitely spoil the stew on this one, and if Gremlins will eventually come back, it has to have some of the spirit of the first one. This won’t be easy to recapture, but that spark is important to bring back memories for fans of the original, and make today’s audiences understand why it deserves to be resurrected in the first place.