Despite only appearing in two movies, the Gremlins remain a fan-favorite, with the first movie, in particular, having gone on to become a Christmas staple for many. Discussions surrounding a third installment have been going on for some time now, but sadly Gremlins 3 has never come to fruition. Well, screenwriter Carl Ellsworth has now revealed a few details regarding a draft he penned for Gremlins 3 which had been in development as recently as three years ago.
The idea was to adhere the third movie closer to the 1984 original, with the tone of Gremlins 3 more in line with the family-friendly horror and less of the slapstick seen in the 1990 sequel. Carl Ellsworth had this to say about the movie that wasn’t.
“(It) was thought of as a direct sequel mostly to the first film-not discounting the second one by any stretch, but I saw it as very much a passing-the-baton story, staying in the tone of the original. I think that helped get me the job: I said, ‘Yeah, there’s a lot of humor in the movie, helped by the classic Jerry Goldsmith score that gives us a license to laugh, but it’s first and foremost a horror movie.'”
It is the horror-first-comedy-second aspect of the first Gremlins that has led to it standing the test of time and being so well-regarded by so many, and thus it makes sense why Ellsworth would want to return to that balance. Ultimately, Ellsworth wanted the third movie to go back to what makes the Gremlins such a troublesome pet and dangerous nuisance in the first place.
“These little creatures-what they’re really doing, they’re cold-blooded little murderers, you know? They’re psychotic little creatures that are killing everybody. So that’s where it all started….I tried to preserve the humor, but at the same time, I was starting with the foundation of this being a horror movie, which I was really thrilled about.”
Ellsworth then added that the plan was to have original star Zach Galligan reprise his role of Billy Peltzer and that he and Gizmo would have taken on the role of aged soldiers returning to war akin to Han Solo and Chewbacca in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In fact, Gizmo would have been very important to the story, with the third movie also delving deeper into the origin of the Gremlins.
“Gizmo was at the very core of the story; it explored more of the mythology and the history of the Gremlins.”
Ellsworth certainly sounds like he was on the right track with his ideas for a third Gremlins movie, and hopefully audiences will eventually get to see some semblance of it. Whilst his exploration of the Gremlin’s history has not yet made it to the big screen, the upcoming animated series Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai sounds like it will explore some of the same ideas.
Set in 1920s Shanghai, Secrets of the Mogwai will tell the story of how 10-year-old Sam Wing (the future shop owner Mr. Wing in the 1984 movie) met the young Mogwai called Gizmo. Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai will debut on HBO Max sometime in 2021. This comes to us from ComingSoon.net.