Gremlins 3 has no formal production date, but Chris Columbus and Zach Galligan have both expressed interest in a third movie.
We know the rules: Don’t get them wet. Don’t expose them to bright light. Don’t feed them after midnight. Pretty simple. But what we haven’t known is when we would get another movie in this franchise, when a Gremlins 3 could actually hit the big or small screen. There have been hints about it over the years without anything definitive.
There are other things planned around these characters, but is it actually an upcoming movie? Let’s take a look at what is happening (or not) with Gremlins 3 and what to expect from the franchise.
GREMLINS: THE SECRETS OF MOGWAI IS A PREQUEL SERIES, NOT GREMLINS 3
Though it isn’t Gremlins 3, there was a new story in this franchise and universe. That is Gremlins: The Secrets of Mogwai which was originally slated to debut on Cartoon Network in the spring of 2022 but finally hit in May 2023.
This story is a 10-episode series that detailed the backstory around Gizmo and how Sam Wing eventually came about the little guy. Remember, Wing is who owned the store in the original Gremlins where the Mogwai was sold to the Peltzer family.
This show goes back in time to learn about the creature and some of the lore around how things can break bad for this species. It takes place in China and definitely has a supernatural element to it with the pair’s adventures.
Critics really liked what they got with Gremlins: The Secrets of Mogwai and the show is currently sitting at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. There is already a second season on the way.
THERE HAD BEEN PLANS FOR GREMLINS 3
As it stands now, today, Gremlins 3 is on the way, sort of. See, it’s been standing that way for a long time. The writer of the original, Chris Columbus, explained to Slashfilm in a 2017 interview that his script was complete and that it is more reminiscent of the tone of the original Gremlins than the wild and crazy affair of the second movie.
It should be noted, Columbus did not pen the second film, as those duties fell to screenwriter Charles S. Haas.
Chris Columbus talked about his plans for Gremlins 3 as often as possible. He told Collider that the movie will retain its original feel, and that means the creatures will not be CGI.
There seems to be a misunderstanding as to what exactly a Gremlins 3 will look like. According to Galligan, a third movie would be a sequel to the first two. But according to writer Columbus, the third movie will be a reboot. So, which is it?
Back in 2015 (we know, that is a while back), Galligan answered the question in a Q & A session at London’s Prince Charles Cinema (via Games Radar) stating, “It’s not going to be a reboot. It will not be a remake in any way, shape, or form. Chris Columbus has come out and said that the first film is very near and dear to his heart and as long as he is alive it will never be remade.”
Columbus, though, followed this up in an interview saying, “Gremlins we are actively talking about that. So that’s what I am working on with my production company 1492 Pictures. It will almost definitely be a reboot.”
So, what is Gremlins 3? A sequel or a reboot? We may not know until the film is actually shot. But Columbus also told SlashFilm he likes his Gremlins 3 script. “I’m really proud of the script,” Columbus said. “It is as twisted and dark as anything, so we’ll see. It’s always a budgetary conversation when we’re going to shoot it. I wanted to go back to the really twisted sensibility of the first movie. I found that was a very easy place for me to fall back into and start writing again so hopefully we’ll see that movie soon.”
But these quotes are from years ago. It’s been relatively quiet on this front for some time now. That’s because there are other Gremlins plans, but they don’t include a movie.
THE CAST OF THE THIRD MOVIE COULD INCLUDE ZACH GALLIGAN AND OTHERS FROM THE ORIGINAL
It is unknown who, if any, from the original will return for Gremlins 3. Zack Galligan’s Billy Peltzer may be the one “for sure” back for the third since he was the main star in the first two movies.
In fact, Galligan had been one leading the charge to bring Gremlins back to fans. His Twitter campaign started (or continued) the push to bring Gizmo and company back.
The actor even went so far as to give fans a peek at what a Gremlins 3 would look like when he did a Mountain Dew commercial in character. It’s surprisingly charming and makes it easy to see that a third film could be a great addition to the franchise.
So, when Gremlins 3 is made, look for Galligan to reprise his role. But what about the others?
Unfortunately, a couple of actors from the original are no longer with us, those being Hoyt Axton (Billy’s father who brings Gizmo to his son) and Dick Miller (Murry Futterman). Others are still around but because of their age have not been on the screen for quite some time.
One big question to answer would be the status of Phoebe Cates for Gremlins 3. She played Galligan’s girlfriend, Kate Beringer, in both movies so would she be willing to come back for a third? There are other actors from the original who could play a part in Gremlins 3. Judge Reinhold and Corey Feldman would be easy gets, most likely, if they want them.
Steven Spielberg brought Gremlins to life 36 years ago in 1984 and while he was the executive producer, the film was written by screenwriter/director Chris Columbus (The Goonies, Adventures in Babysitting) and directed by Joe Dante.
The success of Gremlins hatched a sequel, Gremlins: The New Batch, which saw Dante back in the director’s chair and since that time there has been plenty of talk of a threequel.
GIZMO MIGHT NOT SURVIVE A GREMLINS 3
One thing we do know, well, sort of, would be the fate of that loveable Gizmo. If you remember, it all started with Gizmo and the Gremlin creatures created from his body.
According to Columbus, Gizmo may not survive Gremlins 3. He told Slashfilm, “I think [Gizmo’s death] is probably a good idea, to be honest,” he said. “Too many people are dying.” Say it isn’t so! That isn’t a good way to motivate fans to want to see this movie happen.
THERE IS NO RELEASE DATE FOR GREMLINS 3
With so many unknowns, it should not be a surprise to learn there is currently no release date for Gremlins 3. Given that the film does not have an official green light and delays to studio productions in general over the last couple of years, we might be in an extended holding pattern here.
It’s been almost four decades since the original came out and more than 30 years since the sequel. With that context, what’s another two or three years? One thing is for sure. Writer Chris Columbus and actor Zach Galligan aren’t giving up hope.