No, we are not in a time machine that is taking us back to the 80s. This news is real and in our current timeline as HBO Max is delivering a Gremlins spin-off series titled Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai. The animated show will feature half-hour-long episodes that will deliver a prequel to the classic movies.
Coming from Warner Bros. Animation and Amblin TV, the Gremlins prequel will take place in the 1920s in Shanghai. The story will follow a 10-year-old Sam Wing who meets a young Mogwai called Gizmo. The cast of characters will unite to take Gizmo to his family and uncover an ancient treasure. The heroes’ quest will attract monsters from Chinese folklore and a power-hungry industrialist who counts evil gremlins among his minions.
The Hollywood Reporter got more details on distribution for the animated Gremlins series. While it can be seen on HBO Max, it will hit cable by premiering on Cartoon Network. It will not be the only animated series appearing on both, as both platforms will feature other animated series like Aquaman: King of Atlantis, Unicorn: Warriors Eternal, and Batman: Caped Crusader. In addition, Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai will be a part of a family-friendly block of shows and movies on Sunday evenings called ACME Nights, which hit on September 19 for the network and in 2022 for the streaming platform.
Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai will star Izaac Wang (Good Boys) as Sam Wing, Gabrielle Nevaeh Green (That Girl Lay Lay) as Elle, James Hong (Kung Fu Panda: The Paws of Destiny) as Grandpa, A.J. LoCascio (The Witcher: Night of the Wolf) as Gizmo, Matthew Rhys (The Americans) as Riley Greene, Ming-Na Wen (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) as Fong Wing, and BD Wong (Mr. Robot) as Hon Wing.
Tze Chun (Gotham) will executive produce and write Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai. Anna Christopher (Scream: The TV Series), Peter Chen (The Resident), Brendan Hay (Robot Chicken), and Sarah Nerboso (Harvey Girls Forever!) will co-write. Chun will executive produce with Justin Falvey, Darryl Frank, and Hay. Patrick Inness, Dan Krall, Sam Register, and Danielle Witz will produce. From the information so far, it seems nobody from the original movies is attached to the prequel cartoon.
The original 1984 original Gremlins was directed by Joe Dante (Small Soldiers) and written by Chris Columbus (The Goonies). In 1990, Dante reunited with stars Zach Galligan and Phoebe Cates for the sequel, Gremlins 2: The New Batch.
The franchise has grown since with plenty of spin-offs and now the upcoming animated prequel series. Currently, a Gremlins 3 movie is being in the works. It will be written by Carl Ellsworth (Disturbia), but not much is known about it yet.
Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai will release sometime in 2022, although there is no exact time frame for its premiere. We do know it will run for a total of 10 episodes.