For the longest time, fans of Gremlins and the weird but satisfying sequel Gremlins 2: The New Batch have wanted to see the Mogwai and the slimy monsters they turn into make a return to the big screen. While there were rumblings of Gremlins 3 for years, Warner Bros. is instead taking the franchise to streaming with an animated prequel series Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai. That likely means Gremlins 3 is dead in the water, at least for now. However, writer Carl Ellsworth recently talked about his approach to the abandoned sequel.
ComingSoon.net got a chance to talk with Carl Ellsworth recently as he’s making the publicity rounds to promote the upcoming release of Unhinged. Though he wasn’t willing to divulge any plot details, he did mention that Zach Galligan was eager to come back as Billy Peltzer, and their dynamic would have been the Gremlins equivalent of seeing Han Solo and Chewbacca returning in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
As for the overall vibe of the movie, the sequel would have been more in the style of the original movie instead of the campy, cartoony sequel. Ellsworth explained:
“[Gremlins 3] 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.’”
The original Gremlins takes a small town monster movie and injects some dark comedy into it. But one big reason for the movie’s more comedic tone, despite the twisted creature violence, is Jerry Goldsmith’s almost circus-like score. That kind of tone is hard to pin down, but Ellsworth tried to make it funny as well as scary. He added:
“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.”
If Ellsworth was able to bring Gremlins back with that kind of vibe, it’s truly a shame that we might not get to see it come together. Ellsworth himself is especially disappointed that the project isn’t moving forward:
“The last time I touched it is now going on three years ago. I was so excited to do it. I got the chance to work with Chris, and I loved the story we came up with. I’m so bummed that it hasn’t seen the light of day yet. What might have been, what could have been!”
Perhaps there’s a chance that Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai could reignite interest in seeing Gremlins 3 come together. But even if that happens, there’s no guarantee that it will be Ellsworth’s script that makes it on screen.
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