gremlins 3

After Gremlins 2 turned the original film on its head – with Leonard Maltin reviewing Gremlins 1 in the movie and Gremlins overtaking the projection booth until Hulk Hogan stops them – it seemed to be the last word on the franchise. Decades later, talk of Gremlins 3 is finally real and original screenwriter Chris Columbus has written a script.

Speaking with /Film about the festival hit Patti Cake$, which he produced, Columbus said his script asks a question which may have been on fans’ minds since the original: if all the gremlins come from getting Gizmo wet and feeding his mogwai offspring after midnight, should Gizmo be eliminated?

“Very good observation,” Columbus said. “That comes up in the movie, certainly.”

That raises a number of ethical issues. Gizmo himself has done nothing wrong. It’s human negligence that allows him to get soaked and lets the mischievous mogwai transform. Still, even Columbus thinks cute and loving Gizmo might not be worth the risk.

“I think it probably is a good idea to be honest with you,” Columbus said. “Too many people are dying.”

Columbus says his script returns to the macabre tone of the original film, whose monster murders were so intense that it, along with Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, pressured the MPAA to create the PG-13 rating. Gremlins 2 was rated PG-13

“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.”

Gremlins fans are also worried that a new film would use CGI gremlins in place of the puppets. Columbus assured fans the film would still use puppets, but visual effects could make puppetry easier to achieve than it was in 1984.

“Oh, without a doubt, minimal CGI,” Columbus said. “CGI will enable us to remove wires and make the puppeteers lives a little easier. It was brutal. It was like a marathon every night for those guys. In the bar scene alone there were 18 [or] 20 people behind the bar. No one had any space to move. It was just hellish for those guys so CGI will simplify that a little bit but it’s all puppets.”

Gremlins 3 is now in development at Warner Brothers. Come back on Thursday for our full interview with Columbus on his production company Maiden Voyage, discovering new talent, and looking back at his own career.

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