gremlins prequel

WarnerMedia is ready to reveal the Secrets of the Mogwai with their new Gremlins prequel. The animated series is set in 1920s Shanghai, and will show viewers how Mr. Wing, the shopkeeper from the first movie, first discovered Gizmo the Mogwai. While fans have been clamoring for a third Gremlins movie for years, this might be the next best thing.

Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai will hail from Amblin Television in association with Warner Bros. Animation, which means it will likely end up on the WarnerMedia streaming service that’s on the way. Here’s the synopsis of the 10-episode, half-hour show:

In the animated television adaptation, we travel back to 1920s Shanghai to reveal the story of how 10-year-old Sam Wing (future shop owner Mr. Wing in the 1984 movie) met the young Mogwai called Gizmo. Along with a teenage street thief named Elle, Sam and Gizmo take a perilous journey through the Chinese countryside, encountering, and sometimes battling, colorful monsters and spirits from Chinese folklore. On their quest to return Gizmo to his family and uncover a legendary treasure, they are pursued by a power-hungry industrialist and his growing army of evil Gremlins.

The series will be written by Tze Chun and executive produced by Darryl Frank, Justin Falvey, and Sam Register, with Chun and Brendan Hay serving as co-EP. Dan Krall will serve as supervising producer.

I’m sure this news will excite hardcore Gremlins fans, and I hope it turns out to be an entertaining series. All that said, the fact that this is animated saps some of the magic out of the whole thing. Part of what made the first Gremlins, and its sequel, so memorable was that they were set in a real-world setting, with practical effects making Gizmo and the gremlins feel real. Turning them into cartoons immediately removes that element. But since there’s been next to no real movement on any sort of Gremlins follow-up, this might be the closest fans will get to returning to the world of the franchise. I do like that the series is going to be expanding the mythology a bit more, adding in “colorful monsters and spirits from Chinese folklore” to the mix. There’s potential to create new, exciting things there.

There’s no premiere date set for Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai yet, nor is there casting info. We’ll learn more as the show gets closer towards actual production.

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