Mogwai rules have always been suspect, and ever since the original Gremlins debuted in 1984, fans have wondered what would happen if a Mogwai crossed time zones while eating after midnight. A reject script for the long-awaited Gremlins 3 attempts to answer this question. It puts Gizmo on an airplane, and one lone complimentary peanut causes havoc 20,000 Feet in the air.
Best known for penning the shooting draft for Freddy vs. Jason in 2003, screenwriting duo Damian Shannon and Mark Swift pitched their ideas for Gremlins 3 to Warner Bros. But the script was rejected. Now, the pair are sharing the first two pages from their work on Twitter, and it does attempt to answer the airplane/timezone question with aplomb.
The opening scene is a direct homage to the classic The Twilight Zone episode Terror at 20,000 Feet, which puts a Gremlin on the wing of a plane. This episode was remade as part of the 1983 anthology Twilight Zone: The Movie, with this segment coming from Mad Max: Fury Road director George Miller. Only here, it is a dropped complimentary peanut that unleashes the Gremlins hiding deep within the Mogwai psyche.
The movie opens in Tibet, with a scared, tattooed man infiltrating a small village, where he steals a familiar wooden box from a group of monks. After a gun fight ensues, he rushes the wooden box to the airport, where he bribes costume officials to let him bring it home. On the plane, the man who has just absconded with the box holds it in his lap, eating a power bar, trying to stay awake.
Purring comes from inside the box. Curious, the scarred man opens it to find two familiar looking Mogwai inside. One of them is Gizmo. The other one is hungry. It starts making noise. To get it to shut up, the man almost feeds the Mogwai part of his power bar. But then rethinks his decision. He asks the flight attendant if it's midnight yet. But it's hard to tell as they are crossing timezones. The weary passenger decides feeding the Mogwai is against his better judgement, stowing the wooden box under his seat so he can go to sleep.
A few isles down, a kid with a bag of peanuts struggles to get it open. When the bag finally tears, peanuts are sent flying in the air. One of the peanuts rolls under the seats, stopping at the wooden box. A tiny hand comes out, grabs the peanut, pulls it inside, and we here crunching. This is followed by Gizmo's signature, 'Uh, ohhhhh!'
Just prior to the airplane's landing, the scarred man awakens to reach for his wooden box. He finds a hole in it, surrounded by familiar green slime. But Gizmo is still inside. The other Mogwai is gone. This cuts to the plane's cockpit. Something has gotten inside the control panel and damaged the electronic system. We see the familiar green arm of the Gremlin.
Back in his seat, the tattooed man stands in terror. He rushes for the cockpit as the stewardess tries to calm him down. The plane lurches, oxygen masks fall, and an alarm sounds. The plane is shaking. Everyone is doomed! The plane is forced to land in a suburban neighborhood, crashing into cars ass it careens down the street. Miraculously, everyone aboard lives.
Everyone in the neighborhood runs out to look at the wreckage. One teenage boy finds the wooden box holding Gizmo. The creature is injured and shivering. The boy hurries the odd animal back to his house where he plans to nurse it back to health. He has no idea about the Mogwai rules. Back at the crashed plane, the military shows up. They haul the scarred man away in a black SUV. There is a cover-up going on. When the government officials reach the young boy's door, he decided not to tell them about his new found pet.
As you can see, Damian Shannon and Mark Swift do answer the timezone question. Yes, if its midnight where a Mogwai is, it will turn into a gremlin after it eats. As for the rest of the rules? Those are thrown right out the window. And it's obvious that the teen boy is going to give Gizmo water and expose him to bright sunlight at some point. Sticking the Mogwai back in suburbia hints that this would have been more of a straight up remake, with a familiar story playing out. There is no holiday setting, but we would have seen the Gremlins destroy another community.
As of right now, it is believed that the Gremlins reboot is taking a Jurassic World approach. The movie will exist in the same universe as the first two movies, picking and pulling the mythology it wants to keep intact. This means that some of the original characters may return. Though we're not sure when these creatures will be back in theaters. Chris Columbus, who wrote the original movie, claims this isn't a remake. But will take place thirty years later. The process has been slow, because they want to get everything just right. And it sounds like putting Gizmo on a plane just wasn't the way they wanted to go.