Gremlins 3 is something that has been talked about so much, so often now that it is easily starting to feel like something that will never happen. However, Hollywood is currently pretty big on making long-overdue sequels, so there is still hope. It is still in development apparently, because star Zach Galligan recently offered an update on the status of the movie, and a pretty in-depth one at that.
Bleeding Cool recently caught up with the star of Gremlins and Gremlins 2 and asked him about the long-awaited sequel (pushing 30 years now) and he was more than happy to offer up any information he had. First, he confirmed that both Steven Spielberg and Chris Columbus are involved. Moreover, it sounds like Chris Columbus wants to sort of redeem the franchise following what happened with Gremlins 2, which he didn't direct. Here is what Zach Galligan had to say.
"I think you can tell what's happening with Gremlins 3 the same way you could tell with Gremlins 2. It's the same people and they tend to work the same way. There is a huge time gap but it's Warner Bros, Spielberg and Chris Columbus. Now, Chris Columbus didn't have anything to do with Gremlins 2 - because by his own admission he didn't see a franchise. He kind of regrets it I believe, but he was 'one and done' I don't think he cared for Gremlins 2 and the direction some of the characters went in, so he's kind of wrestled control back. Everything I'm quoting is stuff he's publicly said."
Passion tends to be good for a project, so if Zach Galligan is right and Chris Columbus really does want to sort of take ownership of the franchise again with Gremlins 3, that could definitely be a good thing. Now, as for what Gremlins 3 would be exactly? He couldn't give any specifics, but he did say in terms of the approach, it would mirror what Disney and Lucasfilm did with Star Wars: The Force Awakens and he confirmed that Carl Ellsworth is currently working on the script, at least to the best of his knowledge.
"He (Chris Columbus) has been aggressively working on a Gremlins 3 that takes place in present day. He tantalisingly says there will be some NEW characters and some OLD characters - I guess in the style of a Force Awakens type sequel - One thing we know for sure is they have a writer on board. The only insight I can give is the following: There was a 6 year gap between Gremlins and Gremlins 2 most of that time was spent with them writing and rejecting ideas and re-writing. One of the ideas that was rejected was 'gremlins in Vegas' they went with that for 18 months and felt it was too expensive. Eventually they came up with the tower idea, where essentially I'm working for Donald Trump our new President! That took six years to happen. Carl Ellsworth, has been apparently working on the script for a year and a half now. If no new names start appearing on the IMDB listing then that means they like the script. If new names start appearing, y'know Kevin Smith appears, it means it's back in rewrites with a new vision. Warner Bros definitely wants it, Chris Columbus wants to do it because he'd like to undo the Gremlins 2 thing as he wasn't thrilled with it and Spielberg wants to do it I imagine - because he's Spielberg - and why wouldn't he want to do it. Once he's found the right script he can attach his name and make a ton of money. Not that there's anything wrong with that."
So even though nothing sounds overly concrete or like there is any serious traction on Gremlins 3, but it sounds like it is definitely being worked on and the right people are interested in doing it. Everyone wants a franchise and Warner Bros. is heavily franchise focused right now, so if they could do a Force Awakens style reboot/sequel and milk some more sequels out of Gremlins, that would be good for everyone. That said, Zach Galligan isn't sure any of those sequels will involve him. Here is what he had to say.
"Right, they want it to happen, whether I'm in it or not I have no idea. I've had people say it's kind of hard to see how they wouldn't use you and Gizmo, but I have no idea. Of course, there's always a way. They could exclude me completely, you never know. But, here's the thing; they started shooting Gremlins 2 on memorial day weekend 1989 around 27th May, I got the offer to do Gremlins 2 in February. It's 3 months before the shoot commenced and they still haven't contacted me or Phoebe (Cates) I'm sure it's a negotiating ploy, "its up, it's running, here's the money, take it or leave it?" ha."
The original Gremlins was a big box office hit in 1984, grossing $153 million, which was a lot more impressive at the time. Gremlins 2: The New Batch enjoyed much more modest success, but it was still successful. But the first movie recently celebrated its 30th anniversary and Gremlins 2 is fast approaching that mark, so maybe it is simply too late, but with Warner Bros. still developing it anything is possible. If the right idea comes up or the right star gets attached, things could get moving fast.