Back in 1984, a cuddly bunch of stuffed toys come to life took a dark turn in Joe Dante‘s Gremlins. The darkly humored Christmastime comedy, which was more in the vein of a Shane Black script than something from screenwriter Chris Columbus, was enough of a hit (making back more than ten times its reported budget) to warrant a sequel six years later with Gremlins 2: The New Batch. However, the franchise has kind of stalled out since then and fans haven’t seen a Mogwai in earnest for nearly 20 years. That’s about to change.
Variety reports that a Gremlins animated series is intended to premiere on WarnerMedia’s streaming service, which is expected to launch later this year. Touted as a period piece set before the original film’s timeline, the series would follow a young Mr. Wing as he travels around the world with the cute and cuddly Mogwai, Gizmo. The late Keye Luke played the part of the elderly “grandfather” in both of the feature films, so one would imagine that Warner Bros. Television and Amblin Television will be looking to cast a young adult male Chinese actor to voice the role this time around.
Writing and executive producing the series is Tze Chun, of Gotham and Once Upon a Time fame; Chun also wrote and directed 2009’s Children of Invention and 2013’s Cold Comes the Night, and also co-founded the comic book publisher TKO Studios. One would imagine that Chun is hard at work on the series since WarnerMedia expects to launch its unnamed streaming service later this year. Gremlins would make a great launch title, but unless they’re really rushing the animation or developing a short-run first season, don’t expect this to hit the air until 2020. At least that’s when one WarnerMedia executive, Kevin Reilly, Chief Creative Officer of Turner and direct-to-consumer, said we could expect to see original content on the platform. Fans can also expect a combination of original shows based on existing WarnerMedia IP and re-airs of existing content, while also shifting some of their homegrown properties away from current streaming platforms like Netflix.
However long it takes, a Gremlins animated series could be the holiday present we’ve all been waiting for.