It's been a while since we've heard any positive news on the progress of Gremlins 3, but in a recent interview, the screenwriter of the original Gremlins reveals he has written a full script for the second sequel. Chris Columbus (Pixels, Harry Potter) confirmed that a full screenplay exists and that it returns to the slightly dark territory of the first film, directed by Joe Dante in 1984.
The last time we saw the Mogwai and their mischievous alter-egos wreak havoc on the big screen was in 1990, with Dante's sequel Gremlins 2: The New Batch. An altogether more wacky venture than the original film, it saw the critters tear up New York with genetically enhanced powers, and making time to break the fourth wall and invade the projector booth of the cinema screening the film. Columbus was not involved with the writing of that movie, with his screenplay on the 1984 original being considerably darker, having some of the creatures succumbing to pretty gruesome demises. It was reportedly one of the films (along with Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom) that led to the creation of the PG-13 certificate for films. Rumors that a second sequel was in development have been circulating for years, with original star Zach Galligan recently stating if it happened it would never be a remake/reboot and that Columbus was looking to basically ignore events in Gremlins 2.
Nothing substantial has been heard since Galligan's comments, but in a recent interview with Slashfilm Columbus has indeed confirmed that he has produced a finished script for Gremlins 3 and hopes to see it on the screen before too long:
"I'm really proud of the script, 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."
In addition to that news, Columbus was also asked as to whether it might not be an option to simply "eliminate" the lovable source of the Mogwai infestations, namely Gizmo himself?
"Very good observation. That comes up in the movie, certainly ... I think it probably is a good idea to be honest with you. Too many people are dying"
While that last comment was probably tongue-in-cheek to some level (fans would surely be up in arms), it at least points to the fact that Columbus is indeed returning to a darker tone than was presented in the knockabout first sequel. During the interview, he was also keen to reassure the potential audience that the Gremlins would be visualised by puppetry, and that CGI would only be used to enhance their appearance. This is good news for those fearing that graphics would rob the central characters of their charm and interaction with the cast.
Beyond those updates from Columbus, not much else is known about the film at the moment. It is reportedly in development with Warner Bros., but there is no information as to the director (very unlikely to be Joe Dante), the cast, or a release date. But the confirmed existence of the script is definitely a step forward, and we'll bring any further updates on Gremlins 3 as we get them.