WarnerMedia continues to add more original content to their upcoming streaming service, granting a direct-to-series order to Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai, an animated prequel to the 1984 classic horror-comedy film. The show is a joint production of Amblin Television and Warner Bros. Animation.
The original Gremlins film was a massive box office success, bringing in over $150 million on an $11 million budget. It spawned one sequel, 1990's Gremlins 2: The New Batch, which earned only $41 million against a budget of $50 million. That resulted in near-term plans for additional entries in the series being sidelined. Since 2013, however, feature film resurrection efforts have gone in and out of development. Writer Chris Columbus said previously that the plan had become to reboot the series. With this streaming series now approaching, it seems that any plans for another film have been shelved for the time being.
Set in 1920's Shanghai, the story of Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai will focus on how a 10-year-old Sam Wing first met the young Mogwai named Gizmo. Wing is the younger version of a character in the original known as Grandfather (played by Keye Luke) - the antique shop proprietor and rightful owner of the cute but complicated creature. Joined by a young street thief named Elle, Sam and Gizmo journey through the countryside in a quest to return Gizmo to his family. Along the way the trio encounter a range of monsters and spirits from Chinese folklore and uncover a legendary treasure, all the while being hounded by a villainous industrialist who boasts his own army of Gremlins. The series will consist of 10 half-hour episodes. Check out an official preview image for the series below, courtesy of WarnerMedia.
Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai will be written by Gotham and Once Upon a Time scribe Tze Chun, and executive produced by Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey, the duo behind The Americans, Animaniacs, and Amazing Stories. Sam Register, Chun Hay and Brendan Hey will co-executive produce. The animated series' development was first uncovered back in February, but at the time both studios had declined official comment.
WarnerMedia has said that they will launch their service with the existing content catalog from TBS, TNT, truTV, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and CNN, and would add original programming starting in 2020. While Warner Bros. and parent company AT&T consider what to do with superhero-focused streaming service, DC Universe, finding original content for WarnerMedia continues to be a priority for the newcomer. So far only Dune: The Sisterhood, Tokyo Vice, and Love Life have also been officially announced as heading into production. If Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai turns out to resonate with viewers, it may help invigorate sequel film efforts too.