Hollywood is running out of cult 1980s movies to reboot, yet somehow Joe Dante's Gremlins has managed to fly under the radar to date. Sure, there've been rumors of a developing (3D) remake over the years, but it's failed to progress beyond the speculation stage (even while Footloose, Red Dawn and Fright Night remakes have rolled on down the line).
Warner Bros. is negotiating with Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment, in order to get the ball rolling on Gremlins 2.0 (again). However, insiders are claiming that this particular round of discussions may, indeed, culminate with the project moving into pre-production.
Gremlins is the 1984 horror-comedy that introduced audiences to Dante's reptilian monsters - and their cuddly parent, the Mogwai Gizmo - before inspiring a sequel and multiple imitator 'creature features' in the accompanying years (Critters, etc.); moreover, Dante's film and Spielberg's Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom are historically credited for leading the MPAA to create the PG-13 Rating. Gremlins has since gone on to become a cult classic that many nostalgic movie fans annually revisit around Christmastime (since that's when it take place), despite such violent content and darkly-satirical undertones.
Screenwriter Chris Columbus has spoken about returning to the Gremlins-verse:
“It would be fun to go back and revisit. Something like Gremlins, which is a movie I really like, I think it’s impossible to recreate in a CGI environment. I think it will inevitably lose some of its charm. Those are edgy Muppets in a sense and you don’t want to lose that sense of anarchy that those gremlins had, because behind the scenes are 25 puppeteers making them to come to life.”
It's possible that Spielberg (who executive produced Gremlins) has similar feelings as Columbus; though, Vulture reports the task of getting him onboard for a reboot has "always proved too daunting a financial prospect," so the problem might just be cost, rather than creative concerns. Their sources believe the new talks could result in a deal, but warn to not begin holding your breath yet (or letting out a sigh of relief, if you were hoping this reboot might never happen).
Columbus has a point about a Gremlins reboot possibly failing to recapture "that sense of anarchy" that makes the original linger in people's memories. Dante's film has appeared on two Screen Rant lists - 'Craziest '80s Kids Movies' and 'Movie Moments That Scared Us Forever' - for similar reasons.
The current mood in Hollywood makes it all the less likely that a reboot would take similar risks; unless, perhaps, the folks behind the original movie are involved with the remake (a la Evil Dead)? It depends on what Warner Bros. heads want, should they be interested in a (crazy) creepy kids' movie or aiming the new Gremlins more at adults. That's assuming the project does indeed get the go-ahead signal...
We'll keep you posted on the Gremlins reboot as the story develops.