Gremlins Star Confirmed to Return for Secrets of the Mogwai Animated Series

While a live-action Gremlins 3 might not be in the cards quite yet, star of the first two films Zach Galligan was announced today at San Diego Comic-Con 2022 to be making his return to the franchise with the upcoming animated series Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai. With the new series set long before Galligan's Billy character was even born, he won't be reprising that role, but knowing he's involved at all will surely delight fans. The Secrets of the Mogwai panel also confirmed that the series will guest star Sandra Oh, Randall Park, George Takei, and Bowen Yang. Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai is expected to premiere later this year on HBO Max and Cartoon Network.

"I can't say too much but because it's 1920s China, I'm not playing Billy because he wasn't around," Galligan shared at the Comic-Con panel. "So I'm playing this cool character. It was really fun and amazing to work with a new group of creative people who are taking a fresh look at the franchise and are expanding the mythology-who knows what they're going to add. Maybe they'll add a new transformation or a new rule we don't know about yet... I think Gremlins fans are going to eat it up."

The series is described, "A period piece set in 1920s Shanghai, the series reveals how a 10-year-old Sam Wing -- who becomes the future shop owner Mr. Wing in the 1984 movie -- met the young Mogwai called Gizmo. They strike up a lifelong friendship as Wing attempts to return Gizmo to his family, encountering and sometimes battling colorful monsters and spirits from Chinese folklore. Meanwhile, the two and street thief Elle are pursued by a power-hungry industrialist and his growing army of evil Gremlins." 

Previously announced cast members include Ming-Na Wen, James Hong, BD Wong, and Izaac Wang.

Galligan previously reprised his role as Billy for a Mountain Dew commercial, in which he got to share the screen with the beloved Gizmo. The actor recalled how the experience made him only more enthusiastic about one day getting to develop an actual Gremlins 3.

"So now, fast forward to this commercial, and it's 30 -- you're talking three decades later and it's a completely different technological world," Galligan noted to of special effects advancements. "And you have the dialogue pre-synced with the mouth movements, with the animatronics having 37 different cables for parts of his face. This thing and that thing, if someone sees the cable, it doesn't matter. There's this new thing called 'CGI' where you can just erase the cable. It's just exponentially easier to do stuff with this technology. It just makes me feel like, if it's Gremlins 3 and there were a whole bunch of sequences with me and Gizmo, whereas the first one took us two months to shoot, I think this time it would take us about 10 days. It just would be so much faster."

Stay tuned for details on Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai before it premieres on HBO Max and Cartoon Network later this year.

Are you excited that Galligan is returning to the series? Let us know in the comments or contact Patrick Cavanaugh directly on Twitter to talk all things horror and Star Wars!