Since debuting in the 1980s Gizmo the Mogwai and the mean-spirited Gremlins have become a fan-favorite despite only producing two movies total. Work has been attempted on a third film starring the creatures for sometime, and since Warnermedia is moving full steam ahead on an animated prequel series it seems like another movie in the franchise won't be happening anytime soon. That in mind, screenwriter Carl Ellsworth has spilled the beans on a draft he penned of Gremlins 3 which was in development at the studio as recently as three years ago. Speaking with ComingSoon.net, Ellsworth revealed that tonally the film was more in line with 1984 film and less so its 1990 slapstick follow-up.
"(It) was thought of as a direct sequel mostly to the first film—not discounting the second one by any stretch, but I saw it as very much a passing-the-baton story, staying in the tone of the original," Ellsworth said. "I think that helped get me the job: I said, 'Yeah, there's a lot of humor in the movie, helped by the classic Jerry Goldsmith score that gives us a license to laugh, but it's first and foremost a horror movie.' "
"These little creatures—what they're really doing, they're cold-blooded little murderers, you know?" Ellsworth continued. "They're psychotic little creatures that are killing everybody. So that's where it all started....I tried to preserve the humor, but at the same time, I was starting with the foundation of this being a horror movie, which I was really thrilled about."
Ellsworth added that original star Zach Galligan would have reprised his role of Billy Peltzer, and that he and Gizmo would have taken on a role equivalent to Han Solo and Chewbacca in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, adding: "Gizmo was at the very core of the story; it explored more of the mythology and the history of the Gremlins."
Though this idea of the history of the Gremlins didn't make it to the big screen, it's similar territory to what will be covered in the upcoming "Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai," an animated series in development for HBO Max that will premiere in late 2021. The series will dial the clock back to the 1920s and focus on 10-year-old Sam Wing (future shop owner Mr. Wing in the 1984 movie) who meets Gizmo for the first time and attempts to reunite him with his family. They'll be pursued by power-hungry industrialist in the series who has a "growing army of evil Gremlins."