Vulture reports this morning that everyone’s favorite 1984 wacky-horror movie about creatures who can’t be fed after midnight is perhaps on its way to a reboot. It is (unsurprisingly, given the flood of ’80s nostalgia remakes that have come out of Hollywood recently) not the first time that the cult classic has been discussed for a revisitation. Steven Spielberg, who executive produced the original, is expensive, and has reportedly kept previous attempts from becoming reality—but word is that this time Warner Bros. is closer to a deal than ever.
In a July 2011 Q&A with Entertainment Weekly, Gremlins director Joe Dante said that a few years ago—when there was word a reboot might happen—it fell through. The reason, he guessed, was that Warner Bros. “didn’t really understand the first movie” so the studio couldn’t figure out how to approach a new version. The studio, he thought at the time, had moved on.
But the more interesting tidbit from that 2011 interview is Dante’s guess that, were the studio to revisit Gremlins, the result would likely be a remake, not Gremlins 3. The first movie, he said, was shaped by the technology at the time, which is now outdated; he thought a new look at the movie would involve CGI. And CGI wouldn’t just change the way the gremlins themselves look—perhaps less Furby than Finding Nemo?—but also, potentially, the plot, with CGI allowing more extreme violence and destruction than was possible in the ’80s. Some fans are upset about the possibility of computer-generated gremlins—but, on the other hand, a reboot audience entirely comprising people who are still obsessed with the original would not a blockbuster make.
A related question facing any new version of Gremlins would be the MPAA rating for the movie and which demographic the movie would be intended for. The original was rated PG but, according to the Associated Press, Gremlins and its fellow 1984 PG release Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom were responsible for the creation of the PG-13 label: both were too scary for little kids but just right for teenagers. Would a CGI Gremlins hit the same teen-friendly balance, or would it tip toward PG or R?
What would you want a new Gremlins to look like?