Christopher Columbus Producing ‘Gremlins’ Reboot


In today’s modern era of cinema and TV entertainment, it seems that the powers that be have simply run all out of ideas.  Most movies that come out these days seem to be either a sequel or a reboot of a pre-existing franchise with original ideas becoming all the more rare.  It’s a good idea in theory, as these types of films typically make a lot of money based on their familiarity, but the lack of creativity usually results in most of these movies becoming nothing more than pale imitations of the originals.

One particular cult classic horror/comedy film that had somehow avoided Hollywood’s reboot obsession is 1984’s Gremlins.  It’s garnered an 85% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes, which is pretty impressive for an 80’s horror movie.  Set at Christmas time, the classic film still gets replayed in many family homes during the holiday season.

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It’s now official that Gremlins is indeed getting the reboot treatment, making it one of the final classic 80’s horror franchises to make a modern-day return.  Goosebumps writer Carl Ellsworth is penning the script, and the original film’s writer, Christopher Columbus, is returning to produce alongside Steven Spielberg.  Columbus had the following to say about the upcoming reboot in an interview:

"It is real.  I am involved.  When I finished Gremlins, and the first Gremlins was released, I was asked to write the sequel, and said there was no place else to go.  Now this was before the pre-crazy-franchise-era of Hollywood where everything is a franchise.  So obviously a long 30 years has passed, and I thought, “Okay, we can do this.  We can actually find a way not to remake the first movie, but to take those characters and do something interesting.” I realized, not from the Star Wars phase, but from J.J. [Abrams’] other movies, when he did Star Trek, he has a sense of taking that short of sense of nostalgia we all want and bringing it forward like he brought Leonard Nimoy into the first Star Trek. And that to me was why we connected to that and it was painfully obvious when we saw the Star Wars trailer recently that when you saw Han Solo and Chewbacca, we all had tears in our eyes, because we want that feeling again.   So I thought, okay, it’s cool. If we can pull it off, if we can create that feeling but deliver something new to the audience, then maybe we can do a really terrific Gremlins reboot."

It’s good news that the man behind the original is on board to produce.  When Columbus told that story in 1984, he found a way to really make it connect with the audience, and he seems pretty optimistic about being able to do that again.  His enthusiasm doesn’t fully convince me that any kind of remake is going to be able to hold a candle to the original Gremlins, but I will say that it’s a good sign— and Columbus’ involvement surely provides the best chance for the modern version to be just as great.