It’s been a while since we’ve heard anything new about a potential Gremlins 3, but if the sequel eventually happens, fans can rest assured it’ll stay true to the heart of the first two films. The first Gremlins was the movie that put filmmaker Chris Columbus on the map, as Steven Spielberg spotted his horror-tinged screenplay and sparked to the title immediately. Spielberg produced, Columbus wrote, and Joe Dante directed the Christmas-set horror comedy that was released in 1984 and instantly created a devoted fanbase that remains passionate to this day.
Dante would go on to make a more satirical sequel called Gremlins 2: The New Batch, but over the past few years Columbus has been working to get a full-on Gremlins 3 off the ground. When I spoke with Columbus for an episode of Collider Connected recorded during the press day for his new Netflix film The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two (which he co-wrote and directed), I asked if Gremlins 3 might happen, and he offered an update:
“I would love to do it. I wrote a script, so there is an existing script. We’re working out some rights issues right now, so we’re just trying to figure out when the best time to make that film would be. I would still do it the same way – I would do it as tangible puppets, not CGI. Maybe having — you know we had one stop-motion scene in the first Gremlins, but I don’t think I’d use much CGI in Gremlins 3.”
As recently as 2017, Columbus was teasing a “twisted and dark” screenplay he wrote for a proposed third feature, but those rights issues that he alluded to in our interview remain. In 2019, Warner Bros. gained registered trademark of the Gremlins name and franchise, and immediately greenlit an animated TV series adaptation of the property that’s headed to HBO Max.
But I’d really love to see what Columbus could bring to the franchise over three decades later, especially as he maintains the movie should be made with puppets and not CGI – which is absolutely the right call. Here’s hoping someday that comes to fruition.