When last we heard about Gremlins, we were talking with producer Frank Marshall about whether – in all honesty – a Gremlins remake could ever actually happen. He told us, "No, I don’t think so. I think by now we have something in our contracts, or at least Amblin does, where it can’t be remade without Steven [Spielberg]’s permission." Well, that doesn't seem to be stopping Warner Bros. from pursuing it.
Vulture is now reporting that Warner Bros. wants to reboot Gremlins, Joe Dante's classic horror comedy about little monsters taking over a town at Christmas. This comes after years of rumors that Joe Dante would finally direct a third movie in the popular franchise, and was stymied by the studio's insistence that the title creatures be created using CGI, as opposed to the traditional, classic puppets. The site reports that Warner Bros. has pursued the remake multiple times, only to be put off by Steven Spielberg's insistence on either being directly involved with the project, or – as is implied, but not explicitly stated – wanted too much money for his go-ahead.
When you're remaking a movie, there has to be a good reason to do it. The amount of money you can make is certainly a key factor to the studios, but from an artistic perspective, there has to be something in the original film that could either be improved or, at the very least, cover different themes that might have been unavailable to the original filmmakers. We're not sure Gremlins, one of the best genre movies of the 1980s, really qualifies. It still plays brilliantly today, retains its ability to scare and induce laughter, and even had a deeper meaning about consumerism gone awry. We probably don't need a Gremlins remake, and honestly, it seems unlikely that we're suddenly going to get one, although Vulture says their sources indicate that it's closer to fruition than ever before.
For more information on Gremlins, and every other movie Joe Dante ever made, be sure to check out this episode of The B-Movies Podcast, where we spend over an hour with the filmmaker talking about his whole career.