Color me shocked: the Gremlins remake is gaining momentum once again. In an era where TV shows like Coach and Full House are being given the redo treatment, it’s no surprise that Warner Bros. hasn’t given up on a new adaptation of Joe Dante’s 1984 classic. The most recent iteration of the project had Seth Grahame-Smith (Dark Shadows) producing and bringing an idea to Steven Spielberg and Chris Columbus—who scripted the first film—but he recently said the project “ran out of steam.”
Well it looks as though Warner Bros. has found plenty more steam to throw into the property, as Deadline reports that Disturbia screenwriter Carl Ellsworth has been tapped to pen the screenplay for the Gremlins remake, with Columbus and Spielberg producing. Ellsworth’s credits include the remakes The Last House on the Left and Red Dawn, as well as the upcoming Goosebumps, so his resume seems to indicate he’s primed to toe the line between spooky and four quadrant-friendly.
The report notes that at one time Columbus was considering directing the Gremlins redo, but that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. Of course a Gremlins remake is unnecessary—the original still holds up quite well—but if there’s a popular IP to be mined, it will be squeezed dry. I’m bracing myself for the Back to the Future remake news any day now.
Instead of redoing Gremlins, WB ought to just re-release Dante’s brilliant follow-up Gremlins 2: The New Batch. The underrated sequel takes on a more satirical tone to hilarious results, and features a slew of fantastic creature designs by Rick Baker. Alas, the best we can hope for now is a serviceable Gremlins remake that doesn’t simply waste everyone’s time.