Joe Dante is back on the directing scene showing off his The Hole, a film that sees a group of children confronting the evil that exists in a bottomless hole discovered in their basement. In speaking with the fine folks over at Bloody Disgusting, the subject of Gremlins was brought up with the director. Here’s the question and answer intact. Some thoughts afterward:
One of the things I’ve heard – and maybe you can clear this up – is that you might willing to do Gremlins 3 but with traditional puppetry. And the studio might be leaning towards CG. Is that really where the dividing line on that project comes down?
No, I don’t think there is a dividing line. I haven’t had any formal talks, or even informal talks, with them about it. It’s a title in their library that sooner or later will be re-exploited. You can’t obviously do a sequel to the second picture because the cast is too old and I don’t know that that’s the way they’re thinking. I think they’d probably reboot the whole thing and start all over or go in a different direction – take the Gremlins someplace else.
I do know that there have been attempts at Gremlins pictures. I know that people have gone in with pitches, but nothing has caught their eye. But I’m not positive that it’s entirely Warner Brothers’ decision, because it’s an Amblin project. It probably has to be signed off on by Spielberg.
Few films impacted my youth like Gremlins and sequel The New Batch. The films work because, as the above exchange refers to, Dante and his crew were masters at bringing these beautifully crafted puppets to life. If Dante doesn’t want to play in that sandbox again, so be it. But he and Spielberg are the only two filmmakers who should have any say in the matter. A Gremlins, especially with CG incarnations of the creatures, without Dante in tow is simply Gremlins in Name Only. If Warner Brothers wants to do it and do it right, I say give the man back his toys and let him play.
Here’s a Gremlins-themed commercial from 2008 employing the puppets as pitchmen for Peter Jones BT Business. They’re as beautiful as the day they were born: