Fans of the Gremlins films will be excited to learn that the new series based on the franchise is now scheduled to be released in 2021. According to an interview that Harvey Girls Forever executive producer Brendan Hay did with Collider, the animation producer revealed that he is actively involved with the series, which will debut next year on HBO Max.
"I can say I’m working on Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai right now for Warner Bros., which has been a blast and totally different type of show than Harvey," he told the outlet. "Getting to do a horror and horror comedy aimed at slightly older kids is a very different beast but still been a lot of fun and yeah, so that’ll come out sometime in 2021."
Per the animated series' official synopsis, "We travel back to 1920s Shanghai to reveal the story of how 10-year-old Sam Wing (future shop owner Mr. Wing in the 1984 movie) met the young Mogwai called Gizmo. Along with a teenage street thief named Elle, Sam and Gizmo take a perilous journey through the Chinese countryside, encountering, and sometimes battling, colorful monsters and spirits from Chinese folklore."
The synopsis adds, "On their quest to return Gizmo to his family and uncover a legendary treasure, they are pursued by a power-hungry industrialist and his growing army of evil Gremlins."
The first Gremlins film was released in 1984, followed by a sequel — Gremlins 2: The New Batch — in 1990. Notably, in 2017, original Gremlins writer Chris Columbus announced that he had been working on a script for a third film in the horror-comedy franchise, but there was no word on what may come of it.
“I’m really proud of the script,” he told /Film at the time. “It is as twisted and dark as anything, so we'll see. It's always a budgetary conversation when we're going to shoot it. I wanted to go back to the really twisted sensibility of the first movie. I found that was a very easy place for me to fall back into and start writing again so hopefully we’ll see that movie soon.”
Columbus went on to share that the goal was for the film to have "minimal CGI," so as to recreate the puppeteering qualities and more practical effects that made the first two films so memorable to fans.
"CGI will enable us to remove wires and make the puppeteers lives a little easier," he said, then explaining how difficult the effects on the first Gremlins film were to pull off. "It was brutal. It was like a marathon every night for those guys. In the bar scene alone there were 18 [or] 20 people behind the bar. No one had any space to move. It was just hellish for those guys so CGI will simplify that a little bit but it’s all puppets."
At this time, there is still no word on when, or if, a new Gremlins film is still a possibility.