Late last week, Jeremy Smith of Ain’t It Cool News reported on renewed movement at Warner Bros. on a sequel to the 1980s children’s adventure movie The Goones. But buried at the end of the AICN item is a piece of news that film buffs might find even more intriguing—or perhaps even more disturbing. After citing inside sources that say Goonies 2 is “on the fast track,” and after mentioning that the original Goonies hasn’t held up that well over the decades, Smith adds, “One film from that period that I still adore, however, is Gremlins, and I’m told a remake of Joe Dante’s film is also moving quickly at WB.”
Nothing has been officially announced about either of these projects, but the Gremlins tidbit, like the Goonies one, is a rumor that’s been floating around for a while. As far back as January of 2013, Vulture had a report of Warner Bros. negotiating with Amblin Entertainment on a new Gremlins. And in 2012, Joe Dante told Bloody Disgusting that, “It’s a title in their library that sooner or later will be re-exploited… 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… I think sooner or later there will be something, I just don’t know what it is yet.”
If a Gremlins reboot is “moving quickly” at Warner Bros., odds are that Joe Dante won’t be involved creatively—which would be a damned shame. But if not Dante, who among the current crop of directors has Dante’s sense of humor and his flair for old-fashioned B-movie style? Edgar Wright, maybe? Guillermo del Toro? Both of those two gentlemen could make a good Gremlins, but might too interested in making the special effects look “good” (they might also be too busy with other projects). If I got to decide to who’d make another Gremlins (and Dante was off the table), I’d call up Javier Grillo-Marxuach, the creator of the delightful TV series The Middleman—a show that’s as funny, anarchic, and gloriously cheesy as a Dante film. Plus, Grillo-Marxuach could probably get The Middleman’s Matt Keeslar and Natalie Morales to star, and I can’t imagine too many actors better-suited to a Gremlins movie.