How this was never a thing in the ’80s is beyond me! Warner Brothers is reportedly developing an animated series based on ‘Gremlins’ which will be available on its new WarnerMedia streaming service. According to “sources,” the show will be a period piece and will focus on Mr. Wing, the mysterious Asian gentleman from the original movies, as a young man. Young Mr. Wing will travel around having adventures with his Mogwai Gizmo. (Wait, except he didn’t name him Gizmo…) The animated series will be produced by Warner Bros. Television and Amblin Television, the studios behind the films.
The cartoon will be written and executive produced by Tze Chun, a co-founder of comic book publisher TKO Studios. Chun wrote and directed the movies ‘Cold Comes the Night’ and ‘Children of Invention’. He is currently the executive story editor of ‘Gotham’, and served as story editor of ‘Once Upon a Time’.
The first ‘Gremlins’ movie was released in 1984, and like many Amblin projects of that time, was an enticing mix of heart-warming cuteness and sheer horror. Chris Columbus wrote the script, with Joe Dante directing. Dante also helmed the sequel, 1990’s ‘Gremlins 2: The New Batch’, with a script by Charlie Haas, but that film was more of an outright comedy and lacked the charm of the original. Keye Luke appeared in both films as Mr. Wing.
As of last spring, Columbus was working on the screenplay for a new ‘Gremlins’ live-action movie. It remains to be seen if that gets made, but if so, it may influence the development of the cartoon.
At the winter TCA press tour, Kevin Reilly, the chief creative officer Turner and direct-to-consumer, announced that the beta version of WarnerMedia will not include any original content. Original content is expected to be available in 2020, and Warner Brothers’ back catalog of IPs, like ‘Gremlins’ will be used to generate interest, but there will be other projects that are 100% original.
Reilly also stated that most of WB’s “crown jewels” will be pulled from existing streaming services and offered exclusively via WarnerMedia. That includes ‘Friends’, the sitcom that Netflix recently had to shell out $100 million in order to keep for one more year. So expect a similar situation to Disney’s ongoing separation from Netflix.
What do you think about a new ‘Gremlins’ animated series? Would that be enough to get you to pick up ANOTHER streaming service?