Fans of the horror-comedy duo Gremlins and Gremlins 2: The New Batch are very familiar with the Key & Peele sketch that pokes fun at the leap in logic and tone between the two movies. While the former is more rooted in scares, the later becomes a live-action cartoon to an extent, complete with Vegetable Gremlin, Spider Gremlin, and Lady Gremlin. Speaking in a new interview, the director of the two movies Joe Dante opened up about how accurate this sketch was, admitting (with his tongue in his cheek) that the scenario shown in the sketch-comedy show is how it went down.
“I told (Key and Peele) after I saw it that it’s completely accurate, it’s exactly the way it happened,” Dante said with a laugh when talking to AV Club. “Nobody had come up with an idea for how to make another Gremlins movie for quite a while, and they had tried. They spent some money, they hired some writers, they wrote some script, but they hadn’t understood the appeal of the first movie anyway; so it was very difficult for them to imitate it. So out of desperation they came back to me and Mike Finnell, the producer, and said ‘If you’ll give us this picture by this date we’ll let you do whatever you want.'”
To Dante’s point, the original Gremlins premiered in 1984 and became a colossal hit, grossing over $200 million at the global box office, the equivalent of over $600 million when adjusted for inflation, putting it above recent films like F9: The Fast Saga, No Time to Dieand Mission: Impossible – Fallout. Gremlins would quickly spawn toys, video games, and other merchandising after its box office success.
As Dante alluded to however it would take Warner Bros. six years before they would finally bring a sequel to the big screen with Gremlins 2: The New Batch. In the time between the two movies though, the film would kickstart a subgenre of horror (boosted by the direct-to-video market of the 1980s) that focused on tiny monsters messing with people and eating everything in their path. Among those were Ghoulies, Troll, Munchies, and Hobgoblins, some of which spawned their own franchises as well.
In the time since Gremlins 2: The New Batch attempts have been made yet again to bring a Gremlins 3 to life, but so far the closest to that to be realized was aa Mountain Dew Zero Sugar ad that brought back star Zach Galligan and the cuddly Gizmo. An animated TV series prequel, Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwaiis in the works for HBO Max.