WarnerMedia‘s streaming service is getting even more content lined up for their big release by announcing that Amblin Television‘s “adult-focused”, animated Gremlins prequel titled Secrets of the Mogwai will have ten episodes and will take place in 1920’s Shanghai.
The Hollywood Reporter has the synopsis:
No word yet on animation style, premier date or casting, but it should be interesting to see exactly what writer Tze Chun (Gotham) can cook up with this very 80’s-influenced, very offbeat setup. Gremlins: SotM is produced by Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey (The Americans, Amazing Stories revival) and Sam Register (Teen Titans Go!) with Chun and Brendan Hay (Dawn of the Croods, Robot Chicken) serving as co-executive producers. Dan Krall (Coraline, Scooby-Doo!) will serve as supervising producer for the show.
Getting right past the whole “let’s explain a full backstory” issue, because well, I agree. There is a ton of charm in the sheer randomness of the original movie; the mystery is palpable and there are no hints given as to where someone would come across a Mogwai or why after some self-addressed issues like feeding after midnight, they should turn into creepy little monsters. Nothing makes sense and frankly that’s absolutely fine; are they aliens, some sort of bizarre crypto-animal, mutants, magical ancient Chinese elves? It’s entirely our business to decide for ourselves.
And we needn’t go into the much more comical sequel where it becomes apparent that the whole world is a bit more cartoonish and surreal; as much as I loved that film as a youngster, I don’t think it did the original any favours. But onto some positives:
With classics like Big Trouble in Little China and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom wearing the noire-era Chinese setting elements as almost a defining element of 80’s blockbusters, heading back to this time and place for the Gremlins series seems pretty brilliant assuming the effort is to try and re-evoke some of the flavour of those films.
A series that expands the lore by incorporating Chinese mythology sounds damned interesting too and lastly is the choice to move past the Henson-esque (actually, it was Chris Walas of The Fly fame) puppetry; animation is a more diverse medium today than ever before, so it’s not necessarily a step downwards when imagining quality.
What do you think, Wasteoids? Want to see what Secrets of the Mogwai has in store? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!