Zach Galligan-starring Gremlins 3 fell through, says screenwriter

As recently as three years ago, a second sequel to Joe Dante’s timeless classic “Gremlins” was in the works- with original lead Zach Galligan attached to play pop to toy-sized Gizmo again.

According to writer Carl Ellsworth,  speaking to,  the project fell through – and it’s a damn shame, it sounds like a real treat.

“The last time I touched it is now going on three years ago,” he says. “I was so excited to do it. I got the chance to work with Chris, and I loved the story we came up with. I’m so bummed that it hasn’t seen the light of day yet. What might have been, what could have been!”

“I became friendly along the way with Zach Galligan, the original Billy Peltzer, and he was so eager to return to the role. He was excited, I guess, by the idea that he and Gizmo should be the equivalent of Han Solo and Chewie in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. And he wasn’t too far off from where we were going.” In addition to bringing back Billy and Gizmo, Ellsworth adds, “There was, I believe, a smaller role for Billy’s girlfriend, played [in the first two movies] by Phoebe Cates. But Gizmo was at the very core of the story; it explored more of the mythology and the
history of the Gremlins.”

The film would’ve shared more in common with the original film than the campy sequel.

“(It) was thought of as a direct sequel mostly to the first film-not discounting the second one by any stretch, but I saw it as very much a passing-the-baton story, staying in the tone of the original. I think that helped get me the job: I said, ‘Yeah, there’s a lot of humor in the movie, helped by the classic Jerry Goldsmith score that gives us a license to laugh, but it’s first and foremost a horror movie.'”

Ellsworth, whose latest writing assignment “Unhinged” opens in theaters later this month, thought releasing a new movie last year would’ve been perfect timing.

“It’s one of those situations where it fell through the cracks, or they couldn’t put it together—who knows what happened?” Ellsworth says. “You know, some things see the light of day and some things get shelved. I have no idea what they’re doing with it nowadays, but I hope, as everybody does, that something happens, whether it’s with my script or somebody else’s. I wish they could have done something with it for the [first movie’s] 35th anniversary last year.”

Zach Gallighan has already expressed interest in reprising Billy for "Gremlins 3"
Zach Gallighan has already expressed interest in reprising Billy for “Gremlins 3”

Galligan, who played Billy in the two “Gremlins” films (1984, 1990), believes the upcoming HBO series “Gremlins :Secrets of the Mogwai” might breathe new life into the abandoned sequel.

“It seems like what they’re going to do is reeducate us on the mythology surrounding Gremlins and Gizmo and Mogwai and, of course, most importantly, the three nebulous rules”, the actor told SyFy. “You have to figure that they’re using the animated series as a stepping stone to the larger endgame, which is a live-action Gremlins movie. That would be my assumption and it’s really not that much of a stretch to think that that’s what they’re doing.”

Galligan, who is set to participate in a “Gremlins 2 : The New Batch” Watch Party on, says he’d like to see some “kind of reunification with Billy and Gizmo. The relationship between them is kind of the heart and soul of both movies. I would also like to see some expansion of some pivotal ideas in the series… I think we should see some misapplications of the rules; I’d like to see what happens as various liquids hit Mogwais, if it causes strange things to happen or mutations.”

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