Considering how beloved both of these movies are, I’m going to preface this post by saying that this news, originally published by The Tracking Board, is still classified as a rumor until we see something official. However, if the site’s report is true, it’s very exciting news. Word on the interwebs this week is that Chris Columbus, who directed the first two Harry Potter films and Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, has signed on to produce new installments of cult classics Gremlins and The Goonies.
Let’s take those one at a time. Gremlins was successful enough at the time of its release to garner a follow-up, Gremlins 2: The New Batch, but this third film is said to take place 30 years after the original and be more of a reboot than a direct sequel. Warner Bros. has been trying to get this project moving for years, and now it’s on the fast-track with Seth Grahame-Smith and David Katzenberg (collaborators on the planned Beetlejuice follow-up) also producing. Again, the story will center on a boy who gets a strange creature for Christmas and, through his negligence, unleashes a horde of nasty, mutated versions of his pet on his hometown. Gremlins director Joe Dante does not seem likely to return, and though original star Zach Gilligan wants to be involved, no word on that front yet.
As for The Goonies 2, that’s been stewing in development for a long time as well. Excitingly, original director Richard Donner is set to direct it again, and he recently stated that Steven Spielberg came up with a story that he hopes will attract “all” the original stars back.
It’s particularly exciting to see Columbus on board for both these projects given his history with the films – as a young screenwriter, he wrote the original script for Gremlins, which sat around until Steven Spielberg discovered and optioned it. His work with Spielberg, which included penning screenplays for both The Goonies and Young Sherlock Holmes after Gremlins, really launched his career.
Columbus actually gave his two cents on both Gremlins and Goonies follow-ups a while back. Though he said that Gremlins “would be fun to go back and revisit,” he admitted his worry that:
“I think it’s impossible to recreate in a CGI environment. I think it will inevitably lose some of its charm. Those are edgy Muppets in a sense and you don’t want to lose that sense of anarchy that those gremlins had, because behind the scenes are 25 puppeteers making them to come to life.”
Hopefully his involvement means that the Gremlins will remain non-CGI creations. Personally, I think that would be a lot more fun to watch anyway. At the same time he made his Gremlins comments, Columbus said of The Goonies 2:
“But as Steven said, ‘How can you really be going underground finding another gigantic pirate ship filled with treasure? What can be the next adventure?’”
Looks like Spielberg cracked that one for him, unless he just wants to be involved to mitigate how terrible a follow-up will be (somehow, I doubt the latter possibility). We’ll keep you posted as more on these films, including a director for Gremlins and a story for The Goonies 2, continues to emerge.
Source: The Tracking Board