The annual talk of continuing the Gremlins franchise is guaranteed to happen every Christmas, as fans around the world revisit the beloved holiday favorite. Joe Dante’s creature feature has endured for over 35 years as a staple of the festive viewing schedule, but despite plenty of attempts to get it off the ground, a third installment in the live-action series never materialized.
A lot of that had to do with the dismal performance of first sequel The New Batch, which failed to even recoup the $50 million budget in theaters, a far cry from the original, which cost almost five times less and made well over $200 million. However, because everything that’s old will eventually become new again, the animated Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai is in the works for HBO Max and expected to debut before the end of the year.
A prequel to the live-action films that looks to expand the mythology, Secrets of the Mogwai is set in 1920s Shanghai, and will tell the story of how ten year-old Sam Wing stumbles across a furry little guy called Gizmo. Teaming up with a street thief named Elle, the central duo embark on an adventure through the countryside where they encounter mystical monsters and spirits from Chinese folklore, all while being pursued by an industrialist villain.
The voice cast includes The Americans‘ Matthew Rhys and instantly recognizable character actor James Hong, but two sizeable new additions have been made after The Mandalorian‘s Ming-Na Wen and Jurassic Park‘s BD Wong boarded the ensemble. The stars will play Sam’s parents Fong and Hon Wing, and it’ll be interesting to see if Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai drops in a reference to the fact that they previously collaborated on Disney’s animated classic Mulan.