Back in January we reported that Warner Bros. was in negotiations with Steven Spielberg‘s Amblin Entertainment to remake Joe Dante‘s 1984 holiday horror-comedy classic Gremlins. The negotiations must have worked out because the studio is moving full speed ahead on the remake and they have already tapped a well-known name in the horror genre to take on producing duties.
Seth Grahame-Smith, the author of Pride & Prejudice & Zombies and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, will produce the Gremlins reboot alongside David Katzenberg. Most recently Grahame-Smith adapted Vampire Hunter into a feature film released last year and worked on the script for a Beetlejuice sequel that Tim Burton may still direct. Burton, who produced Vampire Hunter for director Timur Bekmambetov, also collaborated with Grahame-Smith on his Dark Shadows movie that belly flopped at the box office last May. The writer was also retained by Fox to rewrite their long-gestating Fantastic Four reboot that Josh Trank is still on board to direct.
I don’t get the studios’ obsession with Grahame-Smith and his work; he writes overblown, disposable fan fiction, nothing more. He is hardly the person to take on a beloved property like Gremlins without instilling distrust and resentment in those of us who grew up loving the original and its gonzo 1990 sequel The New Batch. Those movies have a timeless quality that cannot be easily reproduced. Grahame-Smith will most likely be writing the script for the remake as well, though that has yet to be announced, and the search is on for a capable director. Chances are it will be someone we have never heard of, perhaps the indie darling of the moment or an untested commercial or music video director.
This remake could work if placed in the right hands, but Grahame-Smith’s attachment to the project does not inspire a lot of confidence. I’m sure there will be lots of CGI.