Gremlins fans have been consistently disappointed by the lack of development on Gremlins 3. But they may still have something to look forward to with HBO Max’s upcoming animated series Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai. The series is said to focus on how the Mogwai called Gizmo came to meet the shop owner Mr. Wing when he was just a young boy. But when the new series comes to HBO Max, it will be missing one key part of the original franchise.
Gremlins: Secret of the Mogwai executive producer and writer Tze Chun has confirmed that Howie Mandel will not be providing the voice of Gizmo in the animated series, despite the fact that he voiced the character in both the first Gremlins movie and the sequel Gremlins 2: The New Batch.
Tze Chun, an executive story editor, co-producer, supervising producer and writer from FOX’s Batman prequel series Gotham, was recently interviewed by Geek Vibes Nation, and he confirmed the disappointing casting decision:
“Howie Mandel is not returning to voice Gizmo. But we will have some casting announcements soon.”
There was no reason given for why Howie Mandel won’t be reprising the role of Gizmo, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it has something to do with money. Howie Mandel’s typical paycheck is probably a lot more now than it was back in 1984, largely thanks to the fact that he’s one of the judges on the extremely popular America’s Got Talent. Since HBO Max is likely trying to keep budgets as low as possible for original programming, it only makes sense to bring in someone else to voice Gizmo.
Even though Mandel won’t be back as the little Mogwai, Chun did reassure fans by saying, “There is definitely going to be some exciting cameos from people.” Plus, Gremlins director Joe Dante is a consulting producer, so he’s been looking at the scripts and artwork and giving his blessing to how this series expands the mythology of Gremlins. Chun added:
“What we really wanted to do was create more stories set in the Gremlins universe. We also wanted to service the fans. You know the fandom for Gremlins is so strong for movies that have been around for almost 40 years. We definitely have a lot of Easter eggs and Gremlins mythology that hopefully will satisfy long term fans while also bringing in new fans.”
Chun also confirmed that there will be evil Mogwai in the series, though that’s not really a new element of Gremlins since it was clear that the Mogwai that eventually became the slimy monstrous Gremlins had some darker personality traits. But there will apparently be a lot of mythology about the Mogwai in the series, which is described as having a “very serialized story.”
Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai won’t arrive until sometime in 2021, but here’s the official synopsis:
In the animated television adaptation, we travel back to 1920s Shanghai to reveal the story of how 10-year-old Sam Wing (future shop owner Mr. Wing in the 1984 movie) met the young Mogwai called Gizmo. Along with a teenage street thief named Elle, Sam and Gizmo take a perilous journey through the Chinese countryside, encountering, and sometimes battling, colorful monsters and spirits from Chinese folklore. On their quest to return Gizmo to his family and uncover a legendary treasure, they are pursued by a power-hungry industrialist and his growing army of evil Gremlins.
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