According to director Joe Dante, Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key accurately imagined how Gremlins 2: The New Batch was developed. In a 2015 episode of the comedians’ hit comedy series Key & Peele, a sketch was featured imagining a “Hollywood Sequel Doctor” attending a brainstorming meeting for the Gremlins sequel. He strongly encourages the Gremlins 2 writers to incorporate the most outlandish ideas imaginable, from incorporating a brainy gremlin who can talk to having Hulk Hogan breaking the fourth wall with an unexpected cameo. The kicker is that every bizarre idea mentioned in the skit is actually in the movie.
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Recently, Dante spoke with A.V. Club (via ComicBook.com) about the Key & Peele sketch. The director says he has actually spoken with Key and Peele about the segment and suggested that they did a fantastic job at imagining the movie’s writing sessions. Dante clarifies that, as with the sketch, Gremlins 2 was supposed to be a more serious sequel with a dark tone similar to the original movie. That changed when the studio brought in new writers who “hadn’t understood” the original and turned in a screenplay that was far removed from what the first Gremlins had been.
“I told (Key and Peele) after I saw it that it’s completely accurate, it’s exactly the way it happened. Nobody had come up with an idea for how to make another Gremlins movie for quite a while, and they had tried. They spent some money, they hired some writers, they wrote some script, but they hadn’t understood the appeal of the first movie anyway; so it was very difficult for them to imitate it. So out of desperation they came back to me and Mike Finnell, the producer, and said ‘If you’ll give us this picture by this date we’ll let you do whatever you want.'”
Key & Peele Nailed It With the Gremlins 2 Sketch
While some fans did not take as well to Gremlins 2: The New Batch because of the different tone, the film still managed to build up a cult following of its own with many fans finding the sequel to be entertaining in its own right. In any case, there have since been many efforts for years to get Gremlins 3 off the ground, and despite some rumors, rumblings, and false starts, the sequel just cannot seem to materialize. It remains unclear if Gremlins 3 will ever truly happen.
Perhaps the fate of Gremlins 3 will rely on the success of the upcoming animated prequel series at HBO Max. Dubbed Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai, the story goes back decades before the events of the original Gremlins movie. If viewership is high and reviews are strong, the renewed interest that this will bring to the Gremlins franchise could possibly get a third movie to finally get its gears turning. Time will tell if the potential sequel goes back to its darker roots or if it will undergo a similar screenwriting process to Gremlins 2.