What do Gremlins eat? Turns out, “dumplings and bao.” The Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai cast and creators dished on the upcoming animated prequel series with Damian Holbrook in the TV Insider and TV Guide Magazine studio, sponsored by Hollywood unBranded at San Diego Comic-Con 2022.
Coming to HBO Max in 2023, Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai goes back to 1920s Shanghai to reveal how 10-year-old Sam Wing (future shop owner Mr. Wing from the 1984 movie) met the young Mogwai called Gizmo. Along with a teenage street thief named Elle (Gabrielle Nevaeh Green), Sam (Izaac Wang) and Gizmo (A.J. LoCascio) take a 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.
In the Gremlins Comic-Con video interview, above, LoCascio, Zach Galligan, Wang, and Green are joined by executive producers Tze Chun and Brendan Hay and art director Tara Rueping. And they revealed exciting details about what the prequel’s animation style and visual aesthetic will look like.
“It’s trying to blend Chinese mythology with the world of Gremlins and present kind of a different side of both that maybe you haven’t seen before,” Hay explained. Chun, who also serves as showrunner, says he pitched the series four years ago now and it’s been a long road of development.
With such a recognizable franchise on their hands, the team wanted to create something new that still honored the OG.
“We want to be true to what the franchise is. It’s a hybrid show, so when we were creating the show, we didn’t want to push into a total highly rendered look,” said Rueping. “We wanted to have a look that was more flat and graphic, so what we were aiming for was if you can imagine the ‘art of’ book and seeing the beautiful colors and detailed illustration quality that those would have, that’s what we wanted to bring to the series.
“We thought it blended really well with what the films were. The idea was not to really redesign, but it was more like taking what people really love about those characters, Gizmo and the gremlins, and bringing it into a style being true to the characters that everyone loves so much.”
Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai will also star Ming-Na Wen, James Hong, and BD Wong with guest stars Sandra Oh, Randall Park, George Takei, and Bowen Yang. Learn how original Gremlins star Galligan got involved with the prequel and more in the full video interview, above.
Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai, Series Premiere, 2023, HBO Max