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Top 10 Facts – Gremlins

Whatever you do, don’t read this after midnight, or get your computer wet, these are the top ten facts about… Gremlins.

(1) In the original screenplay, it was Gizmo himself who became Stripe, the lead gremlin. But executive producer Steven Spielberg thought audiences would be unhappy with a character so cute and likeable turning evil.

(2) The original script was a lot darker. Material that was cut included gremlins eating the dog, Billy’s mum’s severed head bouncing down the stairs, and gremlins munching on customers in a McDonalds but refusing to touch the burgers. Softening the tone left the door open to more vicious copycats like Critters and Ghoulies (although both were actually in development before Gremlins).

(3) Gremlins was an enormous hit back in 1984, costing a modest $11m and grossing $148m domestically. It was the fourth highest-grosser of the year, after Beverly Hills Cop, Ghostbusters, and Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom.

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(4) The idea of a ‘gremlin’ first appeared during World War II, as a jokey excuse for mechanical failure. Roald Dahl’s 1943 novel ‘The Gremlins’, about mischievous creatures, pushed the idea into the mainstream. Director Joe Dante said the book was influential and Mr. Futterman references it in the film – “It’s the same gremlins that brought down our planes in the big one… That’s right, World War II.”

(5) Chris Columbus wrote Gremlins as a writing sample, never expecting it to be produced. He was inspired by the sound of mice running around his attic in the middle of the night.

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