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21 Things You Might Not Know About "Gremlins"

Would you have enjoyed this classic movie as much if Gizmo were the villain?

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1. Warner Bros. was initially concerned and hesitant about the casting of Phoebe Cates as Kate, due to her being primarily known for her risqué role in Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

3. Gremlins was originally planned and scheduled for a Christmas-season release, but the film was rushed into production after Warner Bros. learned it would have no major competition for the summer movie season.

4. Originally Gizmo was supposed to be the villain, turning into a Gremlin himself and becoming the leader of the Gremlin pack.

Warner Bros./courtesy Everett Collection

Steven Spielberg overruled this plot element because he felt Gizmo was cute and audiences would want to see him throughout the film.


6. Gremlins and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom are credited as the films that lead to the creation of the PG-13 rating.


Both movies had scenes of violence that were too much for a PG rating, but not strong enough for an R rating.


9. The movies listed on the marquee: A Boy's Life (the working title for E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial) and Watch the Skies (the working title for Close Encounters of the Third Kind).

11. Mr. Hanson, the science teacher, was originally killed by dozens of hypodermic needles to the face.

The scene was reshot by request from Steven Spielberg; he felt it was just too gruesome. Instead, Mr. Hanson dies from just a single needle in the butt.


20. The WWII-era Looney Tunes cartoon Falling Hare (where Bugs Bunny is harassed by a gremlin) was supposed to show before the movie.

After viewing an early screening of the film, Warner Bros. executives feared pairing Bugs Bunny with such a dark movie, and they decided against including the cartoon.