Max’s Gremlins: Secret of the Mowgai invites audiences old and new to discover the origins of Gizmo and the rules to take care of them properly. While the original film took place during Christmastime in the ’80s, showrunner Tze Chun‘s animated period piece serves as a prequel to the family-friendly cult classic that brought us plenty of laughs and frights.
And while the show is set in 1920s Shangai, Ming-Na Wen, James Hong, BD Wong, Izaac Wang, and Gabrielle Nevaeh share their thoughts on Gizmo and the Gremlins, updating the horror-comedy film with contemporary themes, reclaiming Asian identity, depicting a modern family in a vintage era, and what it means to be a nerd.
Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai takes viewers back to 1920s Shanghai, where the Wing family first meets the young Mogwai called Gizmo (AJ LoCascio). It follows Sam Wing (Wang), the future shop owner in the 1984 Gremlins film, who embarks on a dangerous adventure to bring Gizmo home.
Along the way, they are joined by a teenage street thief named Elle (Nevaeh). Together, they encounter — and sometimes battle — spirits and creatures from Chinese folklore. Unfortunately, they are also pursued by a nefarious power-hungry industrialist named Riley Greene (Matthew Rhys) and his growing army of evil Gremlins, all of whom are holding Sam’s parents, Fong (Wen) and Hon (Wong) and grandfather (Hong), captive.
In our 30-minute interview, we talk to showrunner Chun about the genesis of Gremlins: Secret of the Mowgai, find out how much kid stars Wang and Nevaeh knew about the Gremlins film franchise, and have plenty of fun discovering what it means to be a nerd and how Asian representation has evolved with icons Wen, Wong, and Hong.
Gremlins: Secrets of the Mowgai debuts exclusively on Max on May 23, 2023.