Zach Galligan talks returning to the Gremlins universe

Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai -- Courtesy of HBO Max
Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai -- Courtesy of HBO Max /

Gremlins wouldn’t have been what it was without Zach Galligan’s Billy. Well, Zach Galligan is returning to the universe, but who will he play?

You’ll know Zach Galligan as Billy from the first two Gremlins movies. He was given all the rules and managed not to follow them…twice. It took us on a wild adventure, but we never really did learn too much about Gizmo and his people.

Well, it’s time to learn some of that in Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai. We’re heading back to 1900s China to see a young Mr. Wing as he finds out about Gizmo and heads out on a mission to keep this small, furry creature safe. That does mean there’s no Billy, so how can Galligan make a return to the universe?

We get to find out all about this and more in this exclusive interview.

What was it like returning to the Gremlins universe?

It’s been 33 years since the second Gremlins movie. Almost 40 when it comes to the first! That’s a long break to bring back this lovable creature. Galligan did remind me of a commercial from 2021, but that wouldn’t have been seen around the world like this series could be.

What was it like coming back into the universe?

“It was very surprising to see so much movement on the franchise so suddenly after seeing nothing for literally three decades. It was a wonderful surprise…it was a lot of fun. Gremlins is something that never leaves my life…It’s been very fun and gratifying to see a franchise get…some momentum behind it again.”

This is a universe that has never really disappeared. We still say quotes from the movie despite some of the younger generations not really knowing what we’re talking about.

“One of the things that’s amazing about the movie is how much has entered the cultural lexicon…all of those iconic rules. Even the word ‘gremlins’ which really was not part of the current lexicon. It had faded. It was part of the American lexicon in the ’40s and ’50s, after World War II, but after the late ’60s it had pretty much ended.”

Who does Zach Galligan play in Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai?

As a prequel, we knew that Galligan couldn’t return as Billy. Billy isn’t even a think right now. So, who could he play? Does he play some sort of ancestor? Are we even allowed to learn anything about his character?

“There’s an evil industrial played by Matthew Rhys, and basically, I’m one of his henchmen who’s tasked with attempting to ‘acquire’ Gizmo from his natural habitat. So, I’m basically an assistant to the bad guy, if you had to shorten it.”

This really is just a shortened way of introducing who he plays. To really get more of an idea, you’ll need to watch the first two episodes on Tuesday, May 23 on Max.

Take a look at the full interview, which includes a touch on Joe Dante being a part of Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai below:

Next. Brandon Routh and Caitlin Bassett talk playing father and daughter in Quantum Leap. dark

Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai premieres on Tuesday, May 23 on Max.