Study Guide

Gremlins Screenwriter

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Chris Columbus

If you know Chris Columbus, it's as a horror movie director.

Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) is about a kind British nanny tearing her own face off in front her children and revealing a hairy ape-man underneath. Home Alone (1990) shows what happens to two unsuspecting burglars when they accidentally attempt to rob the house of a homicidal young child. And Pixels (2015) taps into the sheer terror of having to sit through an Adam Sandler movie for more than three minutes.

Seeing the heights—or maybe depths—of Columbus's directorial work, it's not a stretch to learn that one of his first projects was a straight-up horror script: Gremlins. Columbus's original script lacked the light-hearted humor of the final project, and had a much higher death count.

In Columbus's original draft, there's no adorable Gizmo. The mogwai Billy mutates into the murderous Stripe. From there, the gruesome gremlin bumps off Billy's mom, his friend Pete, Mrs. Deagle, a bunch of people at a McDonald's, and even the dog. The dog. (Source)

Check out our section on the production company to see who made changes to turn the film from an R-rated horror film into a PG-rated…we're not quite sure what it is. But we know we like it.

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