INTERVIEW: Ryan Bellgardt, director of Gremlin
Following on from MovieCritic NextDoor’s recent Gremlin review, we interviewed director Ryan Bellgardt.
How did you come up with Gremlin’s concept?
Originally, it was a short script I wrote called, “Give it to Someone You Love”. The story focused on a man who was frantically trying to give away a cursed box containing a small creature. He soon realized that the only way to rid himself of the curse was to give the box to someone he loved. I liked the idea of putting the protagonist in an unwinnable situation. I wanted to give him impossible choices. I tried to think of the most horrible way for him to rid himself of the curse and having to pass it on to a loved one seemed pretty terrible.
Was the creature or story inspired by any other films?
No, not really. People make comparisons to the Cloverfield monster and I can see that, but it looks the way it does more for practical reasons. We have a small team working on visual effects and since this was our first time tackling a creature for a feature film, we left out some things that would have slowed us down. Things like eyes and fur. Even the fact that its limbs come to a point made animation go a lot faster. I wanted a creature that would look like a creepy spider at first and still look cool and alienesque when it transforms later in the movie.
If the story was inspired by anything, I would maybe say the movie “It Follows”. I really liked that movie and its idea of passing a curse around in an interesting way.
Was it easy to title the movie Gremlin without Joe Dante and Warner Bros coming after you – or is there still time for that?!
The title has brought all kinds of attention to our movie and we love it! Gremlin type creatures actually were first talked about during the World Wars. They were said to be the cause of aircraft malfunctions. Warner Bros didn’t invent the gremlin, even though people often associate the term with that movie. Quite honestly, we were really surprised that there wasn’t a movie already called “Gremlin”.
Can you tell us about the worldwide release plans?
We have been very fortunate to partner up with the amazing High Octane Pictures as our sales agent. Thanks to them, Gremlin has been acquired for release by distributors all over the world and we’ve already seen theatrical releases in Malaysia and the Philippines. It will be released in many more international territories later this summer and here in the US on VOD. July 11th.
For the eventual DVD release, any idea what we can expect in terms of extras?
We made some cool surprises just for the DVD release, although I can’t say exactly what they are just yet.
The movie is getting some good reviews – does that mean a sequel?!
It’s exciting to see people responding positively to the movie. But in the end, good or bad, I’m really proud of the team of super talented cast and crew that helped make this movie happen. There’s no way I’d be talking to you without them.
Will there be a sequel, though? 😛
If enough people like it maybe so. I think we certainly left the movie open for a sequel. There’s plenty of other families the Gremlin can torment!
Finally, your favorite monster or creature movie of all time?
Maybe not what you might expect, but I’d have to say David Lynch’s Dune. I love me some sandworms!