It’s been 31 years since one of geek filmdom’s most dynamic duos has graced the screen together in live-action, but now, thanks to the new MTN DEW Zero Sugar spot below, Gremlins’ Billy Peltzer and Gizmo are back ... and they still can’t seem to follow the rules of responsible mogwai ownership.
Peltzer was of course endearingly played by Zach Galligan in both 1984’s Gremlins and 1990’s Gremlins 2: The New Batch, and all these years later, the actor tells SYFY WIRE about putting the band back together.
“It was just really exciting to do the very first live-action Gremlins material in 31 years. I was ... not nervous, but apprehensive that the special effects might not be as good as they were. But to my pleasure and subsequent amazement, the technology was razor-sharp, and not surprisingly, but really arguably way better than we had 37 years ago,” Galligan says.
As you can see below, Gizmo (and perhaps Billy) may be a little grayer, but he looks more lifelike than ever. The spot finds the old pals sitting around enjoying some TV, with not a Striped or Mohawked worry in the world. Or at least not until Billy gives Giz his bottle of delicious MTN DEW Zero Sugar to try. Of course Gizmo’s gonna spill it on himself, and out shoot a slew of mini mogwais. None of which impresses Billy’s daughter, who already has her own pet mogwai on her shoulder. “As good as the original, maybe even better,” reads the tagline.
Check out the spot below to see why that tagline is so fitting...
Admit it, you really missed these two hanging out.
Also hanging out for the commercial is Howie Mandel, who returns to inimitably voice Gizmo again. Interestingly, though they’ve basically worked together for decades, Mandel and Galligan have never actually met, or even conversed.
“You know one of the funniest things about Gremlins, in terms of Gremlins trivia, is that for the last 37 years and right up to this very moment, I have never met, or conversed with Howie Mandel, ever in my lifetime,” Galligan says. “I do not know the gentleman, I have no plans to meet him ... I’m not averse to meeting him, I’d actually like to meet him, but I have never met him, and somehow magically we have stayed apart for the better part of four decades, I have no idea why that happened.”
Fortunately, Billy and Gizmo appear to have stayed together all along.
Of course, it took us a few decades to realize as much, so there was plenty of anticipation, not just for us, but for Galligan.
“When I was approached by Pepsi to be part of this commercial, I was curious to see the extent of the involvement that Warner Bros. and Amblin would have. And it really exceeded my expectations, in terms of the technology, particularly, but everything — everybody was so onboard and excited with the project,” Galligan says. “So it was really the perfect kind of synergy and platform to relaunch the Gremlins franchise, and the whole Billy/Gizmo dynamic that people have come to know and love over the years.”
“My guess is, and I don’t know if Warner Bros. intends this to be some kind of re-kickoff to a new franchise thing for Gremlins, but it certainly doesn’t hurt,” Galligan adds.
Cheers to that!