Joe Dante on the studio battle to make Gremlins (and how Spielberg saved it)

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Jun 17, 2014, 12:46 PM EDT (Updated)

The 1984 sci-fi classic Gremlins is a weird little piece of awesome, and it seems like a miracle that it actually got made — and according to director Joe Dante, it actually is a miracle that it ever got made.

Back when they were putting the film together in the early 1980s, Dante told Hero Complex that he started getting quite a few notes from the studio because they thought the “gremlins were very unpleasant,” and that there were simply “too many gremlins.”

Luckily for Dante, the film was a passion project for executive producer (and absolute big shot) Steven Spielberg, so Spielberg sent the perfect response to all those studio complaints: “Well, we could cut all the Gremlins out and call it ‘People.’ How would you like that?” Classic.

Since, according to Dante, the studio “basically backed it because Steven Spielberg wanted to make it, and they wanted to make him happy,” the suits backed off and let them proceed with the weird vision that would be the heart of the film. The studio didn’t finally give up until test audiences “went crazy”  before release and they finally saw that the weird little sci-fi gem might actually be a hit.

Does Gremlins still hold a creepily awesome place in your heart, after all these years?

(Via Hero Complex)