Gizmo from Gremlins (1984) is probably the most cuddly creature to ever splash the silver screen. He is a good soul forever trying to stop and make amends for his evil Gremlin Brethren.
The Furby toys when they were introduced in 1998 had such a strong Gizmo-like resemblance that Warner Brothers, the studio that owned Gremlins, was considering an infringement lawsuit against the Furby parent company, Tiger Electronics and the toy's creators, Dave Hampton and Caleb Chung. The Furby rights now are held by Hasbro.
In a Reddit AMA interview held last week with with Gremlins director Joe Dante, (his new film Burying the Ex comes to VOD this month) Dante noted that he and scriptwriter Chris Columbus originally had very different plans for Gizmo. It was producer Steven Spielberg who pushed for the one essential script change that made all the difference.
He was originally supposed to turn into Stripe, before Steven Spielberg took a shine to him and decreed he should be the hero's pal for the run of the story. That sent the FX people into a tailspin, as he was designed only for the first few reels. But then he ended up the star of the show!
Can you imagine how many kids would have cowered in fear if the cuddly Gizmo turned into the villain that tried to murder everyone? Or, worse yet, can you imagine a world without the deliciously weird and fun Gremlins II: The New Batch, which we obviously would never have gotten if Gizmo had become the bad guy?
Although it didn't happen in the first film, Gremlins 2: The New Batch did feature a Stripe/Gizmo hybrid.
I was told that if I would make a second Gremlins pic I could do whatever I wanted with it. I certainly wasn't interested in making the first one over again, so went in a different, more satirical direction, which frankly I prefer.
As for Dante directing a third installment of the franchise, he had this to say:
Gremlins 2 kind of put the lid on Gremlins for a while. But since virtually everything you ever heard of is up for remake I'm sure there will be something in the future with Gremlins in the title.