Chris Columbus might not be returning to write the long-awaited Gremlins reboot/sequel (re-quel? se-boot?), but he has offered a little update on the project and what we can expect.

“There is a writer, I know what the take is, I can’t talk about it, but I was approached to do the sequel to ’Gremlins’ way back when… That was before the power of the franchise, the franchise ruled all. I was like, ’Nah, the first movie exists, it’s great the way it is. Why spoil it with a sequel, or a bunch of sequels?’ Well, time has passed, and I’ve seen what happens when sequels can actually work, and improve — certainly not improve on the original, but have a different direction. So I was open to the idea, and I think we have a really good take.”

The writer in question is Goosebumps scriber Carl Ellsworth, and Columbus’ comments fuel the fire that Gremlins won’t be the flat-out reboot we were expecting. Columbus confirmed that while this is a fresh take on the concept, it remains connected to the same universe as the previous movies.

“It’s not a remake of the first movie at all. Because the first movie’s very dear to my heart. It’s the same universe, the same rules, same Gremlins, but not the same. There’s elements of it. What I’ve learned — I haven’t even seen ’Star Wars’ — but what I’ve learned in the trailer is, people want to stay connected to what they fell in love with. So when I saw Harrison Ford and Chewie, I was like… I had tears in my eyes, and I think everyone collectively across the world geeked out at that moment.”

Gremlins could follow in the footsteps of the forthcoming Vacation reboot and remain connected to the original franchise. Ed Helms stars as the grown-up Rusty' Griswold with cameos from original leads Chevy Chase and Beverly D’ Angelo. In theory, Gremlins could focus on the offspring of Zach Galligan and Phoebe Cates’ characters, and they could feature in a geek pleasing cameo.

Hard to believe, but it has been 31 years since director Joe Dante first introduced us to a Mogwai named Gizmo and his evil offspring. Dante is unlikely to direct the reboot, so Warner Bros are still searching for a suitable replacement.