How J.J. Abrams’ ‘Star Wars’ trailer inspired Chris Columbus’ ‘Gremlins’ reboot

LAS VEGAS – When you're in a room with writer, director and producer Chris Columbus, it's almost impossible not to ask about the developing reboots of two of his most beloved projects: 1984's “Gremlins” and 1985's “The Goonies.” So I did!

First, the good news (or bad, depending on how you look at it): “Gremlins” is most likely going to happen.

“'Gremlins' is actually in good shape, we're doing 'Gremlins,'” Columbus told me while promoting “Pixels” at last week's CinemaCon. Moreover, they'll be ripping a page from J.J. Abrams' winning playbook to get fans of the original on board.

“When I saw 'Star Trek,' you know, I was like 'this is the way you do it. You have to connect the audience emotionally to the past.' By seeing Leonard Nimoy in that movie,” he told me. “And then so obviously a few days ago seeing Harrison Ford and Chewbacca at the end of that 'Star Wars' trailer. Eight million geeks crying their eyes out, me included. So I thought 'well that's a great, great thing to do.' So we won't…we're gonna apply that to 'Gremlins.'…We're not gonna forget about the past.”

As for “The Goonies”? Let's just say that one has been…a challenge. Hear what Columbus had to say about that long-developing reboot/sequel by watching the full interview above.

“Pixels” hits theaters on July 24.