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Secrets of the Mogwai Creators Reveal a Big Trouble in Little China Easter Egg

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Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai hit Max this morning as part of the revamped platform’s day one programming. It gives audiences their first chance in years to dive into the world of the beloved ’80s family-horror-comedy, which is a really rare category of movie. The series, a prequel to the movies, stars James Hong in the role of Grandpa Wing, and given the Chinese setting, it’s easy to assume there would be some kind of winking acknowledgment to Big Trouble in Little China, the cult classic in which Hong played Lo Pan, an over the top, mystical villain and a deeply eccentric character.

During the press junket for Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai, we had to know whether there were any Lo Pan Easter eggs that we should look out for, and…well, yeah. But it’s pretty subtle, and you shouldn’t go in expecting a cameo or something wild and obvious. According to the creatives behind the show, Grandpa Wing has a distinctive hand gesture that will evoke Lo Pan — just enough to say “…yeah, we know.” Of course, as producers noted, Hong is one of the most prolific actors in Hollywood, and you could probably fill a whole show with references to his work.

“I think that there’s a little hand gesture that I snuck in,” showrunner Tze Chun told’s Chris Killian. “And we also have an Easter egg for each one of James Hong’s other credits in the show. So keep your eye out!”

Secrets of the Mogwai, which is set in 1920s Shanghai, will chronicle the origin story of Gremlins character Mr. Wing (Keye Luke). The series will show how naïve 10-year-old Sam Wing met the young Mogwai called Gizmo. Along with a teenage street thief named Elle, Sam and Gizmo take a perilous journey through the Chinese countryside, encountering, and sometimes battling, colorful monsters and spirits from Chinese folklore. On their quest to return Gizmo to his family and uncover a legendary treasure, they are pursued by a power-hungry industrialist and his growing army of evil Gremlins.

Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai is now streaming on Max.

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