Comic Con: MTV's New Teen Wolf Intentionally Steps Away From Michael J. Fox
Wanna know what takes guts? Admitting to a large Comic Con crowd that you have never seen Teen Wolf. Even gutsier is to admit that while you're sitting in the panel for the new MTV show Teen Wolf, which puts a new spin on the Michael J. Fox classic. Gutsiest of all? When you're one of the stars of that show.
No fewer than three stars of the new Teen Wolf series-- Dylan O'Brien, Holland Rodin and Tyler Hoechlin-- copped to never having seen the classic 80s film, but promising they were really going to get around to it before they filmed the remaining 11 episodes in their first, 12-episode season with MTV. I guess it's good for them that writer Jeff Davis is trying to distance the new show a bit from the original movie that inspired it. When the few minutes of footage finished rolling Davis took the stage with the episode's director Russell Mulcahy and announced, "As you can see it's not the Teen Wolf you probably remember."
The few minutes they showed, from the opening of the pilot episode, went heavy on the action, showing handsome loner Scott McCall (Tyler Posey) and his buddy Stiles (O'Brien) poking around in the woods at night, an adventure that leads-- bum bum bum!-- to Scott being attacked by a real-live werewolf. The two have a nice rapport in those few scenes and seem very much like real, modern teenagers, albeit in the TV way where they always have smart things to say and have great looking hair at all times. When the full cast took the stage they all took a moment to describe their characters, who fell into pretty definable types-- the stuck-up girl, the girl next door, the goofy best friend, the kid just trying to fit in. But those types might seem familiar in a welcome way when MTV brings them back this fall as an attempt to return to scripted television. They're better than the kids from The Hills, at least.
One more thing worth noting for the Teen Wolf diehards who are convinced the new show will ruin it: they've changed the central sport from basketball to lacrosse. All Davis really had to say for the change is that he thinks lacrosse is cool, reminiscing about seeing the lacrosse players carry around the sticks in high school and arguing that we've seen a lot of basketball on TV, but really I just think he was trying to avoid that iconic image of the teen wolf in the basketball jersey. The only chance this show has at survival is in making itself something completely different, and Davis seems to have figured that part out. The action footage looks good and appropriately gritty for TV, and at a moment when handsome vampires are seemingly everywhere on television, maybe it's time for the Team Jacob types to have their own, hairier alternative.
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