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There has been talk of a TV adaptation of the 1980s teen vampire classic The Lost Boys for about as long as anyone can remember, and actual plans for one since at least 2016. All these years later, however, fans of the moody horror flick are still anxiously awaiting the arrival of The Lost Boys TV show, with little to nothing to show for it. Well, it's not like the project was announced four years ago and lost in the shuffle. In fact, the show has been a work in progress (with two pilots and multiple rewrites) over the past four years and there's a chance that the reboot series and its iconic characters could finally see the light of day in the future.
The Status Of The Lost Boys TV Show
Everything seemed to be on the up and up for The Lost Boys television adaptation in the first three months of 2020 — Rob Thomas (creator of Veronica Mars, iZombie, and Party Down), who had been spearheading the project since 2016, had a new cast, a revamped script, and was gearing up to shoot a second pilot for The CW (more on that later) when the Coronavirus pandemic put a halt to productions around the world. Once that happened, the network decided to pass on the pilot for now but that didn't mean it was the end, as CW president Mark Pedowitz said in a May 2020 press call (via Deadline):
Lost Boys is a passion of mine personally, having Rob [Thomas] attached to it. Once we get through this climate, we will make a determination on how best to proceed with Lost Boys. I'm hoping to keep it going.
As of right now, The Lost Boys TV show looks like it's in a state of limbo until the tide changes with the virus and more productions resume, whenever that may be. If all goes as planned, the pilot will eventually be shot and then a decision on the future of the series can happen. In the meantime, let's take a look at the timeline of events surrounding this potential series and what Rob Thomas had in store for fans and how the project got to this stage in the first place.
The Lost Boys Pilot Sounds Similar To The Original Movie, But With Small Changes
Joel Schumacher's 1987 The Lost Boys and Rob Thomas' television adaptation share a lot of similarities in that they both take place in seaside town and focus on a single mother and her two teenage sons who come across a gang of outcasts who turn out to be some pretty cool vampires, but there are some key differences. For one, the show appears to be leaving California behind and instead settling in on the Atlantic Coast in North Carolina, but that's not all as Gerard McMahon (who wrote "Cry Little Sister" for the original film and who has been hired to write songs for the show) told SYFYWire in July 2020:
Cast-wise, it's more diversified in coordination with the times, as it should be. It's a little bit more female-driven in its way.
One way the show will be more focused on female characters is the decision to make the vampire hunter Frog brothers, originally played by Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander, a pair of sisters instead, which could make things interesting.
Rob Thomas Originally Pitched A Decades-Long Vampire Story Back In 2016
A pilot (the first of two) wasn't shot until 2019, but The Lost Boys TV show has been in the works as far back as 2016 when Rob Thomas pitched perhaps one of the most ambitious adaptations of a beloved property in the history of television. According to a Deadline report from the time of the show's announcement, Thomas was shooting for at least seven seasons, with each season taking place in a different decade. Season 1 would have followed a group of ageless vampires in San Francisco in 1967 (the Summer of Love). Subsequent seasons would take place in a completely new decade with a new cast of humans and antagonists, with only the central cast (with a lot of makeup) remaining the same over the course of 70 years.
An Original Pilot Was Filmed In 2019 But Was Later Scrapped And Heather Mitchell Was Brought In For Rewrites
Rob Thomas' original vision for The Lost Boys never got off the ground, but a pilot based on a version very close to the original was filmed in early 2019 with Catherine Hardwicke, director of the first Twilight movie, slated to direct a script written by Heather Mitchell. According to Deadline, this version of the show would have taken place in Santa Clara, California, the very location of the 1987 film. With a cast that included Teen Wolf star Tyler Posey and Kiele Sanchez of Kingdom, the pilot was filmed but CW didn't pick it up and instead ordered rewrites in May 2019, according to EW.
Once the show was sent back for rewrites in hopes of getting a second pilot filmed, Heather Mitchell, a television producer and writer known for her work on Scandal, Grey's Anatomy, and several other shows, took on the task of running the show in addition to sprucing up the script, as Rob Thomas told EW at the time:
I am not attached as the showrunner; I am one of the producers on it. A writer named Heather Mitchell, who comes out of the Shonaland [Productions] world, is writing it for us and would be the showrunner. We are making a new pilot. I go directly from this phone call into a conference call about the latest outline of Lost Boys, so we are making progress.
At the time, it seemed like things were on the up and up for The Lost Boys and those dedicated to making the dream a reality. And that momentum would continue through the rest of 2019 and into 2020 when a new cast was brought on ahead of the second pilot.
There Was A Major Cast Overhaul Prior To The Second Pilot In Early 2020
In February 2020 (which seems like years ago at this point), Deadline reported that an entirely new cast for the new and improved pilot, this time taking place in North Carolina instead of sunny California. Out were Tyler Posey and Kiele Sanchez and in were Branden Cook of Industry fame, Lincoln Younes from the ABC series Grand Hotel, and Ruby Cruz of Castle Rock in the lead roles. According to the report, Cook was set to play Garrett, the show's version of Michael (Jason Patric) from the original movie, Younes was to play Benjamin, the leader of the vampire gang made popular by Kiefer Sutherland, and Cruz was set to take on the role of Elsie, a reimagining of Jami Gertz' Star from the 1987 movie.
A New Pilot Was In Production, But The Coronavirus Caused The CW To Pull Back In May 2020
With the new, punched-up script, key members of the cast, and a new order from The CW, The Lost Boys started filming its second pilot in early 2020. The momentum was short-lived, however, as by mid-March, all productions were shut down due to the Coronavirus pandemic, which included The Lost Boys. According to the Deadline report mentioned at the very top of this rundown, top brass at The CW were able to see some of the footage that had already been shot by the time it was shut down, but decided to pass it on it in May 2020 and wait until things blow over.
Before the plug was pulled on the Lost Boys pilot, it was being directed by Marcos Siega, who worked with Rob Thomas on three episodes of Veronica Mars as well as pilots for several shows over the years including The Vampire Diaries, Charlie's Angels, The Following, The Passage, and most recently, Batwoman.
It remains to be seen whether The CW will circle back around and give The Lost Boys another shot, but we'll keep you up-to-date here at CinemaBlend. In the meantime, make sure to check out our Fall 2020 TV premiere schedule for the latest information on all your favorite shows.