Executive Producer Jeff Davis Talks New Teen Wolf Series
When it comes to creating compelling, engaging television dramas, writer and producer Jeff Davis is a force to be reckoned with. After all, he created the highly successful “Criminal Minds” series back in 2005, and now he’s back at work on the upcoming television adaptation of the 1985 comedy classic Teen Wolf for MTV Networks.
Davis' "Teen Wolf" is set to premiere following the MTV Movie Awards on June 5th and then will head to its regular time slot on Monday, June 6th. Recently Dread Central had the opportunity to chat with Davis (pictured right) during the press day for "Teen Wolf" (Episode 1 review here) to find out how the new series differs from the original flick, what parts of the werewolf mythology were incorporated into the new series and just how far he was able to push the horror bar while he was writing the scripts for the entire first season.
With the original Teen Wolf being much more of a comedy than a horror film, Davis (who wrote all 12 episodes of the first season) discussed the tone for this new “Teen Wolf” and how it differs greatly from the source material. “The tone for ‘Teen Wolf’ was set right off the bat from my first meeting with MTV,” explained Davis. “It was their idea for the tone to be darker than the original. I asked MTV at the first meeting we had ‘how do you see adapting this into a television series because the original is very much a comedy’ because to me, it’s very much a feel-good basketball movie that ends with Michael J. Fox not even as a werewolf. So they said they wanted to do the series a little differently- a little darker, even a little sexier, so I suggested that we approach this kind of like the original Lost Boys, which was an 80s movie that I still love to this day. The Lost Boys is just one of those movies that has always stuck around in my head because it is scary, it is sexy and it’s still funny. So Lost Boys was really the paradigm we chose in picking our tone, with a bit of ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ thrown in there too because that was another series that really nailed the high school experience.”
“I know a lot of people have thrown around the terms 'remake' or 'reboot' for our ‘Teen Wolf’ series, but considering its MTV, I like to say it’s a remix- we’ve taken a classic film and given it a new beat for an entirely new generation of fans,” added Davis.
For fans of the original, you undoubtedly remember how Michael J. Fox’s Scott Howard openly celebrated his wolfiness amongst his peers; however, in this “Teen Wolf,” Scott (McCall, played by Tyler Posey) now struggles with his new identity and keeping it a secret from those he cares about since his knowledge of what he is becoming could lead to some very dangerous consequences for those in the know. Davis discussed how Scott must struggle with the power he’s been given (much like Peter Parker does) and how he gets some training from the werewolf who is responsible for the teen’s transformation.
Davis said, “A lot of the conflict of the first season is Scott having to control and hide his abilities now that he’s a werewolf. One of the reasons we actually chose lacrosse as the sport is that he gets to wear a helmet and it’s a much more violent sport than basketball. So we get to hide his features under a mask, which can help, but he still has to struggle to control his powers because it’s possible for him as a werewolf to get so worked up on the field that he could almost kill someone.”