Executive Producer Jeff Davis Talks New Teen Wolf Series
“Since Scott isn’t sure how to handle becoming a werewolf, we incorporated a master/apprentice relationship that develops between him and the person (or creature) that attacked Scott and gave him his powers. I remember as a kid watching the old kung fu movies on Saturday morning and I always loved when the new fighter is being trained by the Shaolin monk so there will be some of that in the series as well,” Davis added.
And while it seems like the horror genre is a hot commodity on television these days, Davis discussed how he keeps abreast of what’s happening on the small screen across the board and how you won’t be seeing a parade of other supernatural creatures in “Teen Wolf” either.
“I take watching the other genre shows very seriously and kept all of them in mind when I was writing the scripts for ‘Teen Wolf’ because I wanted to make sure we weren’t doing something that other shows were already doing,” explained Davis. “I see it as part of my job to watch as much as I can so I can keep on top of what audiences are looking for and how other shows are treating their genre material as well. I’m actually friends with Kevin Williamson who does ‘The Vampire Diaries’ and for fans of that show who watch episode two of ‘Teen Wolf,’ all I can say is that there is a little Easter Egg for those fans during the lacrosse game.”
“But getting the werewolf make-up right was already so difficult so I’m very hesitant to bring in other supernatural creatures like vampires or witches or the like because that would be too much to deal with. So I think we’re going to just stay with werewolves in this series because there are so many stories to tell with this mythology from so many different cultures that we’ve got some ripe mythology to work from already,” added Davis.
So just which parts of the popular werewolf mythology will make its way into the “Teen Wolf” series? Davis said, “We certainly keep the full moon aspect of the werewolf mythology because who can resist that one? After all, it’s where we get the word 'lunatic' from. But what I can say is that silver is a little different in our version, and wolfsbane has a Kryptonite-like quality in our series too where different types have different effects on them. We did a ton of research into werewolf mythology, and we do pick bits and pieces from that, but we also take liberties as well with a few new ideas.”
“Most of our new ideas are purely to create conflict within the show. But there’s so much in the traditional werewolf folklore that I think would surprise a lot of fans- for example, one surprising thing we learned was that mistletoe was said to be used to fend off werewolves centuries ago so as you can see, we have plenty of mythologies to play with. I think we’re really going to keep fans guessing with some of the directions the mythology goes in too,” added Davis.
The “Teen Wolf” writer and executive producer went on to discuss what inspired the look of ‘Werewolf Scott’ and just how far they were able to push the horror factor with the series having a far darker tone than fans of the original may be expecting. “One of the inspirations for the look of Scott when he becomes a werewolf was the creature work in Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth. I always say that del Toro has a remarkable way of bringing beauty to his creatures where they’re both scary but kind of sexy at the same time so we tried to do that. We do have a progression of werewolves though since some of them have been werewolves for longer; they do look more monstrous than Scott.”
“We were pretty lucky because MTV didn’t really give us a horror line that we couldn’t cross with this series. Quite surprisingly, they kept telling us to go even edgier than we originally had planned to. I’m not someone who is a huge fan of gore, but we do have some great shock moments in the series that do use some gore for the fans. Personally, I prefer suspense over gore- not to say I don’t love the movies that really go for gore, but I don’t really feel like we need to take it that far to tell our story for the series though. But there are some great horror moments in the first season for sure,” added Davis.
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