'Teen Wolf' for the 'Twilight' generation: MTV reinvents 1985 comedy

tyler-posey.jpgIf you're thinking that MTV's "Teen Wolf" reinvention will look and feel like the 1985 Michael J. Fox comedy that inspired it, think again. In the age of "Twilight," werewolves are a lot darker and broodier. In fact, the star of MTV's "Teen Wolf," Tyler Posey, was one of many actors considered for Taylor Lautner's role of Jacob Black.

There's still a sense of humor to the show. The promotional material handed out at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour includes the tagline "Puberty with fangs!" (And the line "A love triangle of desire, overwhelming urges, a hunger for more." Oh, the melodrama.)

MTV execs explained that the "lead character, Scott, struggles with his animal instincts both as a creature of the night and as a young boy entering manhood." In the short presentation we saw, Scott's first experience with his new powers is supersonic hearing, which helps him win the heart of the new girl in school, Alison.

Unfortunately, it's not all fun and games. Scott's fun is thwarted by werewolf hunters in town. "We see it as Hatfield-McCoys," executive producer Jeff Davis says of the hunters and the werewolves. "It's a centuries-long feud  between two societies. The hunters have essentially gone through the centuries seeking out werewolves and destroying their kind."

Scott (whose last name is McCall, not Howard like the movie character) becomes more attractive to women as a result of the transformation. "One of the powers is to attract girls," Posey says, laughing. "Before, I was bit - I was a loser, an outcast in school. Now I catch the attention of Lydia, the mean girl, and Alison. I get great at my sport, lacrosse, and I'm just an all-star."

Director Russel Mulcahy - who, notably, won the first ever MTV Moonman and directed Duran Duran's "Hungry Like the Wolf" - says that lacrosse was chosen above the original basketball for strategic reasons. "You can credibly hide some of the transformation, and it's an incredibly violent game," he notes.

Though the tonality of "Twilight" and "The Vampire Diaries" certainly resonates, the werewolves here are going to look very different. "They have werewolves you can pet," Davis says. "We want to have a werewolf you can kiss."

The werewolf mythology will also be changed up. "Teen Wolf" will have beta, alpha, and omega wolves. "Omegas are the monsters," says star Tyler Hoechlin, who plays Derek. "I play a little bit older beta on his way to becoming an alpha. I'll be closer to developing like an actual wolf."

Derek takes Scott under his wing after biting him and infecting him with the curse. "It's more of a master/apprentice relationship. As to whether [Derek] is a protagonist or antagonist, it's kind of up for debate."

The series goes into production in October in Atlanta. "We're miles away from 'The Vampire Diaries' set," Davis promises.

We just hope that Dylan O'Brien's character, Stiles, is half as cool as the original Stiles. We'll reserve judgment until we see whether he has a shirt that reads "What are you looking at, d***nose?"

It's the little things.

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Photo Credit: TylerGPosey.com