Teen Wolf Star: MTV Series Is 'Much Darker' Than the Michael J. Fox Movie

This Sunday marks the premiere of MTV’s buzzy reboot of the 1985 Michael J. Fox starrer about a puberty-riddled werewolf trying to make it in the cutthroat world of high school. But be forewarned: This is not your parents’ (or older cousins’) Teen Wolf.

“We’re nothing like the film,” Tyler Hoechlin (who plays Derek, the series’ big, baddish you-know-what) tells TVLine.

“The movie was this great campy comedy and a cult classic, but our show is much darker,” he continues.

Here’s what else Hoechlin (Road to Perdition, 7th Heaven) has to say about MTV’s fun new summer fare, plus check out the first eight minutes of the Teen Wolf premiere:

TVLINE | For fans with no prior knowledge of the Teen Wolf movie, or those who just aren’t familiar with the new series, how would you describe it?
It’s a gritty, horror genre series with a little “Romeo and Juliet” action thrown in. We still have a comedy element, but it certainly doesn’t make up the whole show. There’s a little bit of everything, and that’s what makes the show so great. It’s also not pinpointed to one demographic age-wise, so there’s something for everyone.

TVLINE | Would you say that, similarly to other supernatural series on today, the werewolves are technically “good guys” or someone fans can cheer on?
I don’t know if you can compare these werewolves to “good guys,” but there’s nothing really malicious about them. However, there is a level control that they have to learn. Scott (the main character, played by Tyler Posey) is learning how to control the impulse to kill people because he’s a newly bitten werewolf, so he can be very violent. Derek is teaching him how to use the wolf for all of its benefits and to not allow it to become a detriment to him.

TVLINE | Talk a little more about your character, Derek. When we first meet him, he’s so stoic and seems like he might be evil, but ultimately he comes around.
I like to compare him to Morpheus from The Matrix. He and Scott have that master/apprentice relationship, so I see him staying stoic in that sense. But not too much is as it seems with Derek. There’s a lot of mystery to him, particularly when it comes to what he’s been through and what he’s working towards at this point. It’s very much a back-and-forth as to which side he’s on throughout the first season. At the moment, he’s definitely using everyone and everything to his advantage, which it’s necessary.

TVLINE | Teen Wolf is pretty action-heavy, especially when it comes to Scott and Derek’s scenes. Being an athlete yourself, how did you approach all of those stunts?
Anytime I get a chance to do a stunt, I’m excited! I am a former athlete, and still do consider myself one, so I love anything physical. I actually begged and pleaded with the crew to let me do as much as they could allow me to, so they’d let me try something small and once that was OK I’d do something a little bit bigger. By the end, I was able to try everything at least once, and then we would have the stunt team come in and make it look a little bit better. [Laughs]

TVLINE | So, while there are some special effects to note, it’s mainly you guys out there throwing yourselves around?
Surprisingly, there aren’t too many special effects on the series. There are a few things here or there, but pretty much everything you see is happening on set. Our stunt team was amazing, and about 99.9 percent of what you see is real.

TVLINE | Would you say there is one overlying arc that carries through the first season?
There are so many arcs. We’re really giving each character its own storyline, which is interesting for the audience because you’re not just getting locked in to one arc. In fact, Scott really has conflict and plot going on with every person he interacts with, so it’s interesting to watch.

Now take a peek at the first eight minutes of Teen Wolf’s two-part premiere, which airs this Sunday at 11/10c, immediately after the MTV Movie Awards, before the series settles into its regular Mondays-at-10 slot.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Lou says:

    Then why did they call it that ? I mean, this show has apparently nothing in common with the movie except for a few names. That’s stupid. Just a way to attract more people. That’s one of the many reasons why I won’t even give it a try. I’m sorry but that’s just using something famous for their own benefit.
    [am I being too much ? maybe I am but I can’t help it. I’m a Michael J. Fox fan and the movie was this adorable goofy comedy and I don’t like the fact that they use the name of the ‘franchise’ to make the baby sister of twilight]

    • Damian says:

      I don’t think you’re being too much, that’s clearly their intentions. It seems to blow anyways so it doesn’t look like you’ll miss out. I don’t expect anything from MTV anymore. Looks better than Twilight but what’s not really? :p

      BTW where does his asthma go? Made me laugh.

    • Captain says:

      I definitely understand why a fan of the movie would be mad. They essentially are capitalizing on the brand-recognition of the film to produce their own Vampire Diaries/Twilight-type show but to be fair, I don’t think the vibe of the movie would work for a show in the 21st century. Nowadays, teens are into dark melodramas, I don’t think a campy comedy would be very successful. They probably should have just left it alone or named their show something completely different (why not call it what it is “The Werewolf Diaries”).

    • Ziro says:

      You’re not being to much I 100 percent agree with you. Fukin MTV quit fukin around with our classics if your going to make a show named after a movie for christ sake stick to the premise of the movie at least somewhat I mean wow. Its just like Micheal Bay and transformers fukin destroyed it. If you can’t do a reboot properly don’t do it. Also if its the kind of movie that may not be well perceived because the teens like something darker then make something darker but don’t leech of the fame of a movie title because you can’t get the damn job done on your own. Anyway thats my rant for the day.

    • Greg says:

      I’ve neer watched the original Teen Wolf or anything but I have to agree with you. They’re just hoping to pull in fans of the original by the title and character names.

    • Lu says:

      The point of being creative is building something new from an old idea. It would be pretty boring if they ripped off the original- BTW let the original be just that and enjoy it (if you do). I like how they took the original and found a new way to express the same basic idea.

      Regardless of whether the show is good or enjoyable, it’s unfair to judge it just for where the idea comes from.

      You know if they had done a more true version- you all know that you would be claiming it’s a copy or a rip off.

      • Damian says:

        Indeed, you’re probably right but why did they kept the title and the characters names(and probably town, highschool, etc… but I don’t know) if it’s a “fresh” idea? Nobody would have said anything, at least not regarding the movie. Oh and I never saw it either it’s just good sense imo.

    • emily Johnson says:

      Why do you bash something you haven’t even watched. If you sat and watched it I would accept your opinion. And you if don’t like remakes then i guess you won’t be watching FOOTLOOSE, RED DAWN, SPIDERMAN, CHARLIES ANGELS, DALLAS, etc…but will be still give your uneducated opinion.

  2. Steven says:

    Looks pretty bad. And how exactly is this buzzed about. I haven’t heard anyone mention this show. TVLine barely ever mentions this show.

  3. wonj says:

    Am I the only one who thinks the above is so airbrushed it makes the dude look like a Video Game character?

  4. Chad says:

    Anyone who’s ever seen Tyler Hoechlin “act” on 7th Heaven already knows that comparisons to the Miochael J. Fox movie aren’t going to be the biggest problem this series faces. 7th Heaven was one of the worst acted shows I’ve ever seen and this guy was very likely the worst actor in the entire cast. I like a good train wreck as much as the next guy but I won’t be tuning in for this.

  5. MJ says:

    I agree with the first comment. This is so typical of movies and tv shows these days. NO ONE can come up with an ORIGINAL IDEA anymore. I, too, will not watch. Note to Hollywood: try being creative for a change. Surely there are some ideas still out there that haven’t been used before.

  6. Eunice Alvarez says:

    I never thought I was gonna see Tyler Hoechlin since the last series he did of 7th Heaven! I was really excited of seeing him again on TV I got to say his character really suits him. He’s has an amazing talent and I’m a big fan of him!! :{)

  7. eric miller says:

    i think the shows great they took a classic and made it into something great as far as the names go why not people have to remember as time go on so do peoples likes and dislikes if you like the show then great if not then dont watch it i just wish i could have gotten a partt on the show seems like a great cast to work with

  8. Dua malik says:

    just wanna say tyler hoechlin is amazing.i love his character that he plays very well just a request to jeff that d0nt make derek bad and d0nt kill him.i 0nly watch teen wolf f0r derek.plz jeff d0nt kill him and d0nt make him a bad werewolf.