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01 May 2007 @ 01:23 pm
Werewolf Update: Teen Wolf  
Time for another werewolf update. What's the news this time? A Teen Wolf remake!

Right now, things are running stronger on rumors than on facts, so the available information is somewhat contradictory. Expect it to change. I'll try to organize the information to show you which parts are better-attested.

About half of the sources claim that this will be a gender-switching remake, with a female in the lead role as a teenage werewolf. Yet other sources state that this will NOT be a gender-switcher remake, and that it will, in fact, be one of those incredibly faithful shot-for-shot remakes that endeavors to almost exactly reproduce every scene from the original (including keeping the gender of the werewolf the same). The latter information seems to be older, so perhaps it was at first going to be a normal remake, and then at some point somebody decided that it needed a new twist.

Most of the sources state that the star of Smallville will be one of the stars, but not as the lead role of the werewolf. It is not said which role he will play, but there has been speculation that he would play "Stiles" the werewolf's best friend in the original movie.

A few sources are reporting that one of the youngsters from Home Improvement will be in the title role. However, many of the sources contradict this, by stating that the lead role is still unfilled.

There are also other people rumored to be attached to the project. Among these are Jennifer Love Hewitt as supporting character "Boof" who was one of two love interests for the original Teen Wolf (though, if this is a gender-switching remake, I don't know how Boof would fit in unless the new Teen Wolf is a lesbian or unless the "Boof" and "Stiles" roles are switched around). Gus Van Sant is supposed to be the director.

This movie is still at a very early stage. They are presently scouting for locations and have little or none of the cast hired so far. The film probably won't hit theaters for at least a year or two, because that is the normal speed of development in the film industry.

I do know that there has been buzz about doing something new with Teen Wolf for some years, but nothing from before has been as definite as the recent rumors. A few years ago, there was some vague talk of doing a third Teen Wolf movie, it was planned to be switched from the comedy genre to the horror genre, with a proposed title of Teen Wolf 666. That talk was never very firm and quickly died down.

There has also been talk for years of putting Jennifer Love Hewitt in a werewolf movie. At one time, she was supposed to be slated for the lead role in Blood and Chocolate, and at another time, rumor associated her with the recent film Cursed.

Will this remake be any good? Who knows! At this early stage, it's hard to tell. If they do it just right, it could be a great film. If they mess it up, they'll probably end up with a flop like Teen Wolf Too. Remakes of any kind are traditionally iffy. They have to walk a fine line between pleasing fans of the original movie and attracting a new audience, between changing so little that people would rather rent the original and changing so much that people think you've violated the spirit of the original. Having a big new twist can promote a film to stardom as easily as it can ruin it.

Along with most fans of the original, I'll be hoping that they do a great job. I do have my doubts, though. The original was a classic, but it was an 80s teen movie classic, and it was a lesser member of that category. It is hard to follow in the footprints of a classic without something going wrong. Even worse, following in the footsteps of a minor classic has its own special problems, because the original material was not that spectacular. In my opinion, the original only worked as well as it did because of the incredible charisma of Michael J. Fox, who could make you believe in the main character and see past the silliness of a werewolf playing basketball. With a more ordinary actor in the lead role, the same script would have made for a much poorer movie.

So a Teen Wolf remake, if it is faithful to the original, had better hire actors who are extremely talented and oozing charisma. No, not just teen-fluff sex appeal, but genuine charisma, which is something else altogether. Even in a comedy, you need to believe in the characters and feel for them when they suffer.

Otherwise, if there are big changes in the remake, those changes will need to rise above the original material and show us something unique and interesting, not just throw in some random twists and hope it all falls together.