MTV screened the first act of its upcoming series adaptation of Teen Wolf Friday at Comic-Con — and holy smokes, it's good.
Or at least the first eight-odd minutes are.
A one-hour drama and MTV aren't terms you'd expect to hear together, a point acknowledged prior to the screening by MTV's Vice President of scripted development Justin Levy. But the network appears to have lucked out in its reinvention of the original 1985 film, a campy teen comedy starring Michael J. Fox as a high school basketball player who becomes a werewolf while going through puberty.
MTV's reboot, as conceived by executive producer Jeff Davis (Criminal Minds), is downright dark, gritty and, for this convention-goer, scary.
Russell Mulcahy (Resident Evil, Highlander) directed the pilot, which brings him back to his roots at MTV. He, in fact, is the recipient of the network's first moonman (an award he won for directing The Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star," the first music video ever played on the network).
"This is not the Teen Wolf you remember," Davis said. The camp is gone, and the body count will be high. It's still a coming-of-age tale, "but it's a horror at its core," Davis told TVGuide.com. So don't expect Scott to go surfing on top of a van any time soon.
Here's what the sneak peak set up: Scott (Tyler Posey) is a lacrosse player, or specifically, an asthmatic bench warmer, who gets dragged out of his house on a cold, dark night when his friend Stiles (Dylan O'Brien) wants to go searching for the body — or, the remaining half a body — of a murdered girl. (Stiles' dad is a cop.) As they hunt for the body, which is lost somewhere in the woods, Stiles is caught by pop and dragged home, leaving Scott all alone. The rest involves that missing half a corpse, a mysterious deer stampede, and the bloody bite that will change everything.
No air date has been set yet for the series but production in Atlanta beings in October. MTV promises a video tease will be available online soon, but for now, Davis told the audience they should know this: "I wanna see blood, and claws and people dying," he said.
You've been warned.