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Teen Wolf: An Interview with Executive Producer Jeff Davis

Some readers may remember Michael J. Fox's big screen comedy Teen Wolf, but that film and the forthcoming series from MTV have very little in common.
When the title was first announced, many people asked one simple question: "Why?"

“You can easily ask the same question of Battlestar Galactica, which became one of my favorite TV shows,” executive producer Jeff Davis has responded. “I loved the original version, and I love the new version. I recognize its datedness. I am a huge fan of the original movie. I loved it. But the question really is — A, it’s a basketball movie, and, B, it’s a comedy. And I said to them, ‘Is that the kind of movie you want to make?’ And they said, ‘No. We want to reinvent it for modern audiences, but we want to use the same kind of themes of a teenager exploring new-found powers and take the metaphor of a werewolf a little bit further, a little edgier, a little sexier. I think what we’ve done is we’ve paid really good homage to the original movie. And to be quite honest, I consider myself a creative person, but also as a businessman, and you can’t dismiss the power of branding.

“If it was a [broadcast] network [and not a cable channel like MTV], we’d be told, ‘Focus far more on the relationships. Don’t do too much of the werewolf stuff," he continues. "Yes, he’s a werewolf, but we don’t want to do too much of that.’ There’s network sci-fi shows that are constantly being told, ‘Less sci-fi, more soap opera.’ But here they have been telling us, ‘Edgier. Go for it. We want to see action. We want to see twists. We want to see surprises,’ which is one of the most exciting things, to me, about working in cable.

“The way we like to put it is, the other werewolf shows and movies have werewolves you can pet,” Davis said. “We wanted to have one you could kiss. We wanted to do a story about a teenager who wasn’t necessarily a geek, a dork, but who is kind of the kid who you remember in class. But if they got hit by a bus someday, it would be like, ‘I think he sat behind me in class.’ He’s that kind of guy. So it’s a moment of taking the ordinary person and making him extraordinary. When you are talking high school, I mean, that’s a time of life when it’s sexual awakening, and it’s finding yourself, your identity. Being a werewolf is a way for us to tell a story where our desires are kind of heightened, senses are heightened. Our paradigm has always been to take the tone of The Lost Boys: funny when it wants to be, scary when it needs to be, and romantic as well."
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