The Throwback: Did 'Teen Wolf' need a reboot?
Michael J. Fox as the title character in 1985's "Teen Wolf"
June 9th, 2011
01:53 PM ET

The Throwback: Did 'Teen Wolf' need a reboot?

As Jordan Bienstock pointed out in his recap, if you looked for any similarities between MTV’s “Teen Wolf” and the 1985 Michael J. Fox movie when the new series premiered on Sunday, you didn't find much.

First of all, there’s not even a Bateman sibling. Michael J. Fox played the title character in the mid-‘80s comedy while simultaneously appearing as Justine Bateman's brother, Alex P. Keaton, on the sitcom "Family Ties." Two years later, Jason Bateman (Justine's real-life brother) starred in the sequel, "Teen Wolf Too."

Fast forward almost 25 years and a non-Justine Bateman sibling – fictional or otherwise – has been cast in the latest incarnation of the franchise.

To be fair, the new hour-long drama does contain some nods to the original. The protagonist in both the series and the original film is a typical awkward teenager named Scott dealing with high school and life as a werewolf.

In both versions, Scott is joined by a T-shirt-wearing sidekick named Stiles. But while the new Stiles wears shirts featuring the Beatles and the Royal Air Force Roundel symbol, the original Stiles favored shirts that included highly-offensive phrases.

(Speaking of offensive, there is one Stiles scene in the original "Teen Wolf" that we can’t even talk about here. Fortunately the comedian Eugene Mirman breaks it down in one of his hilarious bits. Be warned, however, it's probably too offensive for most readers.)

The 1985 version features Scott reaping the benefits of werewolf stardom. With all his senses heightened, he can be seen getting good grades and the girl of his dreams, break-dancing, bowling a perfect game and surfing atop a moving vehicle when he’s not leading his basketball team to victory.

In the MTV reboot, Scott also achieves confidence and acceptance from his peers with his newly discovered powers, however, lacrosse is his game of choice.

And of course, a big difference that gives the series its darker spin: In the original, Scott inherits the werewolf trait from his father, who hid his lycanthropy from his son in the hopes that it would skip a generation, while the Scott on MTV's show gets bitten by a werewolf in the woods.

What about you? What are your favorite scenes from the "Teen Wolf" movies of the 1980s? Do you prefer the classic movie or the new MTV series?

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Filed under: movies • television

soundoff (70 Responses)
  1. Teen idol dublin

    Do you want to have a great time right now as well as retire small uncover the powerful financial allows you've got in your favor when you begin committing young.nn models

    January 24, 2012 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Dee

    Better be glad a crappy movie is being remade into a top notch MTV series, a first for that network. Teen Wolf is a really gripping and interesting show and I'm glad the series doesn't pay too much homage to its predecessor.

    July 6, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
  3. gah

    i think MTV is trying to appeal to the "Team Jacob" Twilight fans- there are a lot of vampire shows on, but not much for the werewolf lovers. (i'm not on anyone's team just as a side note)

    July 1, 2011 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
  4. flower12

    I remember loving this movie – as a 10 year old child. Re-watching it as an adult was oh so painful. Awful movie that definitely needs to be put to rest. What is up with "Reboot?" This word is just ludicrous .

    June 28, 2011 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
  5. TMC

    I loved the original movie, it's a classic. That being said, I also loved the movie Buffy The Vampire Slayer. We all know how that turned out. It was one of my favorite shows on TV. Give it a chance... it might surprise us.

    June 22, 2011 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Brodie

    "well Dad, it didnt skip a landed on my FACE!"
    I always loved the 1985 classic...MJ Fox brought so much to Scotts character. I havent seen the new one, but yea...I try not even look and compare – seems like the new ones always fall short of the high 80s expectations we knew as kids.

    June 20, 2011 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Kayla

    I dont know if you guys noticed or not but THEY REMAKE EVERYTHING NOW becuase apparently being creative is too hard for movie and show makers now a days. The question is, what hasnt been made into a remake???

    June 14, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Menicy

    This is not a reboot. Its something else all together. Teen Wolf (the original) was not a miniature detective series, it was a comedy about coming of age and what happens when puberty takes itself to the extreme.

    This New Teen wolf is nothing like the original, its a drama/mystery... things hiding in the shadows etc. Its like Buffy the Vampire slayer 'cept no vampires (at least not yet). I like it, but they should have named it something else and just said that this show was "inspired by" the original movie.

    Reboot my left buttcheek.

    June 14, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jeff

    Just another case of taking a successful movie/show from bygone days and trying to remake. Also, why wasn't Wonder Woman brought to light? Can't wait for the 3 Billion Dollar man to hit the airwaves ( 6 Million Dollar for old timers )

    June 14, 2011 at 6:05 am | Report abuse |
  10. Johnny Cage

    Why don't they reboot BARNEY while they're at it, only make him a real dinosaur that eats kids instead. Holywood is in this funk of reboots... a spiderman reboot? an attempted reboot of wonderwoman? GI Joe and transformer movies? Batman begins... Now a smurfs movie.. where are the Thundercats? What's next, dark wing duck?

    June 12, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • A

      There is already a remake of the Thundercats in the works – a new cartoon version. If you Google it, you can find the trailer.

      June 20, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Be Happy

    Originals are always great because their the first. I know th original Teen Wolf was cheesy but it was 80's fun. Haven't seen this re-do, sounds like the usual rehashing of original thoughts that seem lacking now a days. Here's to hoping 😉

    June 10, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  12. chrisinboston

    Teen Wolf didn't even need to be made in the first place. And please stop using the term "reboot," it's ridiculous.

    June 10, 2011 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  13. shaved sniz


    June 10, 2011 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  14. Joe in Colorado

    Funny, my 10-year-old son and I watched the original Teen Wolf just last week. I didn't even know there was a remake (or a sequel for that matter).

    He loved it.

    June 10, 2011 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  15. SectionC

    No, this wasnt too offensive like other things Ive ready about recently

    June 10, 2011 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  16. Rusty Trombone

    MTV is ghey¡

    June 10, 2011 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
  17. C

    No it didn't. Teen Wolf was just fine and it really didn't need a stupid Twilighted reboot.

    June 10, 2011 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
  18. Say it ain't so

    I don't think it needs a reboot. The original is the best but of course it's the norm now isn't it? Taking classic movies & re-inventing them for the new generations. Personally I don't think anything Michael j. Fox did needs rebooting. FYI the E.T remake is already in the works.

    June 10, 2011 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
  19. Mike B

    I like the new one. I like the 1985 one also.

    I hope MTV keeps it around.

    June 10, 2011 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
  20. kane

    does cubbs dutch oven himself again in the new one...... no?? then its dead in the water.

    June 10, 2011 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
  21. T

    There are NO original ideas in Hollywood....
    Only reboots of an original idea to freshen or change up the original subject for new generations...
    As for "Teen Wolf", it was a small chuckle when I saw it on the tube years later, didn't bother to see it in the theater.
    Didn't bother to see the new one, the vampires, werewolves and zombies have been done to death (pardon the pun).

    June 10, 2011 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
  22. captain falcon

    I love the scene where mjf is car surfing

    June 10, 2011 at 8:05 am | Report abuse |
  23. BrianR

    Reboot, not necessary. But I don't think we need another moody teen "monster" showcase either. Teen angst with excessive facial hair and fangs, please!
    The original movie wasn't great, but it was fun, this will turn into Twilight with fur.

    June 10, 2011 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |
  24. duranie

    I think cartoon network did this in the late 90s and called it big wolf on campus. Does anyone remember that?

    June 10, 2011 at 7:31 am | Report abuse |
  25. Aaron

    I lost my innocence to the scene in the dressing room...

    June 10, 2011 at 7:26 am | Report abuse |
  26. Soop

    I believe the "original" starred Michael Landon and came out in the early '60's. Didn't see that one either!

    June 10, 2011 at 6:36 am | Report abuse |
  27. Trolol

    Could have had Michael J make a cameo as Teen Wolf's chihuahua cousin.

    June 10, 2011 at 6:13 am | Report abuse |
  28. christina

    ima be honest in sayin in my opinion i think the show is kinda dumb

    June 10, 2011 at 4:19 am | Report abuse |
  29. hatshepsut

    Hollywood is full of talentless people. Does anyone have new ideas or is this the future? I guess we can expect a cgi Ultraman, Steve Austin, and maybe a new E.T.

    June 10, 2011 at 3:25 am | Report abuse |
  30. Zach Frawley

    With all the hacky vampire stuff that's been coming out, why not?

    June 10, 2011 at 2:40 am | Report abuse |
  31. josh

    Overall idea of a teenage wolf? what? Its been done before! The characters names are the same and hes also in highschool. Its a remake! Josh

    June 10, 2011 at 1:59 am | Report abuse |
  32. *Layala

    I don't think that this is a remake. They just used the overal idea of a teenage werewolf.

    In fact, I really like the MTV series.

    June 10, 2011 at 1:18 am | Report abuse |
    • anen

      You are so so right. The rest of the people posting here should read your comment

      June 10, 2011 at 2:30 am | Report abuse |
  33. Bubba The Horney Goat

    No, it didn't.

    June 10, 2011 at 12:48 am | Report abuse |
  34. Liz

    I actually didn't even know there was an original teen wolf movie but I think MTV got something finally right with it's new show. Its great and I know loads of people who arent twilight people who watch it and enjoy it

    June 9, 2011 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
  35. jackie

    If it aint broke dont fix it! original version is the best!

    June 9, 2011 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Anthony Weiner

    It is refreshing to see a vital, modern interpretation of this time honored classic.

    June 9, 2011 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Beth

    no basketball scene to canned inspirational 80 song?No wolf in civil war uniform?NO THANKS

    June 9, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Loogin

    Absolutely not. I'm fed up with the industry and the number of reboots, remakes, reinventing, sequels, and prequels. Instead of pumping this crap out at a ridiculous rate and crying about losing money, maybe the studios should focus more on finding unique and new ideas. Like them or not, Black Swan and Kings Speech did VERY well because they were different

    June 9, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • hehe101

      Exactly. There are too many vampire/Werewolf-ish movies, shows, books, etc. out there. I know these are "what the kids are into these days" but still.... No more vampires OR werewolves! What we need more of is historical fiction and movie versions of classic books ( I'm talking big budget Hollywood). Or perhaps some original ideas.

      June 19, 2011 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Willow

    Teen Wolf was one of my favorite 80's movies (the original, not the crappy sequel). It didn't need a reboot, and you can always use werewolves as a general concept without trying to redo something that was already done.

    June 9, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Trevor

    Does the person in the bleachers have his/her fly open and giving exposure in this new one? ;p

    June 9, 2011 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
  41. JMO

    Best part is at the very end when the crowd is going wild and you can see a guy stand up with a huge torque'd one...

    June 9, 2011 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
  42. steve


    June 9, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  43. DarkJourneyTheMovie

    Nah, it didn't need a reboot. Nothing does. Re-release old stuff on DVD/BluRay for the older viewers if you must, but give new audiences new material.

    June 9, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  44. JazGalaxy

    The first paragraph of this thing is utterly awful. It's like it's trying to be a joke, but it requires too much explanation and isn't even funny to begin with.

    June 9, 2011 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nancy

      "As Jordan Bienstock pointed out in his recap, if you looked for any similarities between MTV’s “Teen Wolf” and the 1985 Michael J. Fox movie when the new series premiered on Sunday, you didn't find much."

      What the hell are you talking about?

      June 9, 2011 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Giampaolo

    Never should have been remade. Don't remake movies that were perfect the first time. What's next? The new Casablanca starring Ashton Kucher?

    June 9, 2011 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bret

      Don't say that, it might already be in pre production somewhere... (shudders at the idea)

      June 9, 2011 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fred Evil

      Sssshhh! Those idiot execs might be listening...creativity is dead, reheating other peoples ideas has become the norm, how pathetic.

      June 9, 2011 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • jj

      Ashton, yes. Ilsa will be played by Julie Christie...

      June 10, 2011 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Hehe101

      Casablanca is impossible to remake. It is a classic "old" movie with too many great lines that an average movie sharing the same name and plot would be too terrible! However, if done the right way it could be spectacular, with the right cast, director, editor, producers, writers, and costume designers it could be THE way to entice the younger audiences to watch a classic and compare the two. Heck, I'm a teenager and I know my loyalties lie with the original.

      June 19, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
  46. cpc65

    No. It did not.

    June 9, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
  47. À. Ï.

    Teen Wolf more like a scared puppy!

    June 9, 2011 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
  48. anon


    June 9, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Snarky

    No, Teen Wolf doesn't need a reboot. In fact, it didn't need an original either.

    June 9, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe from CT, not Lieberman

      The original wasn't bad. It was the sequel and the subsequent TV series that were about as needed as a snapping turtle in a swimming pool of a "nature lovers' " colony.

      June 9, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Burt Reynolds

    Anybody want a free moustache ride?

    June 9, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  51. carl

    I just fapped to that werewolf's face.

    June 9, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  52. The Mad R@p3r

    "Be warned, however, it’s probably too offensive for most readers."

    Considering the usual content of the comments on here I would highly doubt that.

    June 9, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • walter

      Can we loose the word "reboot." Its too ghetto.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stiles

      He didnt even say anything that offensive! I'm offended!

      June 10, 2011 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
    • SpellCheck


      June 21, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Adam

      dont need to read whole story. Teenwolf does not need a reboot. Does Little House on The Prarie need a reeboot now too? Hell No. Leave our CLASSICS alone

      June 24, 2011 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nick

      Regardless of whether or not you believe a movie NEEDS to be remade, remakes (or reboots/re-imaginings, if you prefer) are always going to be here, so it's probably best to just judge them on their own merits (or lack thereof) and call it a day. Flapping your gums won't change it. And by the way, "Teen Wolf" (1985) isn't a "classic" just because it's 26 years old. It was a steaming pile back then and it remains a steaming pile today.

      June 28, 2011 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      I think we went to go see breakfast club instead.

      June 29, 2011 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |

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