MTV launched its hit series Teen Wolf in 2011 starring Tyler Posey for a six-season run. Considering the show's target audience it seemed odd to base it off a 1985 comedy starring Michael J. Fox. Showrunner Jeff Davis based his series loosely off the source material but kept some elements to pay homage to the 80s comedy film.
What he changed he improved upon and turned the show into a rich combination of comedy, horror, drama and romance. Here are five things the show kept from the 1985 movie and five things it changed.
10 KEPT: The Names Scott and Stiles
Both the movie and the series have the main character named Scott, even though their last names differ. The same goes for the sarcastic and lovable best friend, Stiles. Movie Stiles goes by the nickname though his real name is Rupert.
Show Stiles never has his first name revealed and simply goes by the nickname. Stiles Stilinski is a strange name but it has become synonymous with the smart-aleck sidekick for fans of both the movie and the show. While Scott's last name changed his goofy and sweetheart character did not.
9 CHANGED: More Creature Features
The 1985 film focused on the titular monster, the werewolf, but the MTV series enhanced the story by bringing in chimeras, were-coyotes, kitsunes, kanimas and more. To run for so many years the story had to evolve to more than just Scott always fighting another pack of werewolves. He needed a challenge, so Davis raised the stakes by adding more powerful creatures to test the protagonist's strength.
Also, unlike the movie, these beasts were kept hidden in the shadows to avoid mass panic. The movie portrayed Scott's secret coming to light and having his peers embrace him.
8 KEPT: Nerdy Best Friends Who Get Bullied
Especially in season one of the MTV show, Scott and Stiles were outcasts who constantly got snubbed by their peers. This kept true to the 1985 movie as Scott dealt with the basketball team captain bully and Stiles battled the bully's mean girlfriend.
In both adaptations, no matter what the odds or who the antagonists were, Scott and Stiles always had each other's backs. Whether it was on the big or small screen didn't matter. Teen Wolf told the story of the underdog that everyone wanted to root for.
7 CHANGED: Lacrosse Instead of Basketball
Both the film and show portray Scott as a member of a school sports team. However, in the 1985 movie, Fox is a basketball player for the Beacontown Beavers while in the 2011 series Posey is a lacrosse player for the Beacon Hills Cyclones.
The change in sport amplified the story of Scott's struggles with keeping his new werewolf powers in check. A contact sport like lacrosse made it easier for aggression to surface as opposed to basketball where Fox's Scott showed, "The wolf can dunk."
6 KEPT: Coach Bobby Finstock
Regardless of the sport, both the film and MTV series kept the wryly funny Coach Bobby Finstock. In the show, Coach Finstock is played by comedian Orny Adams. Adams brings a more manic persona to the character making him the angry school teacher who's tired of the kids around him.
Jay Tarses' Coach Finstock in the film still provided sarcastic quips and harsh criticisms, but with a quieter, tough-guy persona. Both versions of the coach offered strange lines of wisdom in a roundabout way to the main characters.
5 CHANGED: Supporting Cast of Characters
While the support characters maintained their high school archetypes of the love interest, the mean girl and the school jock/bully in the television show, the writers handled their development differently. They even had different names from their movie counterparts.
The film left these characters shallow so that they were shadow pieces in the background of Scott's story. The show, however, early on in season one portrayed them as nuanced and gave them depth, making them a part of Scott's pack in the end.
4 KEPT: Scott's Single Parent
In the MTV series, Scott lives with his single mom Melissa McCall (Melissa Ponzio) who works the night shift as a nurse at Beacon Hills Memorial Hospital. In the 1985 film, Scott lives with his single father Harold Howard who also has the werewolf gene.
It doesn't matter that Melissa isn't a werewolf or that Harold knew the change might happen to his son. Both offer him sage wisdom, practical advice and unconditional love. Scott may be a teen wolf but he isn't alone.
3 CHANGED: Werewolf Aesthetics
Fox's werewolf costume in the 1985 film followed a traditional aesthetic that mirrored classic monster movies. Giving him a full-body makeover with long beastly hair coming out of every pore made him more wolf than man. The MTV series gave the look a minimalist switch, keeping the werewolves more human than animal.
The show's wolves only had the faces and claws change while keeping the actors' features prominent. In a show about hormonal teenagers on a network like MTV, it's easy to see why the creators changed the costumes.
2 KEPT: Scott Sucks at Sports
It didn't matter that Scott played lacrosse in the show and basketball in the movie. In both versions of Teen Wolf, he was a terrible athlete before the transformation. MTV's Scott McCall had asthma that made him less adept than his other teammates. Once he turns into a werewolf though, all shortcomings fade away and he becomes a monster athlete.
The series shows Scott as agile, fast and strong to depict the ultimate lacrosse player. The movie shows Scott with supernatural jumping abilities to dunk a basket. Both post-transformation Scotts one-up the bully.
1 CHANGED: Genre
The 1985 movie followed a more comedic storyline with the occasional teenage drama. The MTV series delved into Teen Wolf's darker side by exploring who are the true monsters: the werewolves or the men that hunt them.
Davis's series also gave the characters a deeper development that allowed for moments of romance to bloom between different pairings, as well as dramatic twists that made the audience feel bad for villainous characters. The 80s film stuck close to funny characters and a lighthearted story.