Adapting movies to TV series is nothing new and several times these adaptations have been hugely successful, taking on a life of their own, sometimes eclipsing the films upon which they were based– ‘M*A*S*H’, ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘, the ‘Stargate‘ franchise, just to name a few. Of course, it doesn’t always work– most recently the short-lived ‘Minority Report’.
The newest entry is ‘The Lost Boys’ based on Joel Schumacher’s 1987 vampire teen thriller, which is so 80s it starred such staples as Kiefer Sutherland, Jason Patric, Jami Gertz, Alex Winter (Bill from ‘Bill & Ted’) and “The Coreys,” Haim and Feldman, plus a soundtrack featuring INXS, Echo & The Bunnymen and Lou Gramm.
The new TV series is being developed for The CW by Rob Thomas, one of the producers of the network’s returning ‘iZombie’. Also part of his track record are ‘Veronica Mars’, ‘Cupid’ and ‘Party Down’. Thomas’ plan is to make this an anthology series, with each season set in a different decade, beginning in the 60s. The same vampires (at least the ones that survive) will carry on from one season to the next, while they will interact with a new set of human victims in each installment.
Thomas recently spoke about his plans for ‘The Lost Boys’, including bringing in influences from the source of the term “Lost Boys,” J.M. Barie’s Peter Pan. Influences which were originally supposed to be part of the film, but were “lost” along the way.:
“I don’t know if it was the chicken or the egg first. I felt like the vampires in a new television version were not simply the bad guys. In The Lost Boys movie, the vampires are bad. I didn’t think I would structure each season, so there’s a group of bad guys who are vampires, each year, that we’re trying to defeat.
“Part of it was wanting to have vampires who are not as goody-goody as Liv is in [iZombie]. I think that group of vampires can actually exist within the framework of the show I’m presenting The CW with. Those exact four guys can exist in the world that I’m creating. There are a number of these four-person and five-person groups of vampires who are roaming around together, so it’s possible you could run into that group, but I’m not playing that exact group.
“For one thing, they’re supposed to die in the ‘80s. I’ve adapted things where I’ve been religious about the material. Clearly, with iZombie, we took a lot of liberties. The story that I’m trying to tell in Season 1 of The Lost Boys is a story about two brothers and how tempted they are to fall in with these vampires and how tempted they are to want to be 22 forever. I am leaning into the Peter Pan notion of, if you join these vampires, you never have to grow up. Your life can be fun and you can attack life each day you’re immortal, and how appealing is that?
“I read a bit about what the original writer’s intentions were, and how a lot of that Peter Pan imagery got pulled away from what they ended up doing. I’m pushing it back in there.”
The CW’s long-running ‘The Vampire Diaries’ is wrapping up its final season in March. Spinoff ‘The Originals’ has yet to premiere but wasn’t picked up for a full season, so its fate is up in the air. The same is true, unfortunately, for Thomas’ ‘iZombie’ a fan favorite but not a ratings smash. Worst case scenario, both ‘The Originals’ and ‘iZombie’ are cancelled, leaving space for a new vampire series on The CW and freeing up Thomas to focus on ‘The Lost Boys’. Win-win. (In an odd way.)
Are you intrigued by a TV spin on ‘The Lost Boys’? Do you think it should be based on the movie or perhaps take its own approach?