Teen WolfPlease, MTV dudes, if you're intent on rehashing cheap-jack 80s movies into modern-day TV serial dramas, at least have the decency to honor the original by updating the original, not simply hijacking the title. We're talking about 'Teen Wolf,' the 1985 groan fest that became a sentimental favorite solely because of the winning performance by Michael J. Fox in the title role. Judging by its new trailer, the TV series will be more "reminiscent of the dreamy 'Twilight' character played by tween heartthrob Taylor Lautner," observes Movieline.

That means MTV will turn the movie's basic premise upside down in search of ... what? A lead-in for their reality hit 'Teen Mom'? Look, the original was no deathless classic, but the idea was sweet and gentle, plucked straight from a geeky, naive teen boy's fantasies. Michael J. Fox played Scott Howard, a kid who's leading an ordinary high school life, out of the limelight. He's an average basketball player on a bad team; he yearns for a pretty girl and is bullied by her boyfriend. Then, wham! He learns that he can turn into a werewolf, is thrust into the public spotlight and begins to reap the rewards, before learning valuable lessons about what's really important in life.
Old-fashioned? Yes. Thoroughly mediocre in this writer's opinion? Yes. Fox clearly was destined for better things, but made the most of the opportunity in his first starring turn in a feature. (Confusingly, it was completed well before 'Back to the Future,' then rushed into release to capitalize on the success of the time-travel smash hit.) Fox had charisma to burn and made audiences root for the under-wolf underdog to win.

When the idea of a feature remake was floated in the summer of 2009, it wasn't clear what direction it would take. A few months later, MTV ordered a pilot, claiming that it would be "very different" and more like 'An American Werewolf in Paris.' That, in itself, should have sounded a big alarm, since who in their right mind would want to refer to that witless and inept "sequel" as inspiration for something "very different"? More months passed, and then MTV decided to order up a 12-episode series, which, it became clear, would have more in common with 'The Vampire Diaries' and 'Twilight' than the original movie. Our friends at TV Squad suggested it be called 'Tween Wolf.'

To be fair, the press release from MTV at the time admitted as much: "We loved the conceit of the original film and knew the title had a great hook. The creative challenge was to take that title and reinvent it as a horror series for the MTV audience. It combines romance and high school to make 'Teen Wolf' the perfect thriller for MTV."

So that's it, case closed; MTV bought the rights to the title so they could make their own 'Twilight'-lite, perfect for multiple commercial interruptions, no doubt with music tie-ins and product placement to follow. Check out the smoky forest and all the cute boys and girls in the teaser trailer below. [embed via SlashFilm].