When Teen Wolf concluded its six-season run in 2017, it hardly felt like the show was going away forever. Sure, its subject matter is no longer en vogue—in 2023, shirtless werewolves are hardly the mythical creature du jour, the era of Twilight is long gone, and squeaky-clean superheroes have pretty much come to monopolize the sci-fi-action genre. And yet, in its time on the air, the MTV series managed to build one of the most ardent (and horniest) fanbases on social media (“Sterek” posts still appear on my Tumblr homepage nearly six years later).
It would be strange and, frankly, a bit silly if MTV didn’t eventually rekindle the onetime mega-popular series. Not to mention, the online omnipresence of Teen Wolf fan-favorite Dylan O’Brien has certainly driven demand for a revival.
However, it was Teen Wolf’s titular star who ultimately did the dirty work of reuniting the cast for a feature film—or who at least voiced what MTV was already thinking.
“I just always visualized it,” Tyler Posey, who played the lacrosse-playing werewolf Scott McCall in the series, tells The Daily Beast over Zoom. “I manifested it. And so when the call happened, I wasn’t surprised.”
“Demanded” is maybe a more accurate term for what Posey did to secure a reboot. Almost three years ago, toward the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Posey tweeted out this plea to network heads: “Hey @MTV i think it’s time to bring teen wolf back for new episodes. First Jersey shore family vacation. Now teen wolf high school reunion. I’m ready. And 28 so it’s an appropriate age.”
“It only felt right,” he now explains. “The show’s only grown in popularity since the TV show ended. And we can’t go anywhere without being stopped and recognized for Teen Wolf. And it’s garnering new fans.”
The show first got a reunion of sorts when creator Jeff Davis and the cast gathered on Zoom for an MTV panel in June 2020 that attracted millions of views. And the following year, Paramount+ announced that it had ordered a Teen Wolf film with most of the original characters—sans O’Brien, who had scheduling conflicts—reprising their roles. A satisfying case of “ask, and you shall receive.”
Fast forward to today, and fans can finally watch Teen Wolf: The Movie on Paramount+. The heavily anticipated film finds Posey’s McCall still employed at a Beacon Hills animal shelter and helping the community as a dog whisperer 15 years after the series’ end. After receiving messages from his ex-girlfriend Allison (Crystal Reed), who was killed off in Season 3, he and some of his high school pals discover that she isn’t actually dead, but rather stuck in a state of limbo, or “bardo,” between life and death.
Scott, Allison’s banshee BFF Lydia Martin (Holland Taylor), and werecoyote Malia Tate (Shelley Hennig) manage to resurrect her body from the stump of a magical tree but with one major caveat: Allison has lost all her memory except for the fact that she’s a werewolf hunter, obviously putting Scott and some of his friends in immediate danger. The Nogitsune, a mummy-like villain who creates chaos for pleasure, is back in the mix, as well as the Oni, the masked army of murderers who originally killed Allison.
After all these years removed from the show, it’s Reed who steers Teen Wolf: The Movie more than Scott or any other character. That’s somewhat risky, given that fans haven’t been asked to think about her character since her death halfway through the show’s run. But it’s rather gracious and even heartwarming that Davis was generous enough to offer her the spotlight again after her shocking decision to leave the show. In a 2014 interview, she chalked up her exit to wanting to take on different kinds of roles, but Reed tells The Daily Beast that she was also dealing with mental health issues at the time.
“I had walked away from Teen Wolf because I wasn’t well,” the 37-year-old actress admits. “I wasn’t sure whether or not I wanted to keep acting. I wasn’t sure about anything in my life. So it was a really important time for me, but also very confusing and quite heavy.”
Despite eventually finding other television work, notably on Fox’s Gotham, Reed describes the months following her exit as “disorienting.” Posey, meanwhile, also remembers “struggling” after the show’s end, but considers that time a “necessary plunge into unknowingness.” Since 2017, he’s primarily taken on voice-acting roles in animated films for Marvel and the Fast & Furious franchise. He also had a starring role on VH1’s short-lived Scream: Resurrection. However, that era of freedom gave him the opportunity to hone his craft as an alternative rock musician who’s garnered millions of streams on Spotify, as well as an OnlyFans creator who launched his account after coming out as queer in 2020.
“I had another career that I was trying to start,” Posey says. “I was like, ‘Maybe I want to focus on this for a while now.’ But in these five years, I realized how much I love filmmaking and telling stories and being creative on that front.”
Though you’d think most young actors wouldn’t want to be defined by the one project that shot them to stardom, Posey admits that Teen Wolf has weighed heavily on his mind over the past five years.
“I periodically watch Teen Wolf every now and then,” the now-31-year-old admits. “I’m a huge fan of it. And super proud of all of us. It sticks with me a lot.” Because of that, Posey says he “didn’t have to dig too deep to figure out who Scott was or still is” while making the film. “But it was still scary,” he adds. “It was nerve-racking going up and going in front of the camera and portraying Scott again.”
Reed, however, was in a much different position, given that she’d put Allison’s bow and arrow to rest many years before.
“We were kind of making it up together, like what her arc was going to be,” Reed says about her early talks with Davies, who wrote the film. “I sent him a list of questions. What does Allison listen to? What does she eat? He responded with paragraphs of what that would be. And he was like, ‘thank you so much,’ because I helped stimulate his mind creatively to figure out who she is and where she is at this point.”
Oddly enough, Allison is essentially an empty shell of her original character for most of the film due to her lack of memory and the evil forces corrupting her. Her true self, however, slowly seeps out in the latter half of the movie, which means Reed had to undergo two months of archery lessons and other physical training for her time kicking ass on screen.
Indeed, the film is pretty much non-stop action, and more of a two-hour-long quest for answers than a study of any of its core characters. Whether fans of the series will enjoy it or not, it will certainly have viewers wanting more Teen Wolf content (hopefully, with O’Brien next time). Regardless, Posey and Reed seem eager to continue expanding the Teen Wolf universe in whatever way they can.
“I definitely don’t want to close the chapter,” Posey says, to which Reed agrees, “I don’t either.”
“I want to keep going,” Posey continues. “I’ve always wanted to keep going. I’m down for more Teen Wolf in any capacity—a TV show, a movie, on ice, in the air, Broadway. Teen Wolf: The Musical—that could be pretty sexy.”