Teen Wolf came to New York Comic Con, and we were there! Star Tyler Posey and showrunner Jeff Davis let slip tons of new season three info, and answered your burning questions. Spoilers ahead...
The show, about a geeky California teen who gets turned into a werewolf, was #1 in its time slot amongst women 12-34. And this demographic was well-represented by the enthusiastic crowd that came out to the panel, many of them dressed as characters from the show, or wearing clothing inspired by it.
As we reported last week, Colton Haynes, who played the newly-turned werewolf and all-around antagonist Jackson, is leaving the show. And Davis confirmed this news: He'd spoken with Haynes Friday night, and he was definitely leaving the show — but that the character will not be killed off or recast. Jackson's exit will be written in such a way as to leave the door open should Haynes wish to return.
Teen Wolf has been given an order of 24 episodes, twice as long as previous seasons, and Davis gave us some insight into the many storylines ahead. The new season will be set four months after the events of the last, with the characters now in their junior year of high school, and will kick off big, with plenty of action (there is mention of speeding motorcycles). "Scott and Stiles have moved on," from Allison and Lydia, but there are hints of a "bromance triangle" between Scott, his best friend Stiles and new series regular and fan favorite Isaac (Daniel Sharman).
Scott will be moving into a new leadership role, while Stiles will be acting as a "pseudo detective" in episodes two and three, investigating the whereabouts of missing teenage wolves Erica (Gage Golightly) and Boyd (Sinqua Walls). Stiles will also be concerned with whether he can let his dad the Sheriff (Linden Ashby, playing the best parent on television) in on the town's magical secrets.
Davis said that he is guided by the Twelfth Night quote "some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them." Alpha werewolf Derek was born great, while Scott had greatness thrust upon him when he was bitten. Scott is a "good guy" and this season will move to be more of a "superhero," embracing the werewolf abilities he's often kept at arm's length. Tyler Posey, playing off earlier allusions to the Scott/Isaac fan pairing "Scisaac" made the crowd, Twitter and Tumblr go wild by saying: "Isaac is going to thrust me with his greatness."
There are five new alphas in the alpha pack coming to town, including a woman called Kali, after the Indian goddess of destruction. She will be shown barefoot, as she uses her clawed feet to strike. Davis also confirmed that there will be identical twin male alphas. When asked if the pack of prime werewolves has an ultimate commander, an "alpha to alphas," Davis teased that there's an "alphmega," someone who's "the alpha and the omega" and a sort-of leader.
As for Teen Wolf's ladies, the third season looks promising. We heard that "the women find their power." Season 2 was hard on Scott's star-crossed lover Allison (Crystal Reed), who went "vengeful warrior princess" in the finale, but the passage of months sees her wanting to settle down and lead a normal life. And in a bit of a turn-around relationship-wise, she'll question whether she's good enough for Scott.
Her storyline will be a personal one of redemption: she and father Chris Argent (JR Bourne) are "gunslingers who hang up [their] guns," having come to believe they've been sold a lie by their monster-hunting family after grandfather Gerard's betrayal. Although Allison will want nothing to do with mystical things, we know this isn't possible in Beacon Hills. She'll get to be badass again (Allison is a champion gymnast and expert archer), but this time "using her powers for good."
Everyone's favorite superficial genius Lydia (Holland Roden) is on an important path. The aftermath of boyfriend Jackson's departure will have to be figured in. We'll also look at what Lydia's special capabilities are, beyond werewolf immunity, and why she's drawn to the supernatural. Lydia "comes into her own" and Davis hinted that she will become a part of Scott's pack in her own way.
There will be "non-romantic bonding" with Stiles, who has liked her for years. Davis is interested in seeing the two have an "adult relationship," with Stiles getting to know Lydia and her value as a person instead of an idealized crush.
Noting that "Scott's not the alpha yet," Davis said that Derek and Scott will be working as more of a team, that they will follow through on Derek telling Scott "we're brothers now" in the series premiere. Asked if we will learn more about Derek's older sister Laura, whose death kicked off the events of the first season, Davis revealed that there will be a flashback episode, and that we'll be seeing a young Derek Hale. We'll also learn why only some werewolves have blue eyes like Derek.
Teen Wolf's unique fandom
Teen Wolf has an intensely dedicated following of "superfans," in part because Davis has created a unique space: he set out to construct a high school experience that is just as socially horrific as any but is devoid of racism, sexism and homophobia. Everyone is too concerned with staying alive, and the supernatural stands in where metaphors of being different and blind hatred of the other are needed.
The show's lead actor, Tyler Posey, is Latino, and recently won an ALMA award for his role, but on-screen his race is invisible, unmentioned. One episode sees the main characters interacting cheerfully at a gay bar, befriending dragqueens — who will guest star again. A recurring character, Danny (Keahu Kahuanu), is openly gay, and is the most popular kid in school. Davis' creations defy stereotyping.
As such, supporters of "Sterek" have been encouraged that the relationship could become romantically canon on a series as open-minded as Teen Wolf, and Davis' response is that he might be persuaded to write the pair if there were enough demand. Currently the characters' interaction is foil-like with a slow-building, begrudging friendship, but the cast is well aware of the fan phenomenon. A video made to promote voting for Teen Wolf in the Teen Choice Awards showed actors Dylan O'Brien and Tyler Hoechlin snuggling on a boat, noting that they were "on a ship" together.
Recently, cast members got involved on Twitter to help Sterek win After Elton's "Ultimate Slash Madness Tourney," which saw the couple beat out grandaddies of homoerotic subtext like Kirk/Spock, Dean/Castiel and Sherlock/Watson. The "Slash Madness" feature only arose after Entertainment Weekly excluded Sterek from a shipping poll and started a fandom revolt.
In its wake the savvy social media team behind the show responded with a fanfiction contest that courted all pairings and received more than 10,000 entries. Teen Wolf's "superfans" are not to be trifled with, and they had many questions for Davis: Holbrook mentioned at the start that Sterek was the number one most-mentioned topic received for the panel.
One fan expressed a wish for well fleshed-out bisexual characters in media, as Davis has allowed that Stiles could be bisexual. It didn't sound as though there were immediate plans for Stiles in this arena – "if it were right for the story," Davis hedged, or maybe season 4 once they've had a long run or Dylan O'Brien wanted to shake things up was probably not the news Sterek fans were waiting to hear. But Davis did promise the inclusion of a new "queer" character(s), and told a story about being sensitive to bisexual visibility as a gay man. It's evident however that while the Powers That Be and cast are wonderfully embracing of the devout fan culture, it doesn't reshape their main plot priorities.
Through crowd questions we heard more hints about what's to come and anecdotes about the cast and creator. We'll see further appearances from the mysterious guardian-like characters, vet Deaton (Seth Gilliam) and guidance counselor Ms. Morrel (Bianca Lawson, with Davis hoping the latter can break out the skills she honed on Buffy), and we'll slowly find out more about them. There will also be "very important" Celtic-Druid mythos in season 3.
Asked whether the creators thought a lot about "mates," a concept which often figures into werewolf mythology and looms large in fandom, Davis answered that they had wanted to keep Teen Wolf firmly in non-Twilight territory, to crowd approval and jokes about Posey having to fall in love with a baby, a la Twilight's Jacob and Renesmee. He did mention that while they had originally thought wolfpack dynamics were structured around fear and dominance, newer research had shown that packs are "motivated with love." One fan praised the adult characters for being well-realized on a teen-oriented show, and Davis said that he was inspired by Harry Potter, where the adults are as "fully-dimensional as possible" in the background.
Davis' favorite episode is "Raving." Posey's favorite scene to shoot was in season two when he angrily beats up the inside of an icebox. His least-favorite scene involved being accidentally "kneed in the nuts" – we presume during one of the show's many lacrosse scenes.
The cast, often seen hanging out together off-set and interacting via social media, is "the best of friends," and the whole show has officially moved to L.A. from Atlanta (where they once played of the cast of The Vampire Diaries in a softball game and "kicked their asses"). Posey is particularly happy about the move, as his new puppy Roxy, a "german shepherd pitbull mix," is too young to go on an airplane. Cue collective sighs of "aw" rippling across the assembled Wolfpack.
Many "virtual sets" using greenscreen are being designed for the L.A. location, but the look of the show shouldn't change drastically. Davis said there's a rule of thumb for shooting: close-ups on Scott, as Posey has "small eyes" that reveal much on the zoom-in, while it's mediums for Stiles, we assume because O'Brien's excellent physical reactions are as much a part of Stiles' character as his dialogue.
Posey's audition was the first to bring a "likable" quality to the part of Scott McCall and that he "felt the words." Asked if they'd taken anything from the set, we heard that Haynes and O'Brien "stole the entire wardrobe trailer." Posey took the cast made of his face for purposes of werewolf-makeup, and Davis related personally ripping out a bus seat from the set and shipping it to director Russel Mulcahy, who was such a perfectionist with getting a scene right that he redid the bus-seat shot for season 2's DVD.
To close out the event, Davis let slip our favorite anecdote of the day: Tyler Hoechlin, who plays broody beefcake Derek, needs a 20-minute warning on set before he puts on his pants – they're too tight, and he doesn't like to wear them until he has to. You're welcome, Derek fans and people of Earth.