In the latest maelstrom of tv series being adapted from famed or cult movies, one of the more promising titles was The Lost Boys, which is the latest project under the watchful eye of iZombie producer Rob Thomas. Thomas has been around for quite some time now, having been a crucial shepherd of beloved series like Party Down and Veronica Mars; not as many fans stuck around for his work on the abysmal 90210 reboot. Still, his attachment to The Lost Boys series immediately gives it an air of respectability, even in a marketplace where TV-to-film adaptations have proven largely insufferable.
During a recent TCA interview with Collider’s own Christina Radish, in which Thomas and Diane Ruggiero-Wright talked about the upcoming season of iZombie, Thomas took time to talk about what he saw in the material of Joel Schumacher‘s 1987 classic and what he wanted to bring out in this latest variation on the story of vampires in modern-day America. Here’s what Thomas had to say to us:
Collider: Because of the expectations that fans of the movie will have, did you intentionally want to make The Lost Boys TV series very different?
ROB THOMAS: 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 ofThe 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.
There’s definitely something to be mined out of the wanting to stay young and alive forever, and there’s every reason to believe that Thomas will be able to excavate the material for some thoughtful yet playful ideas surrounding mortality and still understand the emotional weight of death and sacrificing one’s humanity. Jim Jarmusch‘s sublime Only Lovers Left Alive made immortality look at once challenging and totally worth it, in a way, and though TV series and movies based on vampirism have certainly been played out in the last few years, there are still some genuine great narratives in that subgenre being made every few years. We shall see, as always.