Just when it looked like The Lost Boys might be "lost" once again with the news that the CW passed on the pilot in May 2019, there was a glimmer of hope when the network ordered the project to be retooled – and that included recasting.
In fact, Medalion Rahimi (NCIS: Los Angeles) and Dakota Shapiro (Valley of the Boom) were the only actors to have their options extended and were expected co-star in a new, reworked pilot – one that was expected to begin filming late 2019. Based on Warner Bros.' 1987 horror film of the same name, the pilot was written by Heather Mitchell (Scandal) – with Shapiro set to play lead vamp David (originally played by 24's Kiefer Sutherand) and Rahimi set as Stella (a variation on Jami Gertz's (Square Pegs) character Star from the original film).
Well, it looks like all of that hard work has paid off: The CW has given a pilot green light order based on a retooled script from Mitchell and Rob Thomas. Noted The Vampire Diaries and Batwoman pilot director Marcos Siega is set to helm the new Lost Boys pilot, though the roles of David and Stella will need to be recast as Rahimi and Shapiro's options have expired.
While it's been a good month to be a currently-airing show, to be named "Jared Padalecki", and to wear an "S" on your chest, it's going to be a competitive one for pilots that want to make the jump to series. The series will be going up against The Republic of Sarah, Kung Fu, Maverick, Arrow spinoff Green Arrow & The Canaries, and The 100 prequel Anaconda for a now very limited programming schedule at The CW.
Biggest factor making this cycle more difficult is The CW renewing 13 of their scripted series for 2020-2021 – that's a pretty heft order, even with Supernatural, Arrow, and The 100 all ending. On top of that, Arrowverse series Superman & Lois Lane and the Padalecki-starring Walker, Texas Ranger reimagining already received direct-to-series green lights – and Riverdale spinoff Katy Keene has serious buzz and an order for additional scripts going for it heading into its premiere next week.
Last summer, Thomas (iZombie, Veronica Mars) gave fans an update on where things stood:
● Thomas wanted it known there wasn't much work that needed to be done on the pilot script ("There were scenes that we thought we could do a better job on, so it's going through a 40% rewrite. It's not a total rewrite"), and filming of the pilot looks to be on pace:
"The writer, Heather Mitchell, is doing a rewrite on the script right now, we have gotten through the notes process. We are going to shoot the pilot this fall."
● While Thomas described his original pitch as being a little too "outside-the-box" for the network's tastes, he felt Mitchell's script fits more with in line with the original film:
"Two years ago, I wrote a very outside-the-box version of it. The network didn't want to go that far outside the box. So fortunately, the writer who is working on it right now, Heather Mitchell, loves the original movie and is eager to make the series look a little bit more like the original Lost Boys. It's two human brothers showing up in this California beach town with the amusement park and a vampire infestation. It's going to have a lot in common with the movie."
● While Thomas would have loved to see his version come to life, he's very much looking forward to where this current version takes the story:
"It's exciting. I had a way I wanted to do it that was exciting to me. Once the network didn't want to do it, I was eager to give them the version they would like to put on the air, usually that's just smart television producing. I think it would've been very hard for me but I love that she is doing it, I love that she is a big enough fan of the movie that she wants to keep it a lot more recognizable."
In the CW's proposed The Lost Boys reboot… when a mother and her gen z sons move to the seaside town where she grew up, they discover there's a sinister reason the local cool kids sleep all day, party all night, never grow up and never get old. Family bonds are tested as the brothers find themselves on opposite sides of a mythological struggle.
Thomas was first approached about the project ahead of the 2016-2017 development season, though it would end up not going to pilot. The network was interested in redeveloping the project even though Thomas' work on the upcoming Veronica Mars return to Hulu keeping him busy, Mitchell's script was ordered to pilot. While Mitchell's script is still in place, the inital pilot apparently didn't live up to the script's quality and nver came together enough for the network's liking.
If there's one thing Thomas wants fans to know, it's that he wants to the project take flight just as much as they do:
"This has been a odyssey for me with Lost Boys. I have been trying to get Lost Boys — I was about to say trying to get Lost Boys to see the light of day, and that sounded so embarrassingly punny to me that I will rephrase that sentence. I've been trying to get Lost Boys off the ground for the better part of four years now, first as a movie, then as a pilot that I wrote, and now as a pilot that Heather's written. We just shot a pilot that did not quite work; we plan on shooting another one. Hopefully this fourth attempt of ours will be the charm. Lost Boys deserves to be on TV."
Mitchell is set to executive produce the project, alongside Thomas and Dan Etheridge for Spondoolie and Mike Karz and Bill Bindley for Gulfstream. Spondoolie's Rebecca Franko produces alongside Gulfstream's Juliana Janes.