Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas has been working on a The Lost Boys TV show for years. His initial pitch that followed a group of young vampires through the decades, but that didn’t fly, as the CW wanted something that was more akin to the 1987 film. A pilot was finally shot, adopting the movie’s premise. Still not satisfied, the network has since begun to recast some roles and will undertake heavy reshoots this fall. We know that most of the main characters and the basic premise will be the same, but which other elements from the original need to remain for this to still be worthy of the name Lost Boys? Here are five things we think the Lost Boys series would be wise to carry over from the original movie, and two things they’d be wise to change.
Make Santa Carla (a.k.a. Santa Cruz) a Character in the Show
From the opening scenes of the original 1987 film, the town of Santa Carla, California (in reality, Santa Cruz) is a character in the film. The town’s iconic boardwalk hosts tons of shots of real life punk rock kids as extras, along with other citizens who make up Santa Carla’s local eccentric beach bums. While it might be cost prohibitive to film in Santa Cruz itself, filming at least several establishing shots seems needed here. Some other town just won’t do. Santa Carla is Santa Cruz in everything but name.
Keep the Cool Underground Vampire Cave Lair
In the original movie, David (Kiefer Sutherland) and his band of motorcycle-riding vampire buds all live in a sea cave near the ocean, at a place called Hudon’s Bluff. But it’s no ordinary cave dwelling. It contains the remains of a luxury hotel that once stood there, but which was unfortunately destroyed and its remnants buried in the 1906 earthquake.
An homage to this vampire lair was made in the first season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, where the vampire Master lived in a collapsed church that was underground due to the same quake. The sea cave needs to be a main location in the series, and its history should be expanded on. Maybe David’s gang actually dates back to those days? Many cool possibilities here.
Keep Vampire Hunter Central a Comic Book Store
Santa Carla’s #1 vampire hunters in the original film were the Frog Brothers, played by Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander. Rumored to be gender-swapped for the television version, we still think these two need to be working out of a comic book store headquarters. Comics culture is everywhere these days, so why not promote the place where all the seeds for so much pop culture sprang from: your local comic books shop?
The comic book shop in the series should be to our main heroes what the Sunnydale Library was to Buffy and her friends. The original location in the film was a real comic book store called Atlantis Fantasyworld, which itself was destroyed in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. It would be a terrific tribute if the show named its shop after the real Fantasyworld.
Use Contemporary Music the Same Way the Film Did
The classic film had a killer soundtrack—no pun intended. It featured tons of tracks from that very specific moment in pop culture, but that are all still earworms today. The opening montage scene just wouldn’t be the same without Echo and the Bunnymen’s cover of The Doors’ “ People Are Strange.” And although my go-to impulse as someone who grew up in that era is to just go full-on ’80s with the song choices, to be true to the spirit of the original would not be that. Find contemporary music that fits the scenes, things the kids in the movie themselves would be listening to that aren’t just whatever’s on the radio.
Make Sure There’s At Least One “Sweaty Sax Man”
It’s one of the most memorable, as well as dated and kind of ridiculous, images from the original movie. As Michael and Sam head to the beach to attend a rock concert, we see a large group of teens gathered around a stage, where singer/saxophonist Tim Cappello is rocking out to his song “I Still Believe.” He’s all shirtless and oiled up, and it’s quite a sight to behold. Look, we just need one homage to that moment, and we’re good. But we do need one.
More Female Characters
Aside from Dianne Wiest and Jami Gertz, The Lost Boys really lives up to its title, because there are basically no other women in it. And although both Wiest and Gertz are great in the movie, they are pretty much relegated to “mom” and “love interest” type roles. For the television version, we really should have more women in the mix. Sure, they’re called “the lost BOYS,” but half of the X-Men are ladies—it’s just a title. Hopefully making the Frog Brothers into the Frog Sisters helps in this regard.
This is almost a given, because a television show has way more time to spend setting up a mythology than a film does. But the movie doesn’t get into why there are vampires in Santa Carla exactly, or just how long they’ve been there. The series definitely should. Have they been there since before the 1906 earthquake? Did David’s master, a.k.a. the video store owner Max (Edward Herrman), help found the town as a breeding ground for vampires? There’s a lot to play with here that the movie didn’t even touch on.
Images: Warner Bros