The Lost Boys TV Adaptation: Creator Rob Thomas Reveals His Plans for Vampire Series

Series will follow young vampires through a new decade every season, starting in the ’60s

by | January 8, 2017 | Comments

Kiefer Sutherland starred in 1987 film 'The Lost Boys' (Warner Bros.); inset: TCA 2017 - Rob Thomas (Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Writer-producer Rob Thomas was on a Television Critics Association panel on Sunday for his show iZombie and stayed to talk to reporters afterward about his upcoming CW series based on 1987 vampire film The Lost Boys.

The movie starred Corey Haim and Jason Patric as brothers who move to Santa Carla, a beach town where Patric’s character is taken in by a local group of vampires led by Kiefer Sutherland.

In the executive session earlier in the day, CW President Mark Pedowitz said he hadn’t yet seen the script, and so timing of the series is still up in the air. Still, here are 11 things Thomas has already decided about The Lost Boys.

1. Every Season Is a New Decade Beginning the ’60s

Since vampires stay young forever, Thomas’s idea is an anthology series where each season explores the Lost Boys in a different decade. The beginning would be “1967 Summer of Love Haight-Ashbury to be specific,” Thomas said.

Thomas expects production to be centered in Canada like iZombie shoots in Vancouver, but could build a replica of San Fran there. “We love shooting in Canada,” Thomas said. “Granted, it doesn’t have San Francisco architecture so we’d have to build a lot of it on sets. I would hope that if we shot the pilot, we would shoot 10 days in Vancouver and a couple days down in San Francisco to get some exteriors.”

2. They Will Be Different Lost Boys Than in the Movie

Thomas is inventing a different group of vampire teens than Sutherland and co. played in the movie. Primarily because Thomas sees the show going past the ’80s, and it shouldn’t be a spoiler to say that many of the vampire characters did not survive the 1987 movie.

“They’re similar young vampires all sort of living this sort of Peter Pan–like existence of never having to grow up, getting turned into vampires when they’re in their early 20s,” Thomas said. “They can stay young and beautiful and cool forever.”

3. The Humans Can Return, But Older

The anthology format allows the human cast to revolve season by season, though Thomas has not ruled out having human characters recur. They would just have to age up 10 years in each subsequent season.

“The humans around them change to a degree from year to year,” Thomas said. “They can exist in multiple versions of the show but the humans would get 10 years older. The vampires are going to stay the same age.”

4. The Movie Characters Could Cameo

Sutherland, Alex Winter, and the other stars of the movie probably couldn’t reprise their roles as teenage vampires now 30 years later; however, Thomas has an idea to meet those characters as guest stars.

“Vampires stay the same age, so those vampires that we meet in the ’80s in the original Lost Boys movies could exist in the 1960s version,” Thomas said. “We could run into them there as well. We might not even have to wait until the ’80s to see that other Lost Boys crew.”

It stands to reason, however, that humans like Patric’s Michael Emerson, Corey Feldman’s Edgar Frog, Dianne Wiest’s Lucy, and Jami Gertz’s Star could appear in later seasons as themselves later in life.

5. Season 2 Would Be New York in the ’70s

Thomas has brainstormed at least four of the possible seven-plus seasons of a Lost Boys series, thinking about settings with historical significance.

“One of the things that I wanted to do was to center the show in places where youth culture was in flux,” Thomas said. “I would love to do 1978 New York, death of disco, birth of punk rock. Just places where it’s all happening would be great.”

6. Season 3 Will Be the ’80s, but Not the movie

Season 3 would catch The Lost Boys up to the ’80s, when the movie was made and set. Thomas is thinking of moving the ’80s season to Austin, Texas, where he spent his childhood.

“One of the ideas would be to do the ’80s in Austin,” Thomas said. “It’s where I grew up in the ’80s. I would love to do the ’80s in Austin not because it’s the perfect location, but because I know the ’80s in Austin.”

7. But They Might Visit Santa Clara in the ’80s

Thomas didn’t rule out visiting the beach town from The Lost Boys movie. It wouldn’t represent the thesis of the show, but Thomas expects he would want to include such Easter eggs in The Lost Boys somehow.

“What the movie was — the ’80s in a small beach town — that didn’t feel like this is where the nation’s youth are in flux and crisis,” Thomas said. “So I don’t know that that would be a setting [for a whole season], but you could play an episode. Managing to do a tie-in in the ’80s I would suspect we would try to make it happen somehow.”

8. The ’90s Would Be Vampire Grunge

Thomas suggested the fourth season of Lost Boys, would be set in the ’90s and involve the grunge scene. Since iZombie is also set in Seattle, Washington, Thomas knows he could capture the birth of grunge.

“That’d be very easy because we’ve proven we can fake Seattle in Vancouver,” Thomas said.

9. Season 7 Would Be Modern Day 2024

Though Thomas was unspecific about how seasons 5 and 6 might portray vampires handling the youth of the aughts and teens, he revealed that, with the series’ success, a seventh season would catch up to what will then be the new decade.

“In seven seasons we would catch up with present day,” Thomas said. “Technically we could be playing the 2024 election in seven years.”

Thomas joked that vampires may be a better alternative to whomever runs for president in 2024. “Any member of our cast certainly I would vote for,” he said.

10. They Have Not Contacted the Movie’s Stars

Many reboots involve their original stars. Dallas had Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy, and Linda Gray reprise their roles. Supergirl gave former Supergirl Helen Slater the new role of Kara and Alex’s mother and one-time Superman Dean Cain as their father.

Sutherland and Corey Feldman might be game, as Feldman made straight-to-video Lost Boys sequels, and Sutherland appears in this year’s remake of his 1990 film Flatliners. Sadly, Haim died in 2010 and Edward Herrmann died in 2014. Patric’s return seems unlikely.

Thomas has not reached out to any of the actors, however. “No, uh-uh,” Thomas responded when asked.

11. Vampire Diaries Ending Paved the Way for Lost Boys

The CW has been a welcoming home to vampire shows. The Vampire Diaries ends this season and its spin-off The Originals is still going. Thomas hopes Lost Boys fits in the space left by TVD, and said he wouldn’t have even considered pitching it if both shows were still on the air.

“I don’t think I would’ve developed it if I didn’t know that Vampire Diaries wasn’t coming back,” Thomas said. “I would’ve doubted they would have put three vampire shows on the air, but I knew they’d put two.”

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