Nora Dominick ’17/ Emertainment Monthly Co-Executive Stage Editor
For six seasons, Jeff Davis has been the creative force behind Teen Wolf. From introducing fans to Werewolves, Banshees, Kanima, Dread Doctors and now Ghost Riders, Davis has helped create a vast, mythological world on Teen Wolf.
Right off the bat, Davis dives into the new threat looming over Beacon Hills in season six. When Teen Wolf returns in the fall, Scott (Tyler Posey) and team will be dealing with The Ghost Riders. Davis discusses bringing these mythological creatures to life this season and what they mean for the characters. He says, “The Ghost Riders are a fun mythology. It goes all the way back to European myths of the Woden’s Hunt. We caught on the Ghost Riders by teasing the wild hunt in season five. Throughout season five actually. We knew we were going to come back to that.”
In terms of how the Ghost Riders will affect Scott and his pack, Davis says “I think it’s a great idea and a great myth for the season and it’s very integral to the plot. To the machinations of what happens between our relationships, especially between Scott and Stiles (O’Brien), Lydia (Holland Roden) and Stiles, Malia (Shelley Hennig) and Stiles. It makes them realize what their connections between each other are.”
One of the hottest topics was discussing Crystal Reed returning to play Maid of Gévaudan in season five. Davis talks about Reed’s reappearance saying, “She [Crystal] came back for the “Maid of Gévaudan” episode because it was a new twist and we both really loved her coming back and being part of the show again. And having her play a different character, who was still related to Allison. It was a way of getting Allison back in the show.”
When asked about how the writers and himself came up with such an intriguing and different way to bring Allison back, Davis says “It was actually Arden [Cho] who inspired the idea of it because we had Arden play her own mother in World War II.” He continues by saying, “I was kind of like, ‘Well, what if we brought Crystal back. What if she played the Maid of Gévaudan? It would be fun. Would she be up for it?'” Davis says he texted back and forth with Crystal regarding the episode. He says, “I called her on the phone and I said, ‘I have this very broad idea, but would you be up for it? And you could do a French accent.” And she was like, ‘I love it.'”
Davis was also asked about a possible spin-off for Cho’s Kira, an idea that was being floated around online. He says, “It would depend on the network. It would depend on the studio and obviously on Arden too.” He continues by saying, “She always looked so good carrying a sword. She was such a badass hero. We miss her in this season.”
Another major plot point from season five of Teen Wolf involved Mason (Khylin Rhambo) being the feared Beast. Davis says there was some initial debate in the writer’s room regarding Mason being the Beast. He says, “I was like ‘No, it has to be Mason. I love Mason as the Beast.'” Davis speaks very highly of Rhambo saying that it’s often times the actor’s dedications and charisma that leads to big character reveals like this. Davis tells us, “When an actor starts to bring in new qualities to their character you want to give them more to do and Khylin is so good and he’s funny and he’s talented and he’s smart and he’s ready for anything.” Speaking generally about writing storylines for actors, Davis mentions, “So, if I could speak to actors in general, you make your own opportunities. You get to tell them, the writers, how much to do for you. So, we wanted to do it for Khylin.”
On the subject of character reveals, Davis also speaks about Parrish (Ryan Kelley) finally learning his true identity as a Hellhound. Davis talks about Kelley finding out about his character saying, “I think he [Kelley] had guessed. He had been looking online at all the theories and I did tell him one night. I talked to Ryan and said ‘Here’s what it is. And here’s how it ties into the myth. And this is why you are sort of tied to Lydia as well because they’re both harbingers of death.'” Davis jokingly continues saying, “I think he was most happy about the makeup. I was like ‘How do we do a hellhound naked.'”
Teen Wolf will also be reaching a major milestone in its sixth and final season: the 100th episode. Unfortunately, Davis said plans have not yet been made regarding the 100th episode. He says, “I’ve actually taken a step back this season from the writing. With the next ten episodes I have to decide if I want to dive back in or let the writers continue on. I’ve been more of an overseer in these last ten episodes.”
Finally, a major topic throughout Teen Wolf’s time at SDCC 2016 was Dylan O’Brien’s recovery. Following a major accident on the set of The Maze Runner: The Death Cure. The accident has led to production changes for both the next The Maze Runner film and Teen Wolf’s sixth season. Davis speaks to O’Brien’s recovery saying, “He’s good. He’s recuperating. This is the first Comic Con we’ve had without him, which is actually really sad.” He continues saying, “We wish he could’ve made it, he wishes he could’ve made it. It was a pretty bad accident. He’s still recuperating.” In terms of how Teen Wolf has worked around O’Brien’s accident, Davis will leave that to be explained during season six.