Like clockwork — the CW once again is done with its pilot orders by Feb.1, doing the bulk of its pickups during the last week of January. The network today gave pilot green light to The Lost Boys, a retooled version of the pilot the CW ordered last season, from Heather Mitchell and Rob Thomas, and Maverick, from young writer Merigan Mulhern (BH90210) and Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage’s Fake Empire, about a college-bound President’s Daughter who starts to question her loyalty to her father “in a present day America that finds itself under authoritarian rule.”
Top pilot director Marcos Siega, who helmed the pilots for the CW series The Vampire Diaries and Batwoman, has come on board to direct the new Lost Boys pilot. (Last season’s pilot was directed by Catherine Hardwicke). In another change from last year, executive producer Thomas co-wrote the reworked version of the script with Mitchell, the sole writer of last season’s pilot.
Last June, the options of two cast members from the original Lost Boys pilot, Medalion Rahimi and Dakota Shapiro, were extended to reprise their roles in the retooled pilot, which was originally supposed to film off-cycle last fall. That didn’t happen, those options have expired, and the new pilot will start casting from scratch.
The Lost Boys, based on the 1987 Warner Bros. movie, and Maverick join pilots Kung Fu and The Republic of Sarah, which were picked up yesterday, and the straight-to-series orders earlier this month to Superman & Lois, starring Tyler Hoechlin and Elizabeth Tulloch, and Walker, a reimagining of Walker, Texas Ranger, headlined by Jared Padalecki.
As usual, the CW, a co-venture between CBS and Warner Bros., split its pilot/series orders (except planted spinoffs) down the middle between the TV studios of its corporate parents. Superman & Lois, Kung Fu and The Lost Boys come from Warner Bros. TV; Walker, The Republic of Sarah and Maverick are from CBS TV Studios. The network also once again is betting on some of its go-to creators/producers, Greg Berlanti, who is producing Superman & Lois and Kung Fu, Thomas and Schwartz & Savage.
The CW had been expected to pick up fewer pilots than usual this year, four, because of the two straight-to-series orders and two backdoor pilots for planted spinoffs of two CW series in their final season — an Arrow offshoot (aka Green Arrow & The Canaries), headlined by the show’s Katherine McNamara, Katie Cassidy and Juliana Harkavy; and The 100 prequel (aka Anaconda). Both are from WBTV. It is unclear whether the CW would pick up two new DC series having already ordered Superman & Lois.
THE LOST BOYS
Last summer, Thomas spoke to Deadline about the retooling of the 2019 pilot. “There were scenes that we thought we could do a better job on, so it’s going through a 40% rewrite,” he said. “It’s not a total rewrite.”
For him, The Lost Boys has been a labor of love. He first took a stab at conceiving and writing a series adaptation of the iconic 1987 Warner Bros horror comedy movie during the 2016-17 development season
While the project didn’t go to pilot, the CW execs remained high on the title.
“Two years ago, I wrote a very outside-the-box version of it,” Thomas said of his Lost Boys script. “The network didn’t want to go that far outside the box.” The new version, spearheaded by Mitchell, “is going to have a lot in common with the movie.”
In The Lost Boys TV adaptation, 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. Based on the 1987 cult classic that revolutionized how we think about vampires.
Mitchell and Siega executive produce alongside Thomas and Dan Etheridge of Spondoolie Productions; as well as Mike Karz and Bill Bindley of Gulfstream Television. Spondoolie’s Rebecca Franko and Gulfstream’s Juliana Janes serve as producers.
Three years ago, Merigan Mulhern was still working as a writers assistant on the CW dramedy Jane the Virgin. Mulhern, who has only worked as a staff writer for two years, first on Jane the Virgin and then BH90210, both from CBS TV Studios, has now landed her first pilot. How To Get Away With Murder alum Warren Hsu Leonard will serve as showrunner on the project.
The premise of Maverick is sure to raise eyebrows with thin-veiled real-life references: In a present day America that finds itself under authoritarian rule, the President’s daughter – raised to believe her father is moral and benevolent – has her worldview rocked on her first day at Georgetown. Challenged by her fellow students, and under the watchful eye of Secret Service agents, she’ll have to decide if her loyalties lie with her family or with a growing resistance as she navigates her freshman year.
Schwartz, Savage and Lis Rowinski executive produce via Fake Empire. Leonard also executive produces; Mulhern co-executive produces.