Teen Wolf Is Back… and So Is Its Best Villain

Cora-Laine Moynihan

Almost five years on since the series finale, the angsty supernatural drama, Teen Wolf, is returning to our screens- but not in its original form. Paramount+ released a teaser trailer for Teen Wolf: The Movie on the 22nd of July 2022 at San Diego Comic Con and it looks good! So good that we need to do a trailer breakdown.

First, however, let’s have a quick flashback to the early 2010s when the show originally aired for a quick recap. Teen Wolf was a teen drama, influenced by the 1985 film of the same name, which followed the life of the awkward adolescent Scott McCall after receiving a bite from a beast in the night which turns him into a werewolf. Deviating from the comedy of the show’s predecessor, the MTV show was one of the first to darken teen television, mixing high school hijinks with horror, sex, romance, and monsters. Rated 7.1 on IMDb, Teen Wolf entertained an audience for six seasons before getting cancelled.

With a US release date for this year, it is hard not to return to the mindset of a swooning, youthful fangirl, howling in excitement for more. As anticipation builds and builds, the trailer arrived to answer every question fans have had since the movie’s announcement back in February.

The pack is back together with fresh faces and are about to throw down with a monster like they never have before

MTV’s official summary of the film on IMDb is as follows:

“A full moon rises in Beacon Hills, and with it a terrifying evil has emerged. The wolves are howling once again, calling for the return of Banshees, Werecoyotes, Hellhounds, Kitsunes, and every other shapeshifter in the night. But only a werewolf like Scott McCall, no longer a teenager yet still an Alpha, can gather both new allies and reunite trusted friends to fight back against what could be the most powerful and deadliest enemy they’ve ever faced.”

Terrifying evil. New Allies. Trusted friends. In other words, the pack is back together with fresh faces and are about to throw down with a monster like they never have before. Yet, in actual fact, in actual visual confirmation, they have thrown down with a monster like this before. An actual part – well, more like the entirety – of the trailer reveals and openly confirms who the monster is.

The terrifying evil…

The most powerful…

The deadliest enemy…is potentially their season 3 ‘Big Bad.’ 

This entire movie is a giant Easter egg to the character that put Dylan O’Brien (who played Stiles Stilinski, Scott McCall’s best friend) on the Hollywood map.

Throughout part 2 of Teen Wolf’s third season, Scott and his friends battle a spirit from Japanese mythology. The ‘Nogitsune,’ also known as a ‘Yako,’ is a spirit possession of foxes, which was an embodiment of pure evil in the show, drawing its power from “chaos, strife, and pain.” Possessing Stiles gradually across the season, the Nogitsune was the only villain throughout the show’s run to (indirectly) kill off a core character – using a ninja warrior known as an Oni to kill Allison Argent (Crystal Reed), Scott’s ex-girlfriend. While thought to have died at the end of the season, the trailer declares the return of the evil spirit, the Oni, and even Allison.

Clad in a more refined rendition of their black samurai armour and shiny black Japanese demon masks, the Oni arrive in droves throughout the trailer, demonstrating their prowess with swords and silent, fear-inducing demeanour. Their appearances cross-cut with glimpses of the original cast injured, running, and howling in fear, distress, and grief. And glimpses of the Nemeton, a mystical tree stump that imprisoned the fox spirit, scatter throughout. All the while, a deep, guttural voice speaks to someone unknown. Taunting this person. Persuading this person to set them free.

Upon the film’s announcement, Cho revealed she actually turned down an offer to return over unequal pay

Considering the return of the Oni and the mention of “chaos, strife, and pain” in the male’s voice-over, how could the movie’s “terrifying evil” not be the Nogitsune? Especially when in the final seconds of the trailer, a distressed Scott reveals to Chris Argent (JR Bourne) that Allison, the latter’s daughter, is alive. Somehow resurrected and ready for battle. It all adds up to the Nogitsune assuming the position as the movie’s villain.

No matter how unbelievably thrilling the teaser trailer was – with its plot revealed, the cast displayed, and even little easter eggs like Stiles’ jeep included -, there is one blaring issue. One that cannot go ignored with the reveal of the story.

Stiles (O’Brien) and Kira Yukimura (a young kitsune played by Arden Cho), the two most pivotal characters to the season 3 storyline, will not make an appearance in the film. Soon after Paramount+ announced the film and its cast, O’Brien and Cho revealed that they were not returning. Created for the season 3 arc specifically, Cho’s character was the only one linked to the intrinsic mythology that the Nogitsune belongs to, and her mother was the very reason it was in Beacon Hills, after she summoned it to resurrect her lover. Upon the film’s announcement, Cho revealed she actually turned down an offer to return over unequal pay. Deadline reported that her offer from the studio was significantly less than her three other female co-stars. Cho, the only actor of colour among the four, confirmed this, stating “”I was actually offered even less.”

O’Brien’s absence was rumoured to come about in support of Cho, however, in an exclusive with Variety, the actor saying “Ultimately, I just decided it was left in a really good place for me and I still want to leave it there.”

As the only two cast members not returning, their absences would not hinder the film’s storyline as much had any other villain returned. However, the Nogitsune’s return will raise many questions about Stiles and Kira’s whereabouts as well as why the two characters would not return to help their friends.

Regardless of this issue, Teen Wolf: The Movie will bring back a wave of nostalgia for fans worldwide and ravel us in endless anticipation.

Cora-Laine Moynihan

Featured image courtesy of titi64 via Flickr. Image license found here. No changes were made to this image. 

In article video courtesy of Rotten Tomato Trailers via youtube.com. No changes were made to this video. 

In article image courtesy of Teen Wolf via Instagram.com. No changes were made to this image.

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