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Why Is Stiles Not in ‘Teen Wolf: The Movie’? Here’s the Real Reason Dylan O’Brien Didn’t Return

While Stiles isn't in the "Teen Wolf" revival, a piece of him did make it into the film.
"Teen Wolf"
Image: MTV / Courtesy: Everett Collection.

If you watched the original series, you may be wondering why Stiles is not in Teen Wolf: The Movie and the reason Dylan O’Brien didn’t return as Scott McCall’s hilarious and lovable best friend.

Teen Wolf premiered on MTV in 2011 and ran for six seasons until its finale in 2017. The series, which was based on the 1985 movie of the same name starring Michael J. Fox, followed Scott McCall, a teenage boy from Beacon Hills, California, who is turned into a werewolf and starts to uncover the secret supernatural world lurking in his small town. O’Brien played Stiles Stilinski, Scott’s childhood best friend with a talent for solving mysteries.

Paramount Plus announced in September 2021 that a Teen Wolf revival, titled Teen Wolf: The Movie, was in the works with creator Jeff Davis and and original cast members Tyler Posey, Tyler Hoechlin, Holland Roden, Colton Haynes, Shelley Hennig, Crystal Reed, Ryan Kelley and Dylan Sprayberry. “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,” Paramount Plus’ description of the film reads.

Missing from the returning cast was O’Brien. So…why is Stiles not in Teen Wolf: The Movie? Read on for why Stiles isn’t in Teen Wolf: The Movie and the reason Dylan O’Brien didn’t return for the role.

Why is Stiles not in Teen Wolf: The Movie?

"Teen Wolf"
Image: MTV / Courtesy: Everett Collection.

Why is Stiles not in Teen Wolf: The Movie? Dylan O’Brien, who played Stiles Stilinski in MTV’s original Teen Wolf series, confirmed he wouldn’t be returning as the character in an interview with Variety in March 2022. “It was a difficult decision. A lot went into it,” he said at the time. “The show couldn’t be more dear to me. It was the first thing I ever did I and so many people there are extremely dear to me. It was something I was trying to make work but it all happened very fast. We didn’t really know that it was happening and they kind of just threw it at us a little bit, which is fine because we all love the show. We were trying to figure it out.” He continued, “Ultimately, I just decided it was left in a really good place for me and I still want to leave it there. I wish them well and I’m going to watch it the first night it comes out. I hope it fucking kicks ass, but I’m not going to be in it.”

O’Brien also denied rumors that he filmed a surprise cameo as Stiles for Teen Wolf: The Movie in an interview with Entertainment Tonight in July 2022. “I don’t think there’s any truth to that rumor. What I’ve said is the truth, yeah, so I don’t know,” he said at the time. While O’Brien isn’t in Teen Wolf: The Movie, he revealed that his personal Jeep, which Stiles also drove in Teen Wolf, is in the film. “My Jeep’s in it,” O’Brien shared. “I lent them my Jeep for the movie. That’s the car my character drives in the show, yeah,” he said.

Teen Wolf creator Jeff Davis confirmed to Collider in August 2022 that Stiles wasn’t recast in Teen Wolf: The Movie and hinted at how he was written out. “Yeah, well, what we do is we don’t ignore it, but we reference it. I think we can’t do the movie without paying tribute to the character Stiles. So he comes up in more than one situation,” Davis said. He also confirmed that Stiles still has a relationship with Lydia Martin, his love interest from the original Teen Wolf. “There’s a big storyline with Lydia actually, that the fans can look forward to that has to do with their relationship. So I’m not gonna say any more than that,” Davis said.

Holland Roden, who played Lydia in the original Teen Wolf and Teen Wolf: The Movie, told Us Weekly in January 2023 that Stiles and Lydia’s relationship is “TBD.” “You’ll have to watch,” she added. She also told Us Weekly about how O’Brien was missed on the set of Teen Wolf: The Movie. “It’s sort of like when you have 11 kids and one’s missing,” Roden said. “Like, of course you know that they’re missing. We’re sad they’re not there, but it’s nice that we got as many people together as we could.”

Tyler Posey, who played Scott McCall in the original Teen Wolf and Teen Wolf: The Movie, also confirmed the film addresses Stiles’ absence. “We talked about him a lot, but still had to keep the story moving without him, because we couldn’t dwell on his absence for too long,” he told Digital Spy. “So I think it was commendable. I think we did a perfect job with it, you know, honestly.” He continued, “The Jeep is still a huge character in this movie. The Jeep is his, and it literally screams Stiles when you see it. I think we pay it the most homage that we could have paid it, without actually having him on screen, you know?” Roden added, “I think the fans will not go hungry [laughs] with the Lydia-and-Stiles storyline. Yeah, it’s definitely addressed.”

In 2017, five years before Teen Wolf: The Movie was announced, O’Brien responded to rumors over a Teen Wolf film and confirmed that he wouldn’t return as Stiles. “I haven’t heard anything about this, but I can guarantee you I probably won’t be in it,” he told Entertainment Tonight at the time. Though he didn’t return as Stiles for Teen Wolf: The Movie, he did reprise the role for the Teen Wolf‘s final season in 2017. “[It was] really important to me,” O’Brien told Entertainment Tonight in 2017 “That was not the plan, either. I wasn’t originally able to be a part of the last 10 [episodes] at all, nor was I contracted to be.” He continued, “It was cool that we were able to find space of a couple weeks where I was home and I could go be a part of a few episodes, so I was glad to be able to do it ‘cause I’ve been with the show since the beginning obviously. For me, it was my first role ever, so it would’ve been hard to eventually just not be a part of something that was still ongoing.” O’Brien also told Entertainment Tonight that the decision to return for Teen Wolf‘s finale was entirely his own. “Fully voluntary. It was all heart,” he said. 

Teen Wolf: The Movie is available to stream on Paramount Plus. Here’s how to watch it for free.

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