Rod Daniel, the filmmaker who directed a young Michael J. Fox in the 1985 fantasy-comedy Teen Wolf, died April 16 in Riverside, Illinois, at age 73. His passing was announced in a death notice in the Chicago Tribune.
A workmanlike director of lighthearted comedies, Daniel made his feature debut on Teen Wolf, the story of a high school student who begins changing into a werewolf and parlays his furry form into basketball stardom. In a 2011 interview with the Tribune, Daniel said he got the job because because Fox asked several potential directors what the film was about. Everyone else said, “A werewolf,” but Daniel asserted, “It’s about a father and son.”
Made for about $1.4 million, Teen Wolf grossed $33 million at the box office (about $81 million adjusted for inflation) and spawned a sequel, a cartoon spin-off, and more recently an MTV series.
A native of Nashville, Tennessee, who served in the Vietnam War, Daniel also directed Like Father Like Son, K-9, The Super, and Beethoven’s 2nd. His TV credits included WKRP in Cincinnati, Newhart, Everybody Loves Raymond, Caroline in the City, Men Behaving Badly, and the TV movie Home Alone 4.
He is survived by his wife, Marti (nee Mueller); children John and Lucas; and grandson Ethan.