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Whedonless Buffy Reboot Planned

By May 26, 2009

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Who's that? That's Buffy Summers, silly! Don't you remember?
Who's that? That's Buffy Summers, silly! Don't you remember?
© 20th Century Fox Home Video
Here's the latest, and strangest, reboot news of recent weeks: Buffy the Vampire Slayer is being slated for a new feature film – set outside the Buffyverse created by Joss Whedon, and (so far) without Whedon's involvement, says The Hollywood Reporter.

The new project involves Fran Rubel Kuzui, who bought the rights from Whedon and directed the original 1992 film (starring Kristy Swanson) based on his screenplay. Kuzui is working with her husband, Kaz Kuzui, and producers Roy Lee and Doug Davison. The project has not yet landed at a studio. Kuzui indicated that they've been fielding offers for sequels and other exploitation of the property for years, and Lee's interest in taking Buffy in "a new direction" appealed to her.

The Kuzuis were both executive producers on the two spin-off TV series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, but this is mostly because they retained the rights to the concept; their creative involvement in the two series was minimal. Outside Buffy-related endeavors, their best-known efforts include the Trey Parker comedy Orgazmo (1997) and Tokyo Pop (1988).

The film is being billed as a reboot, rather than a sequel, and speculation is that it will utilize the one-slayer-for-every-generation concept to update and darken the story and bring in new characters. The movie apparently will not feature characters created for the TV series, including Angel, Giles, Xander, Willow, or Spike, and for that matter may not involve Buffy, if the story is based around a new slayer altogether.

It's not just the characters that would be missing, though. The whole feel of the Buffyverse was developed in the series, not in the (fairly trivial) movie. Buffy-the-concept became something in that first season, and really only in the brilliant season 1 finale, "Prophecy Girl" (the first aired episode to be both written and directed by Whedon). The series made Buffy something new, something considerably beyond the core concept of the original film.

In any event, interest in Buffy at this point is based entirely on the two series, so rebooting the now-forgotten movie seems like a very peculiar idea. Considering that Kuzui and Whedon were not in agreement about how to realize the material, and that Whedon's vision was vindicated in a TV series that was much more successful and popular than the film (which was not well reviewed), it's hard to see who would back Kuzui's reboot or why – especially if Whedon, who remains very active in Buffydom via the series of bestselling comics, remains excluded.

Fans are already trying to shout this movie down, and with good reason. If it does ever make it to the screen, it'll have a hard row to hoe in getting Buffy fans to go see it.


May 27, 2009 at 11:01 am
(1) Claudine says:

It’s one thing to take Battlestar and redo it, after 20+ years and recognizing it was pretty crap (but campy, wonderful crap says this childhood fan) to begin with…

But why would you think that a brilliantly popular show that is still attracting new fans (just ask the people I loan my DVD set to) is a good candidate to go in a “new direction?”

I can’t help but think that’s a special brand o’ stupid.

May 27, 2009 at 1:28 pm
(2) John says:

Claudine, they are NOT rebooting the show.

May 29, 2009 at 12:50 am
(3) David says:

They must hope to attract the Buffy fans as there is a negligible fan base for the movie.

August 4, 2009 at 8:26 pm
(4) MT says:

Great, so now we’re going to have something like Maggie The Vampire Slayer? :-) I like my Buffy as it was… but that’s just me.

April 22, 2010 at 3:51 am
(5) Jim D'Amario says:

Well, it sounds like Fran Rubel Kuzui, was more involved in the failed feature and was just around for copyright privileges in the 2 successful TV series. I hope anyone who is in the film company considering going with Kuzui realize that. I don’t blame Whedon for the film’s failure either. From what I understand, it was the forcing of bringing in Donald Sutherland that ruined the film. From what I understand, the movie initially had the same feel as the series, but Sutherland, being a “big star” made changes. That and producers going with Sutherland’s opinions. That’s why Whedon went to a TV series…and guess what?…it was successful! Even in the end, it was the CW who ruined “Angel”. Their argument was the series was too dark for there station and canceled it. They then replaced it “Supernatural” (who’d 1st episode was Rated R) then later the “Vampire Diaries”. So Whedon left and made “Serenity”, a feature spin off to the other series that Whedon made that no station gave a chance. In short people…if you want a successful film, you better talk Whedon, Hannigan, Gellar, Boreanaz, Acker, Marsters and countless other cast members and get on you knees and beg them to be part of it, so your film won’t be a flop!

November 23, 2010 at 2:05 pm
(6) WhiteGlossy says:

ding-ding… the fight is on! This better be one hell of a movie to bring out the loyal followers! Wonder who will be Buffy?!?! Check it – http://wp.me/p106i6-1yK

December 12, 2010 at 1:24 pm
(7) Lostboy says:

I’d rather rewatch my complete DVD collection of the series then watch them destroy myfavorite series.
A continuation with the original cast (all though finding a story for why maybe difficult) would be awesome!
If you want to reboot the movie take Joss’ original script and do it as it was supposed to be done.

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