The Big Buffy Reboot Debate


Yesterday, Atlas Entertainment, the company run by Charles Roven (producer of The Dark Knight) made the mistake of announcing that the Buffy the Vampire Slayer big-screen reboot was moving ever closer to preproduction. The film won’t have anything to do with the series and the (crappy) movie that preceded it save for the protagonist, and not only is the original cast of the television show not involved, but neither is Joss Whedon. That’s right: some Hollywood morons actually think that by removing everything that made the Buffy TV series successful from the film adaptation, they’ll somehow make a pile of money. Let me just reiterate what a bad idea this is before I get to some quotes on the matter. Buffy has an enormous, massive, huge, gigantic, gargantuan fan base, and they are DEVOTED (Joss Whedon does too, for that matter). Repackaging Buffy with all the stuff the fans love removed is only going to lead to angry fans, who are the target demographic for this kind of thing anyway. Or at least, they should be. It’s the same thing with the often talked about Rocky Horror Picture Show remake. By remaking a classic, or recasting a TV show and repackaging it in movie form without the guidance of the guy who made it magical, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. The people you want to see it will boycott it, and the people who have never heard of it won’t see it. It’s lose-lose, Mr. Roven! Don’t do it!

Okay, end rant. Here are some quotes from people involved. First up, screenwriter Whit Anderson, who I do not envy being tasked with this script:

”I didn’t really watch much television at all, but I always watched ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer,’ that was the one show I would watch when I got home. I just loved this character. I was the same age as Buffy and it was so rare to have a female lead character on TV in those days who was strong and capable and smart but also allowed to be feminine.”

Next up, Charles Roven, making a huge mistake, Arrested Development style:

“Whit approached us with an exciting idea about how to update Buffy. There is an active fan base eagerly awaiting this character’s return to the big screen. We’re thrilled to team up with Doug and Roy on a re-imagining of Buffy and the world she inhabits. Details of the film are being kept under wraps, but I can say while this is not your high school Buffy, she’ll be just as witty, tough, and sexy as we all remember her to be.”

The article continues under the cut, with Joss Whedon’s response to all this nonsense.

Here’s the guy you’re really waiting to hear from. E Online‘s Kristen Dos Santos asked Joss for his thoughts on all this reboot talk:

Kristin, I’m glad you asked for my thoughts on the announcement of Buffy the cinema film.  This is a sad, sad reflection on our times, when people must feed off the carcasses of beloved stories from their youths–just because they can’t think of an original idea of their own, like I did with my Avengers idea that I made up myself.

Obviously I have strong, mixed emotions about something like this. My first reaction upon hearing who was writing it was, “Whit Stillman AND Wes Anderson?  This is gonna be the most sardonically adorable movie EVER.”  Apparently I was misinformed. Then I thought, “I’ll make a mint!  This is worth more than all my Toy Story residuals combined!” Apparently I am seldom informed of anything. And possibly a little slow. But seriously, are vampires even popular any more?

I always hoped that Buffy would live on even after my death.  But, you know, AFTER.  I don’t love the idea of my creation in other hands, but I’m also well aware that many more hands than mine went into making that show what it was. And there is no legal grounds for doing anything other than sighing audibly. I can’t wish people who are passionate about my little myth ill. I can, however, take this time to announce that I’m making a Batman movie.  Because there’s a franchise that truly needs updating. So look for The Dark Knight Rises Way Earlier Than That Other One And Also More Cheaply And In Toronto, rebooting into a theater near you.

Leave me to my pain!  Sincerely, Joss Whedon.

Man, nobody can write comedic snark like Joss. What do you think of this idea? I know I’m not alone in thinking it’s a bad one, but is there anybody out there in support of it? I honestly don’t mind if you are, and I’d love to hear why. Maybe you hated the series, or maybe you just hated Sarah Michelle Gellar. Whatever the case, please comment and make your opinions known!

More news on this as it emerges.

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