You might recall that last year, it was announced that Buffy the Vampire Slayer rights holders Fran Rubel Kazui and Kaz Kazui had decided that the time was right to pursue a cinematic reboot of the beloved cult series created by Joss Whedon. Except they were going ahead without Joss Whedon. Very little was heard about the film, and frankly we sort of hoped the idea had just gone away, but now the LA Times has an interview with actress/writer Whit Anderson, who has successfully pitched a new take on the character to Warner Bros. So here is our reaction to the update brought to you with the help of the Kübler-Ross model (AKA the five stages of grief.)
We really did think this would go away, and can’t actually believe this is even happening. Sure, reboot old artsy fartsy movies people don’t care about anymore like Citizen Kane and Casablanca*, but leave Buffy alone. Buffy without the Hand of Joss is… Buffy: the original movie. And you know how that turned out. So… no. Can’t happen. Won’t happen. Will get derailed.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN SOMEONE NEW HAS A “FRESH TAKE” on the material? Are you kidding us? Really? REALLY? The new Buffy will be a mere shadow of the TV incarnation. And will the Scooby Gang be part of the story? Because last we heard, the rights to those characters were in different hands. No Scoobies, no Buffy. No thank you. And who is this Whit Anderson, anyway? What’s she got to say for herself? ”I didn’t really watch much television at all, but I always watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer," she tells the Times. "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.” Nice words, but it could all be so much fan fiction.
But… But… if Buffy could be revived, and Joss really isn’t going to be involved, couldn’t they get some of the team that honed their craft working for him to take a crack at the script along with Anderson? Most screenplays for big studio films go through more than one writer in their development. We’re just saying that Buffy could benefit from some expert input.
Oh, they’re just going to do it anyway. Charles Roven, the producer behind The Dark Knight, is attached. And he’s got this to say: “Generally, I wouldn’t have said, ‘Let’s revive this,’ but Whit’s take is pretty compelling and a lot of fun, and it’s interesting to see all of this re-imagined. This is a completely new reboot. Tone is extremely important, and you want the audience to realize what is at stake and the peril is real, but at the same time what’s going on should be fun and inviting and keep everyone engaged. It needs to be relevant to today too, and that is what Whit has found a way to do.” If anyone needs us, we’ll be binging on entire seasons of the show to try to forget our pain.
And, let’s face it… It’s not impossible to imagine that someone could take Buffy in an interesting new direction. With Roven involved, it has a shot at being good, and Anderson certainly seems to be passionate about the subject: “The thing that was so wonderful about Buffy is what made it special was so timeless. The deep struggle she had with duty and destiny, that tug between what you’re supposed to be doing and what you want to be doing. The fate of the world is on her shoulders, but some days she wakes up, and she just doesn’t want to do it. And are we doomed and destined to love someone? That conflict was very interesting to me.”
So there you have it folks – we made it all the way to acceptance. But this isn’t mild, roll-over-and-play-undead acceptance. This is begrudging, they’re-doing-it-anyway acceptance that will quickly be put aside if the result turns out to be awful. It’s all very well for filmmakers to tout passion in their press releases, but now we need to see results. In the meantime, for Joss Whedon's reaction to the news, read the E! piece over here.