In May of 2009 we learned the horrible news that plans were in the works to re-imagine the Buffy the Vampire Slayer saga in an entirely rebooted film that will have nothing to do with Buffy creator Joss Whedon. In December of 2009, Buffy alum Alyson Hannigan went on the record to call plans for a Whedon-less remake a “mistake” … and countless Buffy fans and Whedon faithful agree — me included. Today we learn that the new Buffy the Vampire Slayer script is being written by a woman named Whit Anderson, that the film has been picked up by Warner Bros. Studios and is scheduled for release in 2011 or 2012:
”I didn’t really watch much television at all, [says Whit Anderson], 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.” During its seven-season run, the beloved ”Buffy the Vampire Slayer” series put some fang into high-school melodrama long before “Twilight” made the undead all sparkly, and one big reason was the ability of the show’s creator, Joss Whedon, to put himself in the head of his female fans. Now we’ll find out if that rapport works in the other direction as the 29-year-old Anderson works on the script for a Warner Bros. feature-film “Buffy” reboot that is moving forward without Whedon. Anderson, with a chuckle, said she is ”fighting through” the script right now, but her concept has already engerized some key supporters. Charles Roven, one of the producers of “Batman Begins,” said his Atlas Entertainment signed on after he saw something special in Anderson’s tone and story. “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.” Roven added: “There is an active fan base eagerly awaiting this character’s return…. 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 project has plenty of hurdles ahead, and there is no announced director, but Roven said hopes to see the film reach theaters in 2012 or perhaps even 2011 … Anderson knows that without Whedon … the most devoted fans of the old series will be keeping a skeptical eye on this nascent revival — and sharpening their wooden stakes. Anderson … said she will take the touchstones of the Whedon world but frame them in “a new story” that is very much of the moment. She cited Christopher Nolan’s revival of Batman as a supreme example of how a familiar character and revered mythology can be brought to the big screen with a vital new vision.
Firstly, I want to say that I do not blame Whit Anderson for taking up the task of writing the new Buffy script … I don’t think many people would turn down a job like that. BUT, I absolutely feel that any Buffy project that does not have any input, association or even blessing from Joss Whedon is just beyond blasphemous. What a slap in the face it must feel like to Joss to see his beloved creation totally taken over by strangers who will reboot his hard work so that they can repackage, sell and profit from it. I honestly couldn’t care less how creative, inventive or revolutionary this new Buffy is promised to be … she will be a pale copy of the already superior original. While I completely understand the need to move forward on a project that the powers that be believe will be a profitable venture, I can honestly say that I personally have ZERO interest in anything having to do with it. I don’t need a new Buffy. I don’t want a new Buffy. Without Joss Whedon’s involvement, this new Buffy will NEVER be Buffy. I normally LOVE reboots and retellings of stories in new, inventive ways … but this feels so wrong. Without Joss, I’m just not interested.
How about you?