Atlas Entertainment announced today it is rebooting the beloved franchise, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, with Warner Bros. Pictures. Atlas’ Charles Roven and Steve Alexander will produce the feature film alongside Doug Davison and Roy Lee of Vertigo Entertainment (The Ring, How to Train Your Dragon, The Departed). Whit Anderson is writing the script.
Warner Bros. Pictures optioned the rights from creators Fran and Kaz Kuzui, and from Sandollar Productions (Sandy Gallin and Dolly Parton), for Atlas and Vertigo to produce. Buffy the Vampire Slayer first appeared as a film in 1992, subsequently becoming a cult hit and spawning the wildly popular television series starring Sarah Michelle Gellar and David Boreanaz, among many others.
“Whit approached us with an exciting idea about how to update Buffy,” said Roven. “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.”
There is so much wrong with this news. First, Joss Whedon is not involved with the remake. Joss is Buffy. Without him they should remove the name and try their own thing. Why in the world would they cut Joss out of the mix? He has stated for years that he’d love to bring a Buffy movie to theaters and both Sarah Michelle Gellar and David Boreanaz have also said they’d reprise their roles for a theatrical version (others have also expressed interest as well, including James Marsters, Nicholas Brendon, and Anthony Head). That “active fan base” that is “eagerly awaiting this character’s return to the big screen” is not eagerly awaiting a remake. They want to see the Buffy they grew up with. They want to see the Buffy that defeated the Master, fell in love with a vampire with a soul, had the best friends anyone could ask for, found a father figure in Giles, that died saving the world (twice!), and that shared her power to make the world a safer place. They don’t want to see a carbon copy of her, because guess what, she WILL NOT BE as “witty, tough, and sexy” as our Buffy.
The new reboot is remaking the movie, so at least this horrible idea will not be able to feature Willow, Xander, Giles, Angel, Spike, Oz, Tara, and everyone else we fell in love with over the course of the series. Nor will it be able to be set in Sunnydale, a fictional city that truly was the heart of the show. Characters the movie can (and will likely) use? Luke Perry’s Pike, Donald Sutherland’s “watcher” Merrick, Rutger Hauer’s villainous vampire Lothos, and of course Paul Reubens’ one-armed vampire Amilyn. What were some of the other differences with the big screen Buffy? Well, the movie’s vampires didn’t “vamp out”, nor did they turn to dust, and one of Buffy’s super powers was cramps.
Let’s just point out exactly what this reboot is. This is two greedy SOBs named Fran and Kaz Kuzui, who are mislabeled in the press release as Buffy “creators” when they just own the rights, that are trying to milk the fan base of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer to make a quick buck and are trying to capitalize on the Twilight vampire “craze”. By rebooting the series they do not have to pay the true Buffy creator Joss Whedon, nor do they have to pay the cast from the TV series (I’d imagine both Gellar and Boreanaz would be pricey). They can hire someone like Whit Anderson, a background actress with no writing experience, at what is likely scale pay to write a crap script. They are going to push it right into production and try to get it into theaters as early as 2011. The director will likely be a straight-to-video hack or even more likely, a music video director who will be making his first feature.
As a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer who owns every season of the show (and spinoff Angel) on DVD, all of the comics that have been published, T-Shirts, video games, and yes, even the original movie, I will not be supporting this reboot in any way. I will not see it in theaters, nor will I buy it on Blu-Ray when it comes out. I will not be wasting any of my Netflix orders on it, or even wasting my time watching it when it comes to basic Cable. Fuck you Fran and Kaz Kuzui.
I will, however, continue to “eagerly await” the next issue of Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 comic book that comes out the first week of December.