While fans of the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie starring Kristy Swanson may be ready to rejoice, fans of the Sarah Michelle Gellar television series are slamming fists and shedding tears at the news that Buffy is on her way back to the big screen with one caveat – Joss Whedon will not be involved.
Personally I think there are two kinds of Buffy fans: those of us who saw the movie in theaters back in 1992, liked it and then never watched the TV series and those whose fandom is almost entirely related to their enjoyment of the television show. I count myself among the former, having never seen an episode of the television show – a trait I plan on having the rest of my life.
Is it a good idea to bring Buffy back sans the man responsible for her popularity? Yes and no.
Although I’m sure fans of Whedon and the TV show are sticking with No and no. But we don’t always get what we want, do we?
First we must ask – why remake this movie? The answer is simple; the rights were available, apparently at a decent price, and vampires are just about the hottest commodity in Hollywood right now.
Second we must ask – why cut Joss Whedon out? The answer is probably just as simple. Money. Perhaps time as well, though since time is money, it’s really the same thing. While not the biggest name in the game, Whedon is far more expensive now than he was a decade ago. When you also add in the fact that he’s helming The Avengers for Marvel, he’s going to be tied up in that movie for the next two years. With a project that size, I doubt any executive is going to give him the greenlight to go ahead and start working on something else until Avengers is picture locked and press is all but done.
Now that we established why things are the way they are – does it matter? My guess is: a little bit. Are fans of Buffy fans of Buffy or are they fans of Joss Whedon? Certainly they’re both, but which has a greater weight behind it? Millions of people love Star Wars, but George Lucas only directed the first one (I’m ignoring all the prequels because fuck that shit). Star Wars has proved itself to be amazingly popular in terms of TV shows, toys, animation, all that jazz. All of that jazz without Lucas’s involvement.
So while the die hard fans of Whedon, or Buffy, might be scared off, I think the average Buffy fan might be thinking “Sweet, a new Buffy movie” or at the very least “I’ll keep an eye on this.”
The film is going to be written by Whit Anderson, an actress who pitched the project to Warner Brothers, who loved the idea. Anderson is apparently a big fan of Buffy, big enough that she wants to bring it back to the big screen. While the initial word is that this probably won’t deal with a High School era slayer, who knows what we’ll get. It’s probably not worth crying about yet.
Unless you’re Joss Whedon, who responded to E! Online when they reached out to him for comment. You can read that below if you’re in the mood for Whedon’s particular brand of bitching, that comes across as morose and tragically unfunny, despite his best efforts.
Whedon takes a few jabs at the idea of the remake, as he is apparently a very original screenwriter. He makes note that his Avengers idea is his own (ignoring the fact that it is a comic book adaptation and thus not all that original) and doesn’t mention that he also worked on the Captain America film, another adaptation, or a pretty poor sequel in the Alien franchise. Just saying that taking shots at a remake when you’ve been involved in plenty of derivative stuff….
The fan favorite writer then goes on to make a joke about rebooting Batman, a joke which falls just as flat as his atrocious remarks about rebooting the Terminator franchise.
Anway, you’ve got me, I’m not a Whedon fan. I couldn’t care less about his involvement in anything. Feel free to call me whatever name you want below, but the facts of the matter are Buffy is coming back to the big screen without Joss Whedon. You either care or you don’t, but let’s not cut ourselves until we see how this thing is going to shape up. At least without Joss Whedon involved, it’s a pretty safe bet that no character will be randomly and unceremoniously killed off for no reason other than fuck you. Wash for life, yo.
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”