As if Joss Whedon needs more ire right now.
There was never any doubt that Buffy The Vampire Slayer would return to our lives. Having already survived one resurrection, a third one is right around the corner. Kick, scream, or hold onto your precious memories; the stronger you resist, the more painful this process will be. The Charmed reboot is in full swing, and another Buffy is about to enroll in high school.
While speaking at the INTV conference in Jerusalem (via Variety), FOX TV Group Chair Gary Newman couldn’t resist stoking fandom’s flames with promises of more Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
“‘Buffy’ is probably the most ripe show we have for bringing back…it’s something we talk about frequently, and Joss Whedon is really one of the greatest creators we ever worked with. When Joss decides it’s time, we’ll do it. And until Joss decides it’s time, it won’t happen.”
Ah, how time heals all wounds. While Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel were a popular success for Fox, it’s impossible to talk about Joss Whedon‘s time with their television division without also noting the intense difficulties surrounding his follow-up shows Firefly and Dollhouse. In the wake of Buffy‘s overwhelming popularity, Whedon continually struggled to repeat that success with the network.
Whedon appears to be a little gun shy these days, and it’s hard to imagine him giving the ok on the Scooby gang right now. Having failed to find a story for Batgirl, how eager do you genuinely think he is to return to Sunnydale? His era of ass-kicking feminism may be behind him.
And some of us may like it that way.
Back in March of last year, we held an emergency discussion on our One Perfect Pod in which Neil Miller discussed Whedon’s current place in the pop culture landscape with Vanity Fair correspondent Joanna Robinson. In so many ways, Whedon seemed like the perfect fit for Batgirl, but his time as an ally for gender representation is faltering. After allegations from his ex labeling him a “hypocrite” and a “cheat,” Whedon doesn’t seem ready to run back to the public spotlight.
The Buffy The Vampire Slayer reboot train will pull into the station eventually. We’ll have to wait on whether Whedon is leading the locomotive as conductor or kicking back as an executive producing passenger. We’re certainly still processing our feelings on where we want to see the creator go from here.
Newman was quick to pump the breaks the moment the Buffy reboot talk jumped out of his mouth. Recognizing the passion fueling such projects, Newman stated that “he wouldn’t get out of the building alive” if he announced the green light right then and there. Whenever the official word comes down, you can bet Newman will get himself as far away from the Twitterstorm as possible.
What we do know for sure is that Whedon is returning to the Buffyverse in comic book form. Last October, he unveiled to the AV Club that he’ll be scripting a Giles spin-off book with co-writer Erika Alexander and artist Jon Lam. Over at Dark Horse Comics, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” never went away. Season 8 continued in panel form with Whedon popping in and out to steer its direction.
Comics is a good place for Whedon to hang low for a while. He can putter about fairly unnoticed, and rediscover his voice and purpose as a storyteller. There’s no need to jump back into the Hellmouth of attention that a TV reboot would certainly attract. Giles gives both him and us time to figure out our feelings on how and when we want these characters to return.