By Casey Lynn
Contributing Writer, [GAS]
Could Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans’ dreams of the series coming to the big screen finally be true? Well, as the saying goes, be careful what you wish for.
You may recall that Buffy didn’t originate with the television series in 1997, but rather with a really terrible 1992 movie of the same name. It was based on (the then unknown) Whedon’s original script, but he’s basically agreed since then that the movie was indeed pretty terrible, departing from his vision due to commercial compromise. The only reason that the movie hasn’t vanished into obscurity is the phenomenal success of the TV reboot.
But now the producers of the original movie are talking about relaunching the Buffy franchise – not with a continuation of the television series, but of the movie. And without Whedon. Or rather, they “have not yet reached out to him.”
The Hollywood Reporter story compares the situation to the recent Star Trek reboot: “Kuzui are looking to restart the story line without trampling on the beloved existing universe created by Whedon, putting the parties in a similar situation faced by Paramount, J.J. Abrams and his crew when relaunching Star Trek.”
I for one don’t think that’s a great comparison, since the new Star Trek might be avoiding “trampling” on the new universe, but it’s still doing so as a prequel that includes the original characters that the fans know and love. Here, the producers note that the relaunch might be based on the idea that each generation has its own slayer – which would mean a Buffy without even Buffy. (It goes without saying that neither Sarah Michelle Geller nor Kristy Swanson, who is now best known for being the Other Woman on ice skates, would be reprising the role.)
The logic behind this move completely escapes me. If the idea is to continue the Buffy universe by exploring other slayers, then of course Joss Whedon should be at the helm – he obviously has more stories to tell, evidenced by the comic books he keeps churning out, some of which are about other slayers. And if the idea is to just crank out another teen vampire franchise to take advantage of the current Twilight craze, then there’s no need to put Buffy’s name on it. But if using the name is just leverage to cash in on the legions of Buffy fans, then Whedon is pretty much a necessity. I don’t think they can have it both ways.