So, I’ve read that there’s a Buffy the Vampire Slayer reboot film in the works. Here is why I think this is a REALLY BAD IDEA:
1) TOO SOON
You don’t reboot a franchise that’s only been off the air SEVEN YEARS. You just don’t. It’s a stupid, stupid thing to do. Last year’s Star Trek reboot came OVER FORTY YEARS after Star Trek: The Original Series, and FIFTEEN YEARS after the last film that featured members of the original cast. Meanwhile, Buffy the Vampire Slayer hasn’t even been off the air for ten years, and the world of the show is being continued – BY Joss – in comic book form. The fandom is still alive and well with no “franchise fatigue” in sight!
The Buffy reboot’s writer, Whit Anderson (who doesn’t even have a picture up on her IMDB page, and who only has credits as an actress – the biggest of which is as a “Patron” in the film Yes Man), likens this reboot to that of the Batman franchise with Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.
First of all, Batman is OVER SEVENTY YEARS OLD and its creator is dead. It could STAND reimagining every now and again. Secondly, the films she cites weren’t “reboots” so much as adaptations of Frank Miller’s version of Batman. These films were basically created so that the film version of Batman would match what currently existed in the comics, just as previous Batman films and TV shows reflected the comics of their time. So, for her analogy to work, she’d either have to be adapting Buffy: Season Eight comics to film, or having her film match the show so that the film Buffyverse is updated from the Kristy Swanson/Luke Perry film. Either way, what she’s doing is redundant, and insulting, mostly because the CREATOR OF THE ORIGINAL SHOW IS STILL HERE AND WORKING. Which leads me to…
2) NO JOSS, NO BUFFY
Joss IS Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Yes, he was even the less-than-stellar first film version. It’s Joss’ singular humor and take on life that made Buffy what it is. It’s what CONTINUES to make Buffy what it is in its comic incarnation. First of all, who is Whit Anderson, and why was she given the keys to ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR FANTASY FRANCHISES EVER?! Secondly, with Joss still alive and kicking and Creator of the Buffyverse, anything Anderson comes up with will feel like fan fiction. Granted, it might be very good fan fiction. But it won’t feel genuine. It will, at best, feel like a really good imitation. If you’re a first-time screenwriter, why would you want your first project to be a ventriloquist act?
Meanwhile, Joss has responded to all of this with a wonderful mix of candor and humor. My favorite bit?
“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.“
It’s true. He IS doing a reboot. Thing is, THE AVENGERS IS OLD, TOO! And the movie has the blessing of the creator, Stan Lee, and is being PRODUCED BY THE PUBLISHER OF THE AVENGERS. Also, Joss has written for Marvel before, so he’s part of the family. So, it’s really nothing at ALL like what Anderson & Warner Bros. are doing.
I would get more up in arms about this, but the fact is this was a VERY early announcement and the script isn’t even written yet. I wouldn’t be surprised if we never heard about this project again, and it spent eternity in Development Hell.
It can keep Joss’ version of Wonder Woman company.