Careful what you wish for Buffy fans, you just might get it.
Looks like there is a new Buffy the Vampire Slayer film coming, but its not what you would think. The original director is teaming up with Vertigo Entertainment to take the much loved franchise and reboot/remake it. Without Joss Whedon.
Roy Lee and Doug Davison of Vertigo Entertainment are working with original movie director Fran Rubel Kuzui and her husband, Kaz Kuzui, on what is being labeled a remake or relaunch of Buffy, but not a sequel or prequel. Kuzui and her Kuzui Enterprises have held onto the rights since the beginning, when she discovered the Buffy script from then-unknown Whedon.
This is the dumbest idea ever. Well this, and casting Pro Wrestlers or rappers to star in films
This reeks of a Twilight vampire bandwagon effort (even CW has a new Twilight ripoff show coming out in the fall) with a side order of “Whedon had his chance”. At least the director/producer of the original film that inspired the phenomenon is behind this, so at very least I hope they would have some passion for the project.
However it could be a career move hinging on the vampire craze lately since Fran Rubel Kuzui hasn’t directed anything SINCE the Buffy film.
Normally I would play the TMB Rules of a Remake game. But looking at the criteria I had a hard time separating the film from the TV series. The TV series was a direct sequel to the Movie. The pilot episode even has Buffy Summers moving to Sunnydale after she was expelled from her previous highschool for burning down the Gym.
The comparison I want to play here would be to line it up with the recent incarnation of Star Trek. I want to play devil’s advocate here, because I think this is a bad idea but I could be open to the idea if it is handled correctly.
Let me just deviate for a moment and say that I am a MASSIVE Whedonite, and loved the Buffy series and the Angel spinoff. Best TV of its decade, for a number of reasons.
Anyways, if these people want to remake Buffy, the only way I see it having a chance is to consider Star Trek.
If someone had told me they were remaking Star Trek, I would say they were out of their mind. But they did. Kinda. This Star Trek was a reboot, and paid due tribute to its predacessors, and “continued” the story without remaking the story. This gave them a clean slate and I applauded them for it.
The franchise was dead. The die hards were still craving more, but it just wasn’t going to happen. For whatever multitude of fingerpointing reasons the Trekkers gave, it was just dead Jim.
Now let’s look at Buffy. After 7 amazing seasons, Buffy finally called it quits, and for another year after that we saw the untimely end of the Angel spinoff.
That was just 5 years ago. Since then, the fanbase as been itching for a reunion movie, a rumoured spinoff involving Spike, Faith or Rupert “Ripper” Giles. The comic book series, dubbed Season 8 has been popular. But herein lies the problem.
If they reboot the series, Whedon will not be involved at all, and they will be remaking it with a whole new story and new characters. The parts of Buffy that people LOVE and are enthusastic about are the characters. And aside from Buffy, all the characters came in the TV series.
This reboot can’t work like Star Trek did. They are hoping to latch onto the Vampire craze, boosted by the enthusiasm of the Buffy fans, and hope to rekindle a dead franchise.
So my only other hope is that they cling to their rights to the Buffyverse, pay some royalties to Whedon for his expanded mythos, and offer a “next generation” kind of thing. Introduce a new Slayer from the mass of “activated slayers in waiting” and deal with a story there. I also feel this is the only hope for a future Star Wars franchise. The current Clone Wars stuff will die off, and a decade from now we will get a “next generation” Star Wars franchise like the Legacy Comics.
All that being said, Buffy is one of those franchises that saw a wave of success that will overshadow any attempt to reboot it. I am not saying it can’t be done, but it won’t be easy.
I know the raving Whedonites will deny this film like I see the Highlander sequels, but there is a tiny sliver of hope that they could make this into something it never was and still be loved.