I know the idea of a “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” motion picture re-launch without Joss Whedon shouldn’t surprise me but it does. He fully crafted the character completely apart from its 1992 screen debut (which I enjoy but Whedon disowns) and built Buffy Summer and her gang of Scoobies over the course of seven seasons, the “Angel” spin-off, a couple of videogames, an eighth season if you count the comic books in addition to all the other comic tie-ins that Whedon briefly overseas but doesn’t maintain direct involvement. And with all that, “Buffy” has never quite cracked the mainstream despite its fiercely devoted fanbase and actors like Sarah Michelle Gellar, Alyson Hannigan, and David Boreanaz being able to crack the mainstream with summer movies and TV shows like “How I Met Your Mother” and “Bones”.
But while “Joss Whedon” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” may seem inextricably tied to one another, Whedon doesn’t actually own the rights. Those belong to Fran Rubel Kuzui (who directed the 1992 film) and her husband, Kaz Kuzui and according to The Hollywood Reporter, they’re thinking of joining up Roy Lee and Doug Davidson of Vertigo Entertainment to relaunch the character into a new franchise.
And that relaunch would mean no Xander Harris, no Willow Rosenberg, no anybody from the TV show except a gal named Buffy who slays herself some vampires. Kuzui makes the point that the premise allows for more than one slayer and one is born into every generation. While the show did away with that mythology and expanded into something far more interesting with an army of potentials becoming slayers, I don’t have a problem with them starting back at square one. My problem rests with a relaunch that’s in a “new generation” but the slayer is still named Buffy (whose last name is presumably “Summers” and if I had to bet, I’m saying that she’s an attractive blonde). I understand that with “Star Trek”, folks are now trying to find a way to honor canon and yet rebuild a franchise but they may just have to forget that all previous Buffys existed just as the television show mostly ignored the 1992 film.
THR reports that the Kuzuis are open to Whedon’s involvement but haven’t reached out to him yet. They also want a “darker, event-sized” movie which could mean sweet, sweet franchise potential. The film doesn’t have a studio or a writer at the moment but I’m sure the acolytes in the Whedonverse are already frothing and fighting to make sure their beloved property isn’t bastardized.
I imagine some of you may have strong feelings on the matter so feel free to vent your thoughts in our shiny new comments section!