Buffy fans can go take a long walk off a short pier, at least as far as Vertigo Entertainment is concerned. They’re bypassing Joss Whedon’s infinitely more popular television version of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer franchise to remake the long since forgotten 1992 movie version. Long suffering Whedonites who’ve hoped for a movie version based on the Sarah Michelle Gellar character are now officially screwed.
Of course, Joss Whedon isn’t involved at all. Like the show he made popular he’s been bypassed in favor of people more willing to regurgitate old material for whatever profit can be sucked from the neck of base name recognition. THR says Vertigo’s Roy Lee and Doug Davison are working in conjunction with the Kuzuis, who directed the original Buffy movie based on Joss Whedon’s script.
It’s hard not to think of the screw-job Battlestar Galactica is also on the verge getting, at the hands of its creator Glen Larson. Larson recently announced plans to reboot the BSG brand name as a new movie franchise, which would be based on the 80s version of the series instead of the infinitely more popular and successful modern television version brainstormed by Ron Moore.
Like that ill-conceived upcoming BSG movie, this new Buffy will have no connection to the TV series or any of its supporting characters in any way. As an excuse they’re citing the success of Star Trek. Of course this ignores that Abrams’ Star Trek actually fits into the Trek universe and in fact, uses existing Star Trek characters in a way that honors the long-running success of the franchise instead of sweeping it out of the way to make something else with the same name slapped on it.
Their plan for the reboot is to do what every reboot claims it's going to do. Turn the whole thing even darker and morph it into an event-movie which can be milked into a multi-movie franchise. They're playing with the idea that every generation has its own slayer, which has of course always been a part of the Buffy franchise. I'm pretty sure that every generation's slayer hasn't, however, always been named Buffy. Maybe they'll call it Muffy the Vampire Slayer.
If you’re a fan of the television show, you should be insulted. If you’re Joss Whedon, you should be insulted. If you’re a Twilight fan you should probably be insulted too because let’s face it, as soon as Twilight was a big hit whoever owns the rights to Buffy smelled money and almost certainly spent some time looking over Twilight’s box office numbers before kicking this travesty into motion. I’m expecting some sort of Twilight clone, ironic really when you consider that even Twilight is itself just a pale reflection of what Joss Whedon did with his Buffy. Why bring in Whedon to resurrect the original when you can probably do it cheaper and with more pandering by scraping off the existing franchise and sticking the name on something else?
There's some cause for hope here. It's not yet a done deal. Development on the project is still in early stages and it could easily fall part. Also, Whedon's involvement hasn't been entirely ruled out, they just haven't bothered to talk to him about it. Unless he's recently sold his soul to the devil, it's hard to imagine he'd want anything to do with this anyway.