Head to any comic convention or panel featuring a Buffy The Vampire Slayer cast member, and it becomes pretty apparent that fans want more. In an age where revivals and vampires are both very popular, it seems like a no-brainer that the show should come back to us, but the Buffy cast feels a bit differently; at least some of them. Interest in a revival largely depends on who you ask. James Marsters, who (Spike) kicks the discussion off with something I'm sure fans and cast both agree on:
I think if Joss is helming it, then hell yeah. If not, then hell no.
If there was any way to anger Buffy The Vampire Slayer fans about a revival, doing it without mastermind Joss Whedon would be it. I'm not sure any studio would even attempt to resurrect the series without getting the iconic Whedon involved in some way, as it would sour fans and cast into smearing the show before the first trailer would even drop. Even with Whedon's full blessing, it's still blasphemy. With the comic book filmmaker telling media weeks ago that he's wary of television reboots and his ability to bring those characters back in meaningful way, you definitely get the sense that he's conflicted at the moment on whether or not it should even be discussed.
Joss Whedon's thoughts are shared by another actress, and possibly the most important one for the revival: Sarah Michelle Gellar. You can't do a Buffy The Vampire Slayer revival without Buffy, and the actress doesn't seem like she's gotten any warmer to the concept. Knowing she may break (or stake) a few hearts in saying it, Gellar shares a hard truth with fans and EW in her response:
At a certain point, when things are magical, you don't want to go back and Godfather III it, right? I'm sure the fans are incredibly disappointed to hear that answer, but I think they'd be more disappointed if we created something and it didn't live up to the expectation because the expectation is so incredibly high. And I love that it can live in comic form and graphic novels. There are so many worlds it can live in.
That's a point Sarah Michelle Gellar has made in the past, and it's still very valid. Buffy The Vampire Slayer was about vampires yes, but it was also about being a teen in the 90s. So much of that era and youthful mindset is engrained in that show, you'd have to really catch people up on how these characters have reacted and changed with the world around them as they go through adulthood. When you do stuff like that, the chance of "Godfather III-ing" it is real and a strong possibility.
Gellar also comments that she's getting too old to play Buffy, and I think we can all stare daggers at her for taking for granted her seemingly ageless presence. In fact, none of the Buffy cast looks incredibly different from how they did 20 years ago, and that's nothing short of astounding. That's something showrunner Joss Whedon clearly has given thought to as he discusses the what if scenario of a Buffy The Vampire Slayer reunion:
I've been trying deliberately to move forward and do something a little bit different, but yeah. I mean the great thing is that everybody looks great, and the other great thing is the show is about growing up. If we did it with these guys they'd be the age that they basically are. They'd probably play a little younger because you do that, and they can. If you did, you would see somebody going through their life at a different stage. It wouldn't be like, 'I can't believe we're still in high school! I wear Depends.'
While the Buffy cast currently looks better than I do at a much younger age, I don't think they can still sell the post-high school look. That said, you just introduce a demon who traps the cast in a world where they are back in high school but obviously older and voila! (Feel free to use that one, Joss, as I just want to see more Buffy.) It definitely seems like there's a lot of apprehension from some major players in the fold, and it almost makes you wish Buffy The Vampire Slayer had a truly awful season so it could take some pressure off these guys.
Reviving Buffy The Vampire Slayer is a more complex beast than say, Full House. There's character history to address, story lines that were resolved that now must be re-opened, and this would involve bringing a show back for X number of episodes with the hope that the door can again be closed when it's all done. I think the only thing worse than the Buffy team screwing up a revival is perhaps giving us a Gilmore Girls-style cliffhanger and then saying goodbye, thus ripping that wound right back open. Of course, leave it to Alyson Hannigan (a.k.a. Willow) to be the voice of reason in this conversation and present a sensible solution for fans and cast:
I think we should do the Buffy cartoon.
That solution by and large has been the answer for those involved in the Buffy The Vampire Slayer franchise for years now. You don't have to worry about an actor aging or leaving high school when they're in a graphic novel or comic book, and the same holds true for an animated series. It also means less stunts and cartwheels for the aging actors and actresses, and lower pay rates for the voice work versus live-action acting. Not that I imagine money would ever be an issue for a Buffy revival, as networks would likely throw big bucks to ensure whatever came out was exclusive to their network.
Obviously the cast has their doubts, but I get the sense there's a nagging ache where each of them want to return to this universe in some form. Well, minus David Borneaz, as he's always good for a pretty firm no, but I'm sure Angel would return if everyone else rallied together. I'd love to say we learned something with these comments, but as usual, the status of a Buffy The Vampire Slayer revival remains very much up in the air. That sucks, too, because we're losing Buffy on Netflix soon, as well as other Joss Whedon shows. Read about that here, and be sure to check out our summer premiere schedule while you drown your sorrows over being shut out of Sunnydale for awhile.