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Fans of the cult TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer may be left dejected after they hear the latest update on the property. Sarah Michelle Gellar recently spoke out regarding potential on-screen reunions, and while there certainly would be no shortage of enthusiasm for a reprisal of Buffy, the former femme fatale eradicator of the undead recently revealed that she feels her time in that role is done. What reason could possibly be compelling enough for her to so willfully hang up her best stake?
In an interview with E! Online, Sarah Michelle Gellar fielded a question about possibly making a return to her Slayer duties for a reunion of some kind. Her answer, probably to the chagrin of several die-hard fans, was frank and realistic. According to Gellar:
I joke at this point that I’d have to have a walker and my walker would be made of wood and that would be how I would stake people. I think at this point I’m a little old.
While Gellar is a 37 year-old mother of a two, she’s not quite at the point where she’s utilizing an AARP card to get discounts for breakfast at the Old Country Buffet. While clearly being more family-focused than a Hollywood career typically allows, she’s still an active force as an actress, coming off of two recent TV programs Ringer and The Crazy Ones, the latter in which she co-starred with the late Robin Williams. While her latest foray back into the “geek” genre will have her proving a voice performance on the animated series, Star Wars Rebels, it’s clear that Gellar feels that her role as Buffy hinged on the idea of being a teenager/twenty-something.
Gellar apparently sees Buffy as a property that lent itself far better to longform storytelling--something she doesn’t see herself doing once again with the character. Gellar uses the example of the absurd, under-performing 1992 Buffy the Vampire Slayer film starring Kristy Swanson, which inspired the 1997 series, to illustrate what happens when you take the story out of its proper form.
What people don't realize—they forget Buffy was a failed movie. Buffy didn't work as a movie.
Of course, fans may argue against such an idea. The premise of the failed Buffy the Vampire Slayer film was purposefully absurd. It was essentially a comedy meant to showcase Kristy Swanson as a viable star and perhaps bring in some teenage girls, based on 90210 momentum with the presence of co-star, Luke Perry. While the premise was the same, taking a high-school cheerleader and transforming her into a vicious murderer of monsters, the fact remains that the mythos of the Buffy TV show is completely incomparable in tone to the 1992 film.
In its 7 seasons, Buffy managed to lay the groundwork for a rather intricate continuity. One would think that a feature-length film or TV movie focusing on an adult Buffy who, like Gellar herself, is looking at the twilight of her days as a Slayer may be the proper punctuation on which to end the live-action mythos.
Regardless, whether from a practical or artistic standpoint, it is understandable that Gellar may not relish the idea of going back to the well as Buffy (especially as she gets close to the big 4-0). Plus, as fans of another beloved Joss Whedon TV property, Firefly learned the hard way with the 2005 film spinoff, Serenity, “cult” popularity does not always necessarily translate into bankability or even widespread enthusiasm. Perhaps, Gellar doesn’t want to subject fans of Buffy to that hard-learned lesson, as well.