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Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Anthony Head on a Reboot without Joss Whedon

Buffy movieLast week, news broke that a Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie is finally in the works. Unfortunately, it’s not the ones that fans have been hoping for. Rather than reuniting TV castmates like Sarah Michelle Gellar, Nicholas Brendon, Alyson Hannigan, and James Marsters, the film would be a reboot of the original low-budget movie.

Back in 1992, Fox released the campy Buffy flick starring Kristy Swanson, Donald Sutherland, and Luke Perry. The original script was written by a then-unknown writer named Joss Whedon. Fran Rubel Kuzui and her husband, Kaz, “discovered” the story for their Kuzui Enterprises. Ms. Kuzui directed the film while her husband put together the financing.

The movie wasn’t a big success and Whedon has often lamented that the movie wasn’t what he’d envisioned at all. Director Kuzui sought to make it into a “pop culture comedy about what people think about vampires.” Whedon said, “I had written this scary film about an empowered woman, and they turned it into a broad comedy. It was crushing.”

A few years later, Fox executive Gail Berman approached Whedon about doing a TV series and it was decided to take another stab at Buffy. Though Whedon and the Kuzuis had executive producer credits on both the Buffy TV show and its spinoff, Angel, the Kuzuis’ involvement only stemmed from their rights on the original movie.

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Now, the Kuzuis and Roy Lee and Doug Davison of Vertigo Entertainment are working on a remake. Though the Buffy TV show is what most people remember, they’re going to be doing a reboot of the movie, without Whedon. That means that familiar characters like Angel, Giles, Willow, Xander, Cordelia, or Spike won’t be along for the ride.

The new team’s goal is to make a dark big-budget movie, perfectly suited for plenty of sequels, video games, and even foreign remakes. They’re currently meeting with writers and will look for a studio at some point down the line. Though they haven’t approached Whedon, they aren’t ruling out his involvement entirely.

Speaking with the Hollywood Reporter, Ms. Kuzui said, “It was Roy’s interest in taking Buffy into a new place that grabbed us… It was based on our respect for what he does, and his particular sensitivity to Asian filmmakers, that we wanted to work with him.”

She concluded, “Everything has its moment. Every movie takes on a life at some point, and this seems like the moment to do this.”

Considering that the TV show ended just six years ago, many have expressed doubt that the time for a Buffy reboot is right. Most of the TV’s show’s expansive fan base would much prefer a reunion of the TV show’s cast but Whedon and Gellar have publicly resisted. Some feel that these movie plans might just be a ploy to force them to finally do a reunion.

Whedon has been fairly tight-lipped about the news but Anthony Head isn’t. The actor who played watcher Giles on the series told USA Today, “The Kuzuis didn’t do a great job on the movie the first time around. It was Joss’ script at the age of 19, but they changed a lot of it. They said, ‘Look, we know best and we know how to make this movie,’ and it became quite schlocky and high camp.”

He continued, “The bottom line is if a movie was ever to be made, it should be made with Joss Whedon, whether it’s a retrospective or not. But it would be madness to do it without him. [The Kuzuis] have the rights to because they have the rights to the original movie, but it should be interesting to see. It may be a bit like watching a car wreck.”

What do you think? The worst idea ever or could they actually make something unique and worthwhile?

 

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{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Anne Stewart June 26, 2009 at 7:53 pm

Having seen the movie I was reluctant to give the TV show a chance…I was glad that I did because I absolutely loved every episode. To make a movie without any of the cast from the successful Buffy franchise and without the creative genius of Joss Whedon is completely insulting to the fans, and I hope they wake up and realize that very quickly. The fans would flock to the film if Sara Michelle Gellar, Anthony Head, Nicholas Brendan, Charisma Carpenter, Alyson Hannigan, and James Marsters were in the cast lineup, but without any of those names I know I will not show up to purchase a ticket, and I have this funny feeling that millions feel the same way!

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Mike June 22, 2009 at 5:54 pm

I certanly hope Joss steps in a does something on this flick because it will surely be horrid if he dosen’t. I to liked the original movie, but the series is my favorite show of all time. So to see someone come in and take control of this title is very appauling. I would love to see a continuation of the series on the big screen, but I would be happy with a reboot to start t over from the beginning, as long as Joss is involved with it. Anything else is unacceptable.

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Dean June 16, 2009 at 3:13 pm

I first saw the Buffy movie when it first came out and I enjoyed it for what it appeared to be -camp and schlocky fun- but then having been exposed to Joss’s Buffyverse in the 7 year run of the show, I realised what a bastardisation of his vision the movie was, and as such, I cannot see it as a direct relation to the show. I appreciaste that he was young when the script was written and as such studios have this “we know whats best attitude”, but since then Joss has proved that he works better when left to have a free reign. HE knows what is best, not the studios.

For these Zukui people to basically have garnered rights from the movie and used that to be “hangers on” who basked in the glory of Joss Whedon’s TV show, for them to presume they could make a movie (franchise?) without Joss and the TV show cast is sheer stupidity and insulting.

If Buffy does return in any guise, hopefully the first demons she will be slaying will be called Zukuis, and im hoping they die bloody (financially anyway).

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Drew June 16, 2009 at 2:29 pm

This will be so painful to watch. Its so obvious the Kuzui’s are trying to steal the thunder from the recent Twilight craze. My theory is maybe they are hoping that Joss will give in and stop them from tarnishing the BTVS name like they did in the past and help them make a film. There’s no way the Kuzui’s are this stupid, even stupid people can learn from past mistakes.

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sanslumiere June 16, 2009 at 9:28 am

Totally ridiculous premise. I enjoyed the silly movie the first time I saw it as a child and took it for what it was, pure ham. No masterpiece there, but definitle has it’s place in American pop culture. But, Buffy the series, OMG, it’s art. It’s wry humor, romance, heart-breaking drama, and the cast of friends who stood by each other throguh thick and thin was awesome. They should have the privelege of the movie. Gellar may be reluctant because she feels she will be type- cast, but, she already is. As an inspiration to many girls and woman who just want to kick ass in life. She had a lot to overcome and acheive and she just kept on trucking. It was admirable. Watching Cordelia, Xander, Giles, and especially Willow grow, change, and develop into the multifacted characters that made you want to talk back to the screen and cheer them on, cuss them out , and cry for them, was a great experience for me and a lot of people my age. I would love to see where they find themselves now. Whedon should make this his own and come out with his version, the real version, of this movie at the same time. Just call it Buffy. The real fans will know.

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Tonya June 14, 2009 at 3:57 pm

It would be awful disappointing…

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Stacy Ann June 13, 2009 at 11:00 am

Rock on, Giles. God doesn’t ANYONE listen to the Watcher anymore?

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Jet Graphics June 11, 2009 at 12:16 am

“Never Say Never Again”?
(Head smack)

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Steve June 10, 2009 at 3:13 pm

An absolute travesty.

No matter what these idiots claim, the only thing it will be compared to is the TV show, and without the TV cast, people will fart all over this movie. What’s more, without Joss, this film will lose everything that has made Buffy stories and writing great in the past.

In a way, I hope they DO make it, because it will be one of the single biggest disasters ever in films. On the flip side, despite owning rights to the films, they have no moral right to make this film, it is a slap in the face to the fans and to everyone originally involved in the TV show.

Unless this is a Joss Whedon work, I will NEVER EVER watch this film, and even then, without the TV cast, I would still be reluctant. And I know over a hundred other people personally who feel exactly the same way.

The Kazui’s can go fornicate themselves with a cactus for this. Buffy is Joss Whedon’s brain child. They screwed it up once, and now they either want to capitalize on the success he had with the TV show once he had freedom to do it himself, or they STILL think they’re better than him and want to prove it by rebooting the franchise. Damn arrogant little tuckfards.

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bean_sith June 9, 2009 at 10:58 pm

There were good things about the movie, the idea, the genius of naming a Warrior ‘Buffy’, but, hey, those things were courtesy of Joss Weedon, yes?
The film didn’t come close to the vitality and (weirdly), the sophistication of the TV show. So they stuff it up the first time, Weedon fixes it, and now they want to walk all over him again. Wow. Tacky, really tacky.

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usfcharmed June 6, 2009 at 7:24 am

Unless the original characters are in it, there is no way people are going to want to see it. BtVS is nothing without Joss Whedon.

Anthony Stewart Head was completely right. When I started reading this I was a little nervous because of the title that maybe he was signed on to do it without everyone else – but after reading I’m relieved that he was defending the original – haha!

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Michele June 3, 2009 at 5:56 pm

TYPO – I meant next term on the Presidential run! What a time for a Bushism!! ;-)

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Michele June 3, 2009 at 5:54 pm

This is disgusting. It’s a very clear message that some hack is trying to benefit off of Whedon’s masterpiece (the series, of course). Clearly these idiots aren’t doing this because they’ve been thinking so much about the movie after all these years. They’re doing it because they know the demand for the TV cast to do one is so high in the cult world that it would be an absolute phenom. It’s like me running for President next year as Barraka Obalma and hoping people can’t catch onto the ploy. What a joke. I hope the movie bombs and drives these people into bankruptcy. Jerks.

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Angela June 3, 2009 at 1:32 pm

This is a ridiculous idea. BTVS fame came from the series, the cast, storyline, and the way it was shot. The original movie was stupid. It doesn’t make sense to abandon what made this product successful… there will be no fan base for this movie… just disgruntled Series fans. If this movie comes to fruition the way it is being pitched, it will fail. Opening weekend will have marginal sales, it will quickly move to bargain theaters and within a month be gearing up for DVD release. This will cost the Kuzui’s more than they can imagine. Any Buffy movie must have the series cast.

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MK June 3, 2009 at 8:42 am

This is a stupid idea! Buffy is Buffy. It has a 6 year history now. If you want to make a film “like” Buffy but with different characters, situations and vampire abilities…go for it. But don’t call it BtVS!

JJ Ambrams made a Trek movie that smartly riffed off the original and has become it’s own franchise free of 42 years of history. This Buffy remake isn’t alternate universe. Nor is there any reason for it.

Give me a resolution to the Spike/Buffy/Angel storyline with Xander, Willow and Giles or don’t bother.

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