I’m not a huge Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan, which is largely because it aired at a time when I was barely out of college and wasn’t watching much television. (Because I was glued to the Internet.) I get that it’s a cult favorite and a successful teen vampire franchise and many of my friends watched it. It was also ahead of its time, as vampires and the supernatural have since become a phenomena in pop culture.
Joss Whedon wrote the 1992 Buffy The Vampire Slayer film starring Luke Perry and Kristy Swanson, and he created the television series, which aired on The WB from 1997-2003. He also created Angel, Firefly, and Dollhouse and is well regarded among fans for the quality of his work and for being so accessible. There’s a Buffy The Vampire Slayer movie in the works from Warner Brothers, which apparently owns all rights to the concept. It’s also being made entirely without Whedon’s input. He expressed his frustration to E! in a way that was both funny and very sad. How can anyone jack this guy’s work and ideas so blatantly?
After Warner Bros. announced today that they are moving forward with a Buffy the Vampire Slayer “reboot”—without the involvement of the iconic mastermind behind the TV series, Joss Whedon—I checked in with Joss for his reaction, and here’s what he just shared with me via email:
Kristin, I’m glad you asked for my thoughts on the announcement of Buffy the cinema film. This is a sad, sad reflection on our times, when people must feed off the carcasses of beloved stories from their youths—just because they can’t think of an original idea of their own, like I did with my Avengers idea that I made up myself.
Obviously I have strong, mixed emotions about something like this. My first reaction upon hearing who was writing it was, “Whit Stillman AND Wes Anderson? This is gonna be the most sardonically adorable movie EVER.” Apparently I was misinformed. Then I thought, “I’ll make a mint! This is worth more than all my Toy Story residuals combined!” Apparently I am seldom informed of anything. And possibly a little slow. But seriously, are vampires even popular any more?
I always hoped that Buffy would live on even after my death. But, you know, AFTER. I don’t love the idea of my creation in other hands, but I’m also well aware that many more hands than mine went into making that show what it was. And there is no legal grounds for doing anything other than sighing audibly. I can’t wish people who are passionate about my little myth ill. I can, however, take this time to announce that I’m making a Batman movie. Because there’s a franchise that truly needs updating. So look for The Dark Knight Rises Way Earlier Than That Other One And Also More Cheaply And In Toronto, rebooting into a theater near you.
Leave me to my pain! Sincerely, Joss Whedon.
Told ya. Just when you thought you couldn’t fan out on him any more, Joss treats this potentially devastating news with class, heart and humor. Just the kind of writing that would serve, oh, I don’t know, a major motion picture. Ahem.
If you missed the initial story earlier today, Warner Brothers is officially moving forward on a new feature film of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, having optioned the rights from the directors and production company of the original movie (starring Kristy Swanson). At this point, it’s not looking as though any of the TV cast or creative team will be involved in the project. And a young writer named Whit Anderson (who says she loved Buffy when she was the same age as the character) is set to write the script. (Hence, the “Whit” and “Anderson” jokes above.)
[From E! Online]
Good luck with that. Warner Brothers doesn’t care if they work with Whedon at all. They know they can put out anything with the Buffy The Vampire Slayer name on it and potentially make bank. Why hire the guy who created the show and the original movie when they can get an unknown for a few million less?
Header image via buffy-the-vampire-slayer.otavo.tv