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film news

Buffy the Vampire Slayer the movie, take two

Posted by Patrick Sauriol on Tuesday, May 26, 2009

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

That's a quote from Fran Rubel Kuzui about why she is spearheading a remake of the 1992 movie Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Kuzui was the director on the Fox film and her and husband Kaz received executive producing credits on the much better received TV series that ran for seven seasons.

It's about at this point in reading this article that fans of the TV Buffy are finishing up their initial scream of primal anger so let me continue to keep their blood boiling: Buffy writer/creator and showrunner of the TV series, Mr. Joss Whedon, is not involved in the remake at all. In their coverage of the story The Hollywood Reporter mentions that the producers want to keep the door open to see if Whedon wants to get involved in the new Slayer movie but that they haven't contacted him. In Hollywood speak what this means is that the producers don't really care about Whedon's blessing or participation; they own the IP and they can do with it what they please. They -- meaning the Kuzuis and Roy Lee and Doug Davison from Vertigo Entertainment -- are already hearing pitches from writers for the new film's storyline.

Here's another interesting fact about the new Buffy movie: the remake won't be using any of the characters created for the television series. No Xander, no Willow, no Faith, no Giles. When Whedon made the pilot he placed new slayer Buffy Summers in a different school in a different city, a fresh start and an attempt to distance the character from the cheesy way she was portrayed in the movie. My guess is that the Kuzuis can't use any of the characters Whedon made for the TV show because they weren't in the original movie's screenplay. The more I think about it, the more similar I think this new Buffy movie is to the remake of Thunderball, Never Say Never Again, in which the producer had the right to use James Bond for just that single story. This is kind of the reverse of the Never Say Never Again situation where the material from the more popular spinoff (the TV series) can't be used by the owners of the feature film rights.

If you're holding out hope that Whedon may want to collaborate on the new Buffy film, my gut tells me that you'll be in for a disappointment. I remember reading a quote from Whedon shortly before the time of Firefly and after the end of Buffy that he wanted to go make his own properties and stop making money for the people who owned the babies he had to sell. Sure, Whedon has been very much involved with the comic book Buffy the Vampire Slayer world but those are completely different business and creative models than the movie world. Somehow I just can't see Whedon coming back to remake Buffy Summers over when he already is deep in continuing the adventures of the first generation Buffy and her Scooby Gang.

-The Hollywood Reporter.
WarCry
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Posts: 152
Posted: 12 years 3 weeks ago

The Kuzais are about to learn a hard lesson about "the hand that feeds you." The first movie was DOA. It wasn't until Whedon created the show that the property took off, and it became WHEDON fans that kept it going, not just Buffy fans.

I'm not one of those saying if you screw with Whedon, you're going to get burned. There are plenty of other great creators out there. But this was adopted, nurtured, and carried by Whedon and his team, and it was fans of THAT product that they'll be going up against.

Good luck, Fran and Kaz. You're going to needed it, and I believe you're not going to find it.

 You don't have to like it, you just have to do it. --Richard Marcinko
Jakester
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Posts: 5753
Posted: 12 years 3 weeks ago

A remake or reboot works when a) there is something fundamentally flawed with the previous incarnation(s), b) an update will showcase the original material's relevance to a new generation, or c) the creators have a new and interesting take on the original material that will make relevant a property that is not really relevant today.

None of the above fits the Buffy-verse. The movie was flawed, and Whedon admits that it didn't turn out the way he wanted (not much really does, does it?), but he was generally pleased with the TV show, as were millions of fans. Millions of fans still are pleased with the show, and a number of them are pleased with the comics.

Unless Fran and Kaz already have an absolute stunner of a script in the can (doubtful or we'd have heard about it), this will be an epic fail.

Richard Gozinya, Harold Snatch and Wilbur Jizz. Together we are the law firm Gozinya, Snatch and Jizz.
docorlando
Location:
Posts: 64
Posted: 12 years 3 weeks ago

It's the case of a prodco too cheap to buy an original idea, is all. They'd rather scrape their own barrel than have to pay for the rights to something new. Ten thousand frustrated budding screenwriters are gnashing their teeth at this news.