The announcement came on various websites. Atlas Entertainment will produce the film with Vertigo Entertainment, after they optioned the rights from creators Fran and Kaz Kuzui and Sandollar Productions (which includes Dolly Parton). An insider says the new Buffy will not be in high school, but will be “witty, tough, and sexy as we all remember her to be.”
The Los Angeles Times even had an article about the writer, Whit Anderson. She says she’s a big Buffy fan, and her concept got the attention of Atlas Entertainment. It also talks about the main conflict Buffy has, between her needs and her destiny. However, can Buffy fans accept the story they have loved for so long if it’s without Willow, Xander, Giles, Spike, Angel, and Oz, to name a few.
This reminds me of the Tarzan movies made way back in the 1930’s and 40’s. While Johnny Weissmuller was considered the real Tarzan, it didn’t stop other studios from making their own versions, including one with Buster Crabbe. Then, we had other Tarzans from Lex Barker to Gordon Scott (who did make some good versions) and Denny Miller. Also remember, the unofficial James Bond movie, Never Say Never Again, with the original Bond, Sean Connery? Should this happen to Buffy?
And what about the trend of TV shows made into movies? Sometimes it worked, like in Serenity, The Fugitive, The Untouchables, The Addams Family or The Simpsons, but not like The Beverly Hillbillies, The Honeymooners, Land of the Lost, The A-Team and maybe Get Smart. What’s really ironic is that Buffy started as a movie in 1992, which featured early roles by Hillary Swank and Ben Affleck (he’s one of the basketball players). It seems that those who want to make a new Buffy movie see it as a remake of that movie, while the TV show is a different universe that continues in the comics.
So, if this movie does come to pass, will there be a war of Buffyverses, like the war of the worlds on Fringe? Will fans be split over which Buffy is the true Buffy?
It hasn’t happened now. Nearly everyone accepts Sarah Michelle Gellar as the real Buffy Summers, while Kristy Swanson is given her due as the one who first brought Buffy to life. Trekkies are also willing to say both William Shatner and Chris Pine are Captain Kirk, because they are literally in different timelines.
It’s really all about expectations. Those who want a Buffy movie want it to be set after the end of the TV show, or after season 8 or maybe nine in the comics. They want to see how Buffy handles the job of Slayer as an adult, and wonders whether an adult can handle the job as well as being a teenager. Was a Slayer always meant to die before adulthood, and if not, could that job be passed down from mother to daughter or even son?
Of course, there’s also the complicated love story, whether it’s with Spike or Angel…but likely both. Would this new Buffy be allowed to have a boyfriend, and could he cope with having a super hero for a girlfriend. Pike did in the original, but what about now?
If we are to have another Buffy movie, with the TV cast, the story should ask if a Slayer can be allowed to grow old gracefully, or is destined to die young and leave a good-looking corpse before handing the job to someone else. Better yet, can today’s Slayers be tomorrow’s Watchers? Harry Potter got more interesting as the characters aged. That should be the same for the Buffyverse we all know. It could be very difficult to see Buffy start all over again, much less without Gellar or Joss Whedon.
For now, we’ll see how it all plays out. The best solution of course, would be to make a movie about a new Slayer. We can see how she is confronted by her destiny, how she has to accept it, and then try to balance a normal life with slaying vampires.
Then she faces the biggest battle of all: getting our approval…and Buffy’s. She has to be in that movie, too.