A Buffy The Vampire Slayer remake without Joss Whedon?

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Movie

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Movie

Recently, The Hollywood Reporter announced that the producers of the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie are seeking to produce a remake without the involvement of scriptwriter (and writer/director/producer of the critically-acclaimed BtVS television series) Joss Whedon.  Vertigo Entertainment and Mr. & Mrs. Kuzui would be working directly from the source material that they hold the rights to, which excludes characters and concepts introduced in the television series such as Giles, Angel, Xander, Willow, Spike and Dawn (all owned by either Whedon himself or 20th Century Fox.)

I really don’t understand the marketing strategy for this venture.  The number of fans of the original film who wouldn’t be alienated by the removal of Joss Whedon (and nearly all of his creative elements, save for the title character) can likely be counted on two hands.  Whedonites are known for being particularly loyal to Joss and his properties, and have even managed to score small victories in their battles against risk-averse networks (see: Serenity, Dollhouse.)  A superficial analysis of the current film market could suggest that now is the perfect time for a remake (treading on the success of other teen vampire-related drama such as the Twilight saga and sci-fi/fantasy remakes such as Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica) but Buffy does not have the built-in fanbase of Twilight or the history of other creators working with the franchise of Star TrekBSG seems like an appropriate comparison, but it actually is a more suitable comparison for the Buffy TV series, as both took campy, over-the-top concepts and breathed new life into them through subtle, nuanced execution and rich, complex character development.  As other bloggers have wisely pointed out, Joss Whedon’s Buffy TV series was a remake/reboot of the franchise, one that faced a long uphill battle for respectability thanks to its association with a luaghably terrible feature film.

How did the pitch meeting for this idea go, I wonder?  Were any of the following comparisons made?

“It’s like Twilight, only Bella’s supposed to kill Edward, so it’s even more angsty and tragic! The tweens eat that $#!| up!”

“It’s like True Blood, but in the Valley instead of the South!  And for tweens!”

“It’ll be like High School Musical, but with vampires!”

“It’s like Hannah Montana, but her double life is killing vampires instead of singing!  Heck, maybe she’ll have a triple life and do both!  Is Miley Cyrus available?”

“and it’s a remake!  Everybody loves remakes, even if they hated the source material and the remake is even worse! Just look at Charlie’s Angels!”

“Don’t forget to film it in 3-D!  That’ll convince people not to wait for the DVD or download it illegally!”

“Can we get a Wonder Pets tie-in out of this?  Maybe have Ming Ming and the others rescue Buffy’s cat in the third act?”

Some days I think my best career option should be Hollywood consultant.  They’ll pitch ideas to me, and anything that I insist is absolutely dreadful will get greenlit and probably make $241 million opening weekend.

I’m calling it now.  Next Summer: Buffy – VS 3-D starring Miley Cyrus, Zac Efron, and Ming Ming.

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