We've all had a few days to let the news sink in that Buffy the Vampire Slayer is getting a feature film reboot, and is if that wasn't enough; that the creator, Joss Whedon, would not be a part of it. As to be expected, fans were ticked, and just for the record, I am one of those die-hard Buffy fans with DVD collections and Season 8 comics lining my wall. But, maybe it's because lately everything is up for grabs when it comes to remakes and reboots, because when I heard the news, I was surprisingly calm about the whole thing. Now last week I asked fans if there was a chance they were being a little too hard on a certain time-traveling robot, but then I realized I should probably try and follow my own advice when it comes to something I love. So I ask myself: Is a 'Whedonless' Buffy necessarily a bad thing? Well, I have to tell you, there is a part of me that thinks that the Buffy reboot isn't doomed to fail, and here's why:
strong>Whedon is built for TV ... not the Big Screen
I've always thought that Whedon's strength as a writer is rooted in his ability to work in an episodic form. I've been watching him work for a long time now, and I think he is usually at his best when he is given plenty of time to tell the story. Whedon is a fan of the slow burn, which gives him plenty of chances to work in those little 'hooks' that he is so fond of. But Whedon on film is an entirely different proposition -- things become rushed, and there isn't enough time to work in those details that make us really care about the characters. Not to mention that reuniting casts rarely works (prove me wrong Ghostbusters 3...prove me wrong) and if Vertigo wants a fresh start for the franchise they are never going to get it trying to fill in seven years of back story for the non-fans. Whedon served his time with the Slayer and her Scoobies, and in the process, created one of the greatest female characters ever made -- so maybe we should just leave it at that and let someone else have a turn.
Into Every Generation a Slayer is born...
In the end, Buffy was a superhero. So if we are OK with a new Batman every couple of years or so, then why not a new Buffy? Tongues are already wagging about who could take over the role, and while I think most of the actresses in the running lack a certain something, but as a dedicated fan of Ms. Summers, my vote would have to go to Kristen Bell -- she has just the feel of a cheerleader with an edge. But let's take a moment to address the idea of 'Classic Buffy', shall we? Despite not being the original, Sarah Michelle Gellar is still who most of us think of when we think Buffy Summers -- and isn't about time that she got to retire? Imagine if Harrison Ford never got the chance to be anything else but Han Solo; we never would have gotten Indiana Jones or Rick Deckard (then again we also wouldn't have gotten Hollywood Homicide, so maybe that one is a trade-off). But let's be honest, Buffy was always about a young girl dealing with all the turmoil of becoming a woman while fighting demons and stopping the apocalypse...a young girl. So while the Buffy geek in me would love to see a film with a grown-up Buffy (played by Gellar) and her army of slayers from the comic books, the film geek in me knows that the studio isn't interested in that story...the studio wants a new franchise, and I doubt they would be willing to build one around Gellar.
So what do you think? Is this the chance to do something new with the character, or has reboot mania clouded my judgment? Tell me if you think Buffy can survive without Joss Whedon or Sarah Michelle Gellar...