From film flop to TV major success and back again, it looks like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” is coming back to the big screen says The Hollywood Reporter.
Fran Rubel Kuzui, the director of the 1992 Kristy Swanson-led “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” film, is working with Roy Lee and Doug Davison of Vertigo Entertainment on a ‘remake/reboot’ of the property as a potential new film franchise. Most notably however the character’s creator, Joss Whedon, isn’t involved at present and the project has yet to be setup at any studio.
“Buffy” started life as a poorly reviewed 1992 teen horror comedy starring Swanson, Donald Sutherland, Luke Perry, Hilary Swank, Paul Reubens, David Arquette and Rutger Hauer. The $7 million flick, penned by Whedon and directed by Kuzui, pulled in $16 million at the box-office but generally was seen as a flop and forgotten.
Five years later Whedon, Kuzui and Gail Berman teamed and sold the concept as a more dramatic teen-aimed horror television series. Completely different and much darker in tone to the campy original film, this serialized, mythology-heavy, angst-fueled, often funny series cleverly fused horror, relationship drama and FX-intensive action. It went on to great acclaim, solid ratings, many awards and its own spin-off series before coming to a strong end in 2004.
Kuzui Enterprises has held onto the rights to the character since the beginning however which allows them to do what they want with the property. Unlike most reboots which place different actors in the same roles (ala. Batman Begins, Star Trek), the plan here is apparently to have no connection to the TV series or its various memorable characters like Angel, Willow, Xander or Spike.
Rather the aim is to create a darker, event-sized movie that could start off a whole new franchise with new characters – avoiding the heavy mythology that keeps non-fans away while not trampling over the memory of what came before. Those involved are currently meeting with writers and hearing takes, and while Whedon’s involvement is not ruled out – they haven’t approached him yet either.