In an official press release, Atlas Entertainment announced yesterday plans to reboot “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” as a feature film franchise at Warner Bros. Pictures.
“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 Joss Whedon and directed by Fran Rubel 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, the production company owned by Kuzui, has held onto the rights to the character since the beginning however which allows them to do what they want with the property. Back in May last year came word of this project and the plans to create a dark, event-sized movie that could start off a whole new franchise with all new supporting characters (so you won’t see the likes of Angel, Willow, Xander or Spike)
Whit Anderson is writing the script while Charles Roven, Steven Alexander, Doug Davison and Roy Lee will produce.
Soon after the announcement, Whedon himself posted a response to E! Online about the project, which he’s not involved with in any way. The reaction, understandably, isn’t a happy one. Here’s a reprint:
“This is a sad, sad reflection on our times, when people must feed off the carcasses of beloved stories from their youths-just because they can’t think of an original idea of their own, like I did with my Avengers idea that I made up myself.
Obviously I have strong, mixed emotions about something like this. My first reaction upon hearing who was writing it was, ‘Whit Stillman AND Wes Anderson? This is gonna be the most sardonically adorable movie EVER.’ Apparently I was misinformed. Then I thought, ‘I’ll make a mint! This is worth more than all my Toy Story residuals combined!’ Apparently I am seldom informed of anything. And possibly a little slow. But seriously, are vampires even popular any more?
I always hoped that Buffy would live on even after my death. But, you know, AFTER. I don’t love the idea of my creation in other hands, but I’m also well aware that many more hands than mine went into making that show what it was. And there is no legal grounds for doing anything other than sighing audibly. I can’t wish people who are passionate about my little myth ill. I can, however, take this time to announce that I’m making a Batman movie. Because there’s a franchise that truly needs updating. So look for The Dark Knight Rises Way Earlier Than That Other One And Also More Cheaply And In Toronto, rebooting into a theater near you.
Leave me to my pain! Sincerely, Joss Whedon.”