Warner Brothers is moving ahead with their previously announced plans at bringing fan favorite Buffy, The Vampire Slayer back to the big screen in a new movie that will reboot the franchise.
The Los Angeles Times is reporting that tyro screenwriter Whit Anderson is currently working on a screenplay that would relaunch the franchise. Anderson’s approach was sufficiently interesting enough to get Charles Roven, one of the producers on Batman Begins, to sign onto the project.
In typical producer-hype, Roven is quoted by the Times as saying, “There is an active fan base eagerly awaiting this character’s return. While this is not your high-school Buffy, she’ll be just as witty, tough and sexy as we all remember her to be.”
Well, while he is right that Buffy fans, and I count myself in that group, would love to see a return of the blonde vampire slayer to either movies or television, Roven seem to be missing out on one key element that most fans would not even consider a Buffy revival without – the active participation of Buffy’s creator, Joss Whedon.
As I pointed out the last time we heard about a possible big screen revival of Buffy, the thing that made Buffy unique was the approach to the material and distinct authorial voice that Whedon brought. Compare the 1992 film, in which directors Fran Rubel Kuzui and Kaz Kuzui tried to force the material in a different direction from Whedon’s script, to the superior television series in which Whedon had final creative authority as its producer.
Now I have to give Anderson some credit. She says that she watched the show at an age when she could really connect with the character. And she certainly seems to have a good grip on the character when she states –
The thing that was so wonderful about Buffy is what made it special was so timeless. The deep struggle she had with duty and destiny, that tug between what you’re supposed to be doing and what you want to be doing. The fate of the world is on her shoulders, but some days she wakes up, and she just doesn’t want to do it. And are we doomed and destined to love someone? That conflict was very interesting to me.
Of course, it was too early to tell what will happen with this, so there is no need to sharpen our wooden stakes just yet. Anderson could just be talking a good game but have no skills as a script writer. She may contribute something unique and wonderful to the franchise only to have it washed away in a sea of rewrites from other scripters. Warner Brothers may never give the project a greenlight for production. The final product could be so good that we are left asking ourselves, “Joss who?” (Though I doubt this last one.)