Warner Bros. and Atlas Entertainment are getting ready to reboot the Buffy franchise.  On the surface that may sound like a great idea – vampires are really hot, and except for the Dark Horse comic, Buffy hasn’t been around for some time.  When the other shoe drops, we discover that Joss Whedon isn’t involved at all in the project.

From the press release

Atlas Entertainment announced today it is rebooting the beloved franchise, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, with Warner Bros. Pictures. Atlas’ Charles Roven and Steve Alexander will produce the feature film alongside Doug Davison and Roy Lee of Vertigo Entertainment (The Ring, How to Train Your Dragon, The Departed). Whit Anderson is writing the script.

Warner Bros. Pictures optioned the rights from creators Fran and Kaz Kuzui, and from Sandollar Productions (Sandy Gallin and Dolly Parton), for Atlas and Vertigo to produce. Buffy the Vampire Slayer first appeared as a film in 1992, subsequently becoming a cult hit and spawning the wildly popular television series starring Sarah Michelle Gellar and David Boreanaz, among many others.

“Whit approached us with an exciting idea about how to update Buffy,” said Roven. “There is an active fan base eagerly awaiting this character’s return to the big screen. We’re thrilled to team up with Doug and Roy on a re-imagining of Buffy and the world she inhabits. Details of the film are being kept under wraps, but I can say while this is not your high school Buffy, she’ll be just as witty, tough, and sexy as we all remember her to be.”

Whit Anderson is represented by CAA, Wirehouse Entertainment and Julian Zajfen at Ziffren, Brittenham, Branca, Fischer, Gilbert-Lurie & Stifflemen

Obviously there are more than a few fans that are upset about the announcement, which prompted Joss to send an e-mail to E!’s Kristin Dos Santos.

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.

Whit Anderson says she’s a big fan of the series, but it doesn’t look like she’s ever had a script produced for television or film (she’s an actress who appeared in Yes, Man), so it understandable that many are concerned about where the story might be headed.

The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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  1. November 23, 2010 at 9:05 am — Reply

    Though Buffy in the later seasons started to show tearing at the seems it was still a pretty good show. Now in this climate of nothing original, Buffy is food for the Hollywood Ghouls, simple as that. If they can get their hands on it, and make a buck off of it, they will. But in my opinion it will be nothing more than fan fiction.

  2. Ricco
    November 23, 2010 at 9:11 am — Reply

    Wouldn’t watch it if every review was 10 out of 10, you got paid to see it and it cured cancer.

    No Whedon = no Buffy, I don’t care if the movie is true to the character or the Whedonverse, it’s the principle of the thing. Had then given him even a tiny bit of power (lets say in an advisoty position that no one listened to) over the movie I would have seen it, they better not have Angel in this movie if they want any chance at it having any sort of “success”.

    Angel fans fought tooth and nail to have their show continued but no one listened when it was a great show, with a solid and deboted fan base. Flashforward to the futur when someone pumps millions into a new movie with him an none of the original authors, we ATS fans just LOVE slaps on the face like that…

    • addicted2aa
      November 23, 2010 at 12:31 pm — Reply

      In 2009 he didn’t want to have anything to do with it.

      • Ricco
        November 23, 2010 at 12:52 pm — Reply

        Which means he either didn’t agree with the remake of a cult classic, the choice of actors, the script or general idea. More reason not to see it, would you really watch a Harry Potter movie that wasn’t okayed by J.K. Rowling in any shape or form?

        I wouldn’t, what I liked about the new Star Trek movie was that it didn’t spit in the classic series or previews movies face by saying: “it never happened”, it was completely new but still similar without erasing the past and included some of the original actors. Had they just come out and said “this is how we see Star Trek, trekkies be damned! Screw the other movies/show *insert evil laugh here*” the movie wouldn’t have been such a hit, keeping the already existing fans happy should be part of the movie making logic, otherwhise why invest on something with a built in fanbase in the first place?

        • addicted2aa
          November 23, 2010 at 2:01 pm — Reply

          He knew nothing about the script, cause there wasn’t one, or the actors, because they don’t have any yet. We don’t know why he didn’t get on board. Possibly money, possibly he didn’t see a movie there, possibly they didn’t want to give him creative control, we don’t know the details. He didn’t want in, but he did say that he hoped it would be cool(back in 09). I’m certain he wishes no ill will on the film.

          As to the Harry Potter movies, of course I would. The first 4 sucked and she was involved in those. The next two were meh and this last one was the only one that was good. I saw the lord of the rings and that didn’t have Tolkien’s approval. The starwars prequels had Lucas attached and they sucked. Just because the creator is there doesn’t make the property good. And just because they’re gone doesn’t mean the property will be bad. We wouldn’t have the X-men now if it had stopped when Stan stopped writing.

          We don’t know the plot so the implication that they are going to erase the entire T.V. series cannon is premature. Wait for the details before you declare the movie dead.

          • Ricco
            November 23, 2010 at 2:15 pm — Reply

            I’m not talking about the movie been good or bad, I’m talking about it been legit or not. I know full well that I’m not been logical here (I have a hard time breathing with all this bile comming out of my mouth), I don’t care if it’s the best movie ever made it aint’t really Buffy without Joss, if any writters for the original series is part of the project I’ll see it if it respects Jossverse cannon completely. Until such a time as Joss Whedon, Steven DeKnight, Jane Espenson, David Fury or Marti Noxon have a say in this this, to me it doens’t exist, it’s a fanfic movie that was never actually made.

            Usualy I can have a logical discussion were I can keep an open mind, Buffy/ATS is not one of them.

  3. Brian G.
    November 23, 2010 at 10:33 am — Reply

    Hmmm … lets take a look at things:

    1 movie that sucks NOT DONE by Joss
    1 tv series that rocks DONE by Joss
    1 tv series spinoff that was good that involved Joss
    1 comic that sells really well done with Joss

    Why are they going back to the only formula that failed?

    No Joss = not getting my money.
    Rebooting Buffy without original cast or creative talent = slap in the face of fans.

    This is horrible news.

    • November 23, 2010 at 11:59 am — Reply

      You do know that Joss wrote the first movie… ?
      You do also know that Joss didn’t write nor did he direct every episode of the television series by himself, right?
      Likewise, Whedon didn’t write every installment of the comic book series, though he did guide it…

      I’m not entirely keen on the idea of a whedon-less Buffy… but I’m willing to see what happens.

      • Brian G.
        November 23, 2010 at 12:28 pm — Reply

        I’m aware that Joss wrote the first movie … then sold it to the studios who then raped it and made it into a crappy comedy. We didn’t see Joss’s true script. That’s why he bought the rights back and made the show. I believe his unhappiness about what the studio did to his script is legendary.

        I’m also aware that Joss didn’t do every episode of Buffy (and had very little to do with Angel) and wrote the outline for the comic (season 8). The point I made when I carefully chose my words is that he was still involved in the process and I’m implying that THAT is what contributed to making them as great as they were/are.

      • addicted2aa
        November 23, 2010 at 12:46 pm — Reply

        Thank you for being reasonable Steven. Whedon was not the SOLE reason the show was good, nor is he the only person in Hollywood who can write a good movie. This could very well turn out to be awesome. It probably won’t but it’s way too early to declare the thing dead and terrible.

        • Ricco
          November 23, 2010 at 1:03 pm — Reply

          True Whedon didn’t do it alone, but I don’t see a single writter/actor/stun double/guy who brought the coffe attached to the project. Until I see ANY hint of them using the poeple who made this awesome this movie is dead to me.

  4. November 23, 2010 at 11:19 am — Reply

    I never liked the original movie and never watched the TV series – sorry – but as far as cheerleader monster killers are concerned, I wouldn’t mind a huge budget remake of “Night of the Comet.” I’m more of a zombie fan than vampire fan, and the genre is currently on fire, so why not?

  5. Mike Keller
    November 23, 2010 at 11:36 am — Reply

    On the one hand, I am with you guys. I felt the same about “Ren and Stimpy creator John Kricfalusi being fired. One comment I read went something like ‘we love this Little Tramp idea, but this Charlie Chaplins got to go’. A buffy without Whedon is like Summer without bikinis.

    On the other hand, history is full of ‘reinterpretations’ (the latest I liked being Star Trek done by JJ Abrams – was so good I LOVED it). Other ‘classic’ stories like Shakespeare have been reinterpreted over and over. Granted, like Mr. Whedon said, -after- he was dead.

    So, NO WAY, and/or IF they do a great job (hahahahahahahaha) then they might re-energize ‘the property’ so much that Whedon gets a huge call for a sequal, or something. Alas, he no longer fully ‘owns’ it, and there isn’t much for it but to express that it better be good, or they are throwing good money after bad (IE: the first movie, which was ‘meh!’ imho).

    Frankly I’m more interested in: when is ‘Dr. Horrible II’ coming?

  6. November 23, 2010 at 12:17 pm — Reply

    This series was still on after I finished college; it’s not even a decade old. There’s still a spin-off comic done by Whedon himself that even non-comic-nerd fans like. Why does anyone think Buffy is a franchise that needs to be rebooted and reintroduced?

    Wait, Hollywood, the same people who keep hiring Michael Bay and making movies mostly for the ADHD crowd. Never mind.

  7. arcee
    November 23, 2010 at 1:21 pm — Reply

    Nobody from our standpoint truly knows how the studio heads (or whoever) came up with this but it’s a crazy (I think unnecessary) gamble. And I’m leaning towards a ‘lose-lose’ instead of a ‘win-win’.

    If the studio Buffy becomes a hit WITHOUT Whedon – Whedon (and his loyal fans of a Whedon Buffy) lose. If the WB makes a flop then Whedon ‘wins’ and the studio loses and it might just hurt Buffy too.

    • addicted2aa
      November 23, 2010 at 2:22 pm — Reply

      How is it a loss if the movie becomes a hit? It draws more people to the property and means more sales of the TV series DVD’s and the comics. More money in Whedon’s pocket. Sounds like a win for me.

      • arcee
        November 23, 2010 at 6:46 pm — Reply

        “the studio Buffy becomes a hit WITHOUT Whedon – Whedon (and his loyal fans of a Whedon Buffy) lose”

        I thought the “loyal fans of Whedon” was self explanatory. Those are the people who only want Whedon working on Buffy – to them it would be a loss. Maybe not you PERSONALLY that wasn’t the point.

        • addicted2aa
          November 23, 2010 at 8:17 pm — Reply

          How? What’s the loss? I can’t see anything about it that makes it a loss

          • arcee
            November 24, 2010 at 2:30 pm — Reply

            “How? What’s the loss? I can’t see anything about it that makes it a loss.”

            If you can’t – then there’s really no use explaining.

          • November 25, 2010 at 8:27 pm — Reply

            How? What’s the loss? I can’t see anything about it that makes it a loss

            That doesn’t mean that people who DO are wrong. Joss Whedon and his creative team came up with seven years of interesting bits around Buffy and her supporting cast. Revamping the MOVIE version, that lacks all of that ephemera and selling it to Buffy fans is the equivalent of when Myron Fass revamped Captain Marvel in 1966 as an android with a kid sidekick named Billy Baxton.

            I’m in the camp that a Joss-less Buffy will be a different enough property that it’s pretty disinegenuous to traffic in the Buffy name. Some think it’s a tragedy, and they have the right to say so.

  8. ArborDay
    November 23, 2010 at 3:35 pm — Reply

    I was against the TV series back when I first heard about it. I thought the movie was hilarious as a child. So I’m not going to say never again.

    I think it could work as a remake of the original. And if it tried to be something other than Joss Whedon’s Buffy, like more in the direction of Hack/Slash or Blood: The Last Vampire.

    • Ricco
      November 23, 2010 at 4:37 pm — Reply

      If your aim is “not Buffy” why call it Buffy?

      The idea of a Blood or Hack/Slash tv series/movie is neat, I’m prety sure the movie for Hack/Slash is already been made thou.

      • ArborDay
        November 24, 2010 at 12:32 am — Reply

        The original was always a dark/comedy, I’m just suggesting remove the comedy part. Think about the plot of the original: Lothos basically got off on killing a slayer a couple centuries ago and since then has stalked and killed every slayer just to relive the high. With the right perspective you can do a lot with that, storywise.

        And then you can take advantage of the medium, to make a bigger world. Whedon’s Buffy was always hindered by the fact that as a TV show he had to keep her in Sunnydale.

        • Ricco
          November 24, 2010 at 4:20 pm — Reply

          After a good night sleep and bile levels back to normal, I can see how that would make for a good movie. The only problem with your idea is that movies of late have all gone to the “dark side” since the success of Batman, everyone is dark and gritty, people are getting tired of that. That plus the fan hate (or rather Whedonites hate, yes we have a name and we will take over the world and we will be as Gods! Muhahahaha!) would hurt the viability of such a movie.

  9. addicted2aa
    November 23, 2010 at 4:50 pm — Reply

    It still is Buffy. It’s just not “ironic” quipping Buffy.

    • Ricco
      November 23, 2010 at 5:15 pm — Reply

      That’s like saying: “It’s still Superman. He just doesn’t fly”

      • Alisha Mynx
        November 25, 2010 at 5:03 pm — Reply

        I’m with Ricco on this.

        I really don’t see the need to reboot or replace Buffy. I’d rather see a movie set in the established Buffyverse, even without having Buffy in it or even being labled a Buffyverse project.

  10. addicted2aa
    November 23, 2010 at 6:49 pm — Reply

    No. That’s like saying it superman, he just isn’t a boyscout. Or it’s batman, but he’s a well adjusted humanitarian. Or Spiderman, but he’s serious when he fights.

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