Monday, November 22, 2010

Blasphemy! Well, not technically. But still!

Once upon a time, there was a camptastic movie about a cute blonde fighting monsters and falling in love with Luke Perry. This fluffy bit of teensploitation would have passed unnoticed into the annals of goofy movies, trotted out only to fill late-night airtime during the week before Halloween. But the writer of this movie had a vision - a vision so powerful it would become the gold standard for SciFi/Fantasy television for years to come. And so, Buffy the Vampire Slayer was rescued from the very jaws of banality by its creator, one Mr. Joss Whedon.

Even after the cult favorite cum damn near best show ever was canceled after seven seasons, Joss continued his brilliant work in the form of the Season Eight graphic novels. Now however, Warner Bros has (in a characteristically original move) decided that the ongoing series needs a reboot - sans Joss. I will pause, to give you time to clutch your pearls in horror.

I guess it only makes sense. Buffy still has a rabid avid following, so a major motion picture makes sense. However, they can't/won't have the original actors for the roles. For example, David Boreanaz doesn't look like an ageless, immortal vampire anymore - he looks like someone's dad (mostly because he is). So if they can't extend the franchise, they'll just start from scratch. Why not a fresh view? Why not a new writer?

Here's the thing - Joss Whedon is Buffy. I'm not saying he dresses up in short skirts and goes out staking vampires every night. Though that would be kind of cool, I don't think he really has the legs for it. What I mean is, if Warner Bros goes forward with this project - and it looks like they will - they should count on exactly 0% loyalty from the previous fanbase. The reason we love Buffy is not because she's "witty, tough and sexy." It's because Joss was a helluva writer who created fantastic characters in a richly developed world, and always always kept us guessing.

So by all means, try your best Warner Bros. I sincerely hope your new writer, Whit Anderson, does right by this concept. But realize that, before you have selected a director, before you announced your cast picks, even before a single reel of film has been shot, you are facing an uphill battle. Because Buffy fans know what we want out of our teenage vampire hunter dramas. And we want Joss.

For your reference...
Point: Joss who? Meet the writer of the new 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' film (LA Times)
Counterpoint: The Ridiculous Quest for a Joss-Less Buffy Movie (TV Overmind)

Updated to add...
Email from the blessed keyboard of Joss Himself: Joss Whedon Reacts to Buffy Movie News


Priya said...

I flipped my lid over this....and am still fuming.

Hear. Hear.

Monkey Sri said...

To arms, Whedonites! TO ARMS!