The “hot topic” section in my new 3 Chicks Review Comics podcast with Sue of DC Women Kicking Ass and Maddy of When Fangirls Attack! was about a Buffy film remake sans Joss Whedon, and tangentially the lack of a Wonder Woman film. Sue made an excellent point that perhaps Hollywood didn’t care much for the existing fan base and was simply trying to capture the “Twilight” audience with a Buffy remake, and I think she’s right. But reading this piece from the LA Times, confirms my suspicions that Hollywood is totally deluded about the Buffy fanbase that exists and what it wants.
This quote by Charles Roven (a producer involved with Batman Begins) is so misinformed and ignorant about the Buffy fanbase that it’s hard to have confidence in anyone involved: “There is an active fan base eagerly awaiting this character’s return…”
Um. No. There IS an active fan base, but it’s in love with a character and world created by Joss Whedon (and his devoted team of actors, writers, and producers) and that character and world WILL NOT be reproduced in a re-vamped movie. Anyone remotely interested in this, please keep in mind that as I understand it nothing you love of the television show: Willow, Xander, Anya, Oz, Angel, Spike, Wesley, Riley, Cordelia – even Giles will exist in this remake. Those are creations of the television show, not the film – the film has no rights to those characters. Buffy and the slayer concept is the sole hold over from the movie to the television show (everything from the city Buffy lives in, to her Watcher is different), and Buffy and the slayer concept sound as if they will be the sole hold over to the new film. And I think most of us agree, that as much as we love Buffy, that she’s not much without those other characters.
Is it possible that new writer will be able to come in and build a great new supporting cast and storyline around a retooled Buffy? Sure. But in order for it to be good and not feel like a complete rip off of the television show it’s going to have to be so different from the original…that I’m not sure why WB is bothering? Why not just come up with something NEW? If Ms. Whit Anderson has such a fresh interesting take on these things, why not just let her create something new…is that so unfathomable? Why try to co-opt something fans love and want preserved respectfully in its original form and via its original creators instead of just creating something NEW to capture those young “Twilight fans”? There are infinite vampire stories to be told – some of them are even good – why not go there instead of disrespecting something that already owns its place in the world.
I also have to say, as a writer who, like Ms. Anderson, grew up on Buffy (and based on the article she clearly proclaims a loves and respects for Buffy), I would NEVER deign to even touch Buffy without Joss Whedon’s okay. And I find it a little hard to believe that Ms. Anderson respects and loves the material as she purports but is also more than willing to go against Whedon’s wishes and do this remake that shuts out all original creators. There’s an argument to be made that if Anderson doesn’t do it someone else will…and that’s totally valid, and is probably just one more reason why I’m not crazy successful and rich. Doing the right thing…it doesn’t usually make you rich, what can I say?
Anyway, if you have any doubts about the fan base Warner Brothers…take a look at the comments on the LA Times piece…332 and counting, and they swing wildly toward the negative.
I for one, don’t believe in Buffy without Joss (and maybe not Joss without Buffy? Whoa…just blew my own mind) and will be boycotting for sure. And probably talking about it…a lot. Prepare yourselves.