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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

So, they want to remake BUFFY: THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, without input from Joss Whedon.

I think I know what they're thinking. "Let's dumb this idea down, so that more people can enjoy it." Joss is not really a mainstream taste. The original movie, which he wrote, was a niche success. The series went on for seven seasons but it was never a monster hit. Screw the hardcore fans, how many of them are there? Let's get rid of the creator, with all his difficult, complex ideas. They make the audience's brain hurt. Oh, and we have to hire a good-looking chick writer. Someone who can really reintroduce us to Buffy. Make her more approachable. Less dark. More like CHARMED.

And when I say, "hire a chick writer," let me clarify that I'm not against them hiring a woman. They could have hired Marti Noxon. But reading failed actress/professional hottie-turned-unproduced-screenwriter Whit Anderson going on about how she's going to do what Chris Nolan did for the Batman reboot, my gut tells me that they were looking for a chick writer to "bring something new to the franchise."

I tend to think it will flop badly. Thas all the earmarks of a cheesy, misconceived notion. Just for starters, how do you nail Buffyspeak fifteen years later, make it seem contemporary, and not sound like you're a bad mimic?

Joss's response is priceless:
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…

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I don't profess to understand a single thing about how Hollywood works, but it seems to me that when THE AVENGERS comes out and is a monster success, the powers that be will greatly re-think involving Joss in rebooting BUFFY. No?

By Blogger Danny, at 1:19 PM  

Joss is already an extremely successful and highly paid writer. I don't think they had any doubts that he's a good writer. I think they specifically wanted to put their own scent on the project. If they hire Joss, they won't get any creative credit; everyone will correctly assume all the good ideas were Joss's.

So the writer throws a dinner party. And the director comes over, tastes the soup and says, "Tastes great! Mind if I put some salt in it?" And he goes ahead and the writer says that it tastes even better.

Then the actor comes over, and says, "Tastes great! Mind if I put some chili powder in it?" And he goes ahead and the writer agrees that it tastes even better.

And the producer comes over and says, "Tastes great! Mind if I piss in it?"

By Blogger Alex Epstein, at 1:37 PM  

I don't necessarily think it'll be a flop.

I do however think it is a COMPLETELY misguided decision. A decision done for all the WRONG reasons.

All the reasons to resurrect a franchise and film a remake is because of a BUILT-IN audience!!! And they've effectively alienated that built-in audience by cutting Joss Whedon out of the loop. They've straight up pissed off his very, very loyal fans. That's a huge misetep.

Where I can actually see this movie being unexpectedly successful is with the younger Twilight type fans. The kiddies that missed Buffy in any incarnation.

They'll be blank slates with no expectations. Again, why bother with a reboot then? The expectations of previous incarnations are what you want to cash in on.

Or it could backfire -- and those blank slates compare Buffy to Twilight and don't find it edgy enough.

A lot of the appeal of Buffy, was this leftover 80s camp. Something that seems to fly over the heads of the more "mature" tweens these days. "I don't get it."

I think it's just a stupid decision. And thanks for posting Joss's response. I hadn't seen it yet. And it's hilarious.

By Blogger James, at 2:33 PM  

"And when I say, "hire a chick writer," let me clarify that I'm not against them hiring a woman. They could have hired Marti Noxon."

Or, for that matter, Jane Espenson. But that would be far too sensible.

By Blogger tommy, at 8:15 PM  

Has anyone noticed that there's this whole young female screenwriters have to look like actresses (and many of them are failed actresses) thing developing? What the hell's that about? And that's where I'll stop my rant, because to start on how studios are mutilating all the cultural markers of my youth would lead to an avalanche of rage.

By Blogger Little Miss Nomad, at 9:10 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

By Blogger Lisa Hunter, at 9:14 PM  

She may very well be a talented screenwriter -- certainly a lot of actors turn out to have real ability to write and/or direct. But the TV show fan base won't accept a non-Joss writer.

Clearly, they're looking for a younger Twilight audience in the re-boot. I wonder if this means the female lead has to be entirely passive and nondescript while hunky men duke it out for her affections.

By Blogger Lisa Hunter, at 9:16 PM  

I am in awe of Joss Whedon!

No writer has ever had PR like his.

When a show is a success, as with the first 2-3 seasons of Buffy, it's all down to his Unique Creative Genius.

But when a project is a limited success or even an outright failure (which, let's face it, covers pretty much everything he's touched in the past ten years) it's because a bunch of evil studio executives have ruined his work.

Maybe, maybe the good stuff isn't all down to him. And maybe some of the crap is.

By Blogger Jaded and Cynical, at 2:17 AM  

Maybe it'll be good. Like, maybe it'll be a prequel. Buffy Babies?

By Blogger leannet3, at 7:31 PM  

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