TV, Film, and Entertainment News Daily

Warner Bros. Picks Up Rights To Whedon-less Buffy Remake

Warner Bros. announced today it plans to remake the 1992 Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie that spawned the beloved television franchise. However, it will do so without the involvement of Joss Whedon, who’s largely responsible for the TV show’s popularity.

Hero Complex and Heat Vision report the studio optioned the rights from Buffy director Fran Rubel Kuzui, her husband Kaz Kuzui and Sandollar Productions at the urging of Atlas Entertainment, which will produce the reboot. Whit Anderson, an actress turned screenwriter, penned the adaptation.

The 1992 movie, which starred Kristy Swanson, Donald Sutherland and Luke Perry, was the product of creative differences between screenwriter Whedon and director Kuzui. Whedon has described Buffy‘s transformation from a “scary film about an empowered woman” to a broad comedy as “crushing.” A few years later he was approached by a Fox executive to develop his original concept as a television series. The rest, of course, is history.

“Generally, I wouldn’t have said ‘Let’s revive this‘,” Hero Complex quotes Atlas Entertainment’s Charles Roven as saying, “but Whit’s take is pretty compelling and a lot of fun, and it’s interesting to see all of this re-imagined. This is a completely new reboot. Tone is extremely important and you want the audience to realize what is at stake and the peril is real, but at the same time what’s going on should be fun and inviting and keep everyone engaged. It needs to be relevant to today, too, and that is what Whit has found a way to do.”

“There is an active fan base eagerly awaiting this character’s return,” Roven adds, perhaps unaware that most fans are awaiting the return of Whedon’s character. “While this is not your high-school Buffy, she’ll be just as witty, tough and sexy as we all remember her to be.”

No director is attached, but Roven says he hopes to see Buffy in theaters in 2012, or even as early as next year.

Update: Whedon shares his hilarious reaction to the announcement with E! Online, writing, in part:

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.

Follow the link to read Whedon’s full statement. Meanwhile, Bones creator Hart Hanson tweeted the following photo of himself with David Boreanaz, explaining, “I just informed DB that they are remaking Buffy.”

News From Our Partners

Comments

  • Carl Geffers

    Sorry, but “Buffy” without Whedon at the head and The Scooby Gang behind him isn’t going to work for me. I mean really, call the leading character any other name and it might be a cool movie, but this way it’s just riding on Whedon’s and the crews’ wave of success.

  • Rock2roll2

    B O Y C O T T

  • Cforshaw67220

    I saw this announced in the dictionary last year. It was the explanation for the word, “Fail”.

    Hope Whedon’s ‘Avengers’ crushes it. Meanwhile, I’ll be content with the real ‘Buffy’ in comic book form.

  • RunnerX13

    Can somebody please explain what I just read? What “fans” are looking for this movie? Who the hell is Whit Anderson, and why is her take so fun? Were the Kuzuis really urged by WBs to option the rights, or did they just shamelessly accept a lot of money?

  • Arco

    I knew this was going to happen one day. But why NOT have Joss involved?? Why NOT have the guy invovled who created the concept and made TV history with it? Indeed, a solid fanbase but for JOSS’ Buffy, because to that fanbase, any other Buffy isn’t even really the character.

  • michael

    If I were a director asked to take this on I’d turn it down. Same if I was an actor. It’s gonna fail and taint everyone involved. I know I won’t be seeing it unless Whedon is involved.

  • GameyGil

    This may as well be a straight to DVD movie or air it on SyFy. Without Joss or original cast, not worth any money.

  • Ivan92116

    Big Buffy fan here…I’m not opposed to a Buffy reboot, but it’s too soon….maybe 10 – 15 years down the line once the Buffy comic has run its course. If you must do a Buffy movie now, make it about one of the past Slayers or future Slayer (Fray). I’d even accept a Faith movie :-)

  • Skute

    Took the words right out of my hand

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WK7BAUSSOC6MK3QMVB7RHIIQ6Y Robotdoll

    “There is an active fan base eagerly awaiting this character’s return,”

    This has got American Godzilla written all over it.

  • Dainzelz

    I would disagree that any fan base would be awaiting a buffys return without the involvement of Joss Whedon.

  • F_quinn

    I think it’s hilarious one of the reasons this reboot is being made is because “There is an active fan base eagerly awaiting this character’s return” while there are canon Buffy comics being made with Joss Whedon as executive producer. We’re close to the end of season 8 right now, and there’s a season 9 coming up after that. There is no need to return a character that has already returned. Terribly painful, this whole rebooting ordeal.

  • mars

    So they want to make a Buffy that is nothing but an unrecognisable lead character? No Angel and No Scoobies means no real Buffy here. SMG said that she was uncertain about a movie because it was shown to not work, so Warner (instead of spending its money on a veronica mars movie people do want) decide to take what failed and redo it? Fox couldn’t take what DID work and put it on the big screen?

  • Nicholas~

    They are crazy. Warner Bros. is totally insane and crazy. There is no fan base for this, any fan of Buffy, real Joss buffy is not going to go for this. There’s fans, then there’s apeshit crazy freaks. Whedon fans are the latter. Can’t wait to hear what Joss has to say about this!

  • WilliamTheBloodyAwful

    Next they’ll be telling us “active fanbase” it won’t be set in Sunnydale, Buffy’s a brunette, Giles reads E-books, Xander is cool, and Willow isn’t gay.

    Without Whedon, or at least Whedon’s consent, this film will be utter garbage.

  • ATK

    In a word, no. In two words, Hell No! Sincerly a Whedon Loyalist.

  • Joseph

    Yeah, I don’t get this at all. No self respecting Whedon fan will go within a mile of any theater playing it, and I can’t imagine any non-Whedon fan finding this remotely interesting. I just don’t see any scenario where this turns into anything but an epic failure.

  • Mike

    I am ever the optimist, and usually wait to see who’s involved in the project Director wise, BUT, no Whedon equals FAIL!

  • http://twitter.com/DKandCo Chris Wallis

    once again proving that there arent many original ideas remaining.

  • Nate

    Will. Not. See it.

  • Dan

    These people are completely removed from reality if they think this has a prayer without Joss. If anything, it shows how money grubbing and clueless the players involved really are.

  • Evil_s2003

    You know…I am so sick of remakes. Even when they call them ‘re-boots’ THEY ARE STILL REMAKES.
    I absolutely LOVED the Buffy movie, I hated the show. I own the movies and have no, I repeat NO, interest in a reboot, remake or whatever they want to call it.
    Hey, Hollywood, I have a suggestion for you: TRY SOMETHING ORIGINAL!! I’m sick you you expecting me to go to the theater and pay loads of cash to see a movie I own on DVD and isn’t near as good.

  • Wesley

    Just how dumb ARE Warner Brothers suits? Answer that to yourself – then multiply that by a trillion cubed.

    Only a blithering moron rolling around in his own diseased feces and singing ‘Mama Mia’ at the top of his idiot lungs would even CONSIDER a Buffy remake without Whedon.

  • Summer

    ….yeah.

    2012.

    Totally the end of the world.

  • Carparts

    The Kuzui’s huh? Aren’t those the people who got a check for every single episode of the Buffy TV show even though they contributed absolutly nothing to the show? These dirty Hollywood hacks have been screwing Whedon out of money for years. Shame on you, Mr. and Mrs. Kuaui. Come up with your own ideas, you lecherous parasites!

  • http://twitter.com/jonathandlewis Jonathan Lewis

    Um… Without Whedon?? … Should I stake myself right now?

  • Semicyon3

    Huge Buffy fan here but I won’t necessarily boycott this outright. However, it’s a dumb move for Warner Bros. to think they can rely upon the pre-existing fanbase for a Whedon-less Buffy.
    The only way that this can succeed is if they take the basic concept (a pretty girl who is the latest in a line of vampire hunters) and NOT call the lead character ‘Buffy’. As others have noted, the thing they probably have the rights to develop from is the script from the movie…. no scoobies, no monsters of the week, no angel or spike. Whedon’s idiosyncratic voice was also a key point for the successful TV show but was lost in the less successful movie. I sincerely have hope Warner Bros. develops a great and fun vampire movie (would Whedon still get some money from it?) but I can’t give it an unprejudiced review because of the deep impact Whedon’s Buffy had on me. I saw the original movie after the series and it was enjoyable enough fluff but it was always distracting that this girl calling herself ‘Buffy’ wasn’t smg and her family structure was all wrong and the pacing of the humor was too different from the series that I couldn’t enjoy it for what it was.

  • Goldenphawkes

    Not without Joss. I say we start a campaign against this film until they bring Joss on board. And all the actors from the Buffy series. Do a Buffy: Season 8 movie. THAT, I’d pay to watch.

  • Beast

    The 1992 movie was better than the Whedon series anyway. Outside of Firefly and somewhat Dollhouse, I have been fairly meh about his work. So if they can recapture the fun of the 1992 movie… I say go for it. It certainly can’t be worse than whatever Whedon would deliver.

  • Fanboi

    B O Y C O T T

  • Joel

    Agreed!

  • CoolComix

    No Josh Whedon? No, thanks.

  • BB

    Amazing how everyone jumps up and down for Joss Whedon. He had success with Buffy for a while, as it was going downhill fast at the end. Both Buffy and Angel grew tired, and the big story disappointed . Nothing he’s done after has been a success. Where were you all when Serenity the movie came out? Nowhere! There you could have made a statement. In fact buffy wouldn’t have lasted so long if not for, can you guess! A Buffy remake is fine. Lets see where it goes. As for all you fans, quit crying. Do you really think

  • Hysan

    That photo at the end says it all.

  • don julio

    I cant wait for this movie!!!!!!!! on a torrent site.

  • Lordoracle

    Do these people not realize that until the TV show, the movie was considered a huge joke? As I recall, the original movie was meant to be a dark comedy, but after the execs got through with the changes they wanted, it became just a comedy. The series was more in line with what Joss wanted the movie to be. Until they did the comic mini-series of “The Origin”, the movie and the series had serious continuity problems. They never really did gel the revised story with the season 2 finale telling of Angel’s witnessing Buffy’s original Watcher.

    Any reboot is going to ruin the franchise.

  • kerravon7

    I’m a little confused, they are remaking the Buffy film but not the TV series and if Fox wanted to they could make another Buffy film but have it based off the TV series? Am I understanding this correctly or falsely?

  • Jaxtonylibra

    I can see Buffy w/o Gellar and crew… I don’t LIKE it, but I can see it…. but Buffy w/o Whedon?
    No dice, Warners.
    Maybe they can get Shaq to play her watcher…. you know… cuz he was SO good in Steele.
    This is where this movie is going. BS directing, casting and NOTHING Buffy about it, but the name.

  • Wes

    Well, guess I won’t be seeing this rendition of Buffy.

  • Mark_whittington0607

    I’m not really a Buffy verse fan, but I don’t get this current trend for rebooting franchises almost as fast as they finish, I mean apparently BSG is up for another reboot film less than 5 years after the last series finished!

  • http://twitter.com/KennethLivitski Kenneth Livitski

    No Whedon, no me. It’s that simple.

  • Dom

    Not going to touch it. Actually, i might watch a torrent to watch this…..hindenburg of a movie.

  • Leewan17

    Can’t remember an article where the general opinion was unanimous.

  • Anonymous

    if they put the xander harris actor in, i might watch it cos he’s been NOT working a lot these days. This might be a solution for all those unemployed Whedon actors out there …

  • Jorge

    If Warner Bros. is going to flush money down the toilet, why don’t they just hand the money over to me, or you, or you, or you. Jesus, that money would be better used giving it away to total strangers.

    I’m not saying that Whit Anderson would do a terrible job interpreting Buffy, but come on Charles Roven, who said “It needs to be relevant to today, …”. Did you not see the series created by Whedon? Did you not hear his dialogue? Whedon knows the audience.

    Whatever, I just think Whedon did such a great job with his creation, invented such lovable characters, spawned an entire universe rich in history and mythos, and attracted legions of fans; so why not let him use his considerable assets to create a movie that WOULD MAKE MONEY?

    Joss Whedon is a contemporary pop culture aficionado with wonderful prose that is both direct in meaning and layer in innuendo. And that is my 2 cents.

  • Robert

    Agreed!

  • Lex Combs

    Couldn’t they have done a Fray movie instead?

  • BertDert

    Actually, fans making a statement is, in part, what brought Serenity to the big screen. I think a cancelled TV series being brought back as a major motion picture speaks volumes about “where the fans were.”

  • http://twitter.com/pinkchic kym hickey

    I just informed DB that they are remaking Buffy…. Yes and what was his responce, It dosent look like it was a good one form the pic. I really really really dont see the point in the reboot without Joss