Report: Joss Whedon Was Offered The Buffy Reboot

The consensus amongst the majority of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans seems to be that the forthcoming reboot from Warner Bros. and rookie screenwriter Whit Anderson is a bad call, chiefly because original creator Joss Whedon isn’t contributing to the project — but a new report suggests that Whedon’s lack of involvement is nobody’s fault but his own.

The Hollywood Reporter says that Buffy rights holder Fran Rubel Kuzui and husband Kaz approached Whedon last year with the opportunity to get involved in the developing remake. But Whedon reportedly passed on the offer, opting instead to work on new projects including The Avengers for Marvel Studios. Anderson was tapped to take a crack at the script following Whedon’s decision to stay clear of the reboot.

Whether or not Whedon made the right choice is certainly something fans could debate endlessly, but the fact that he was even offered a part in the reboot is an interesting new wrinkle to this already controversial story. After all, Whedon himself spoke out against the Buffy reboot just last week, citing mixed feelings over the project: “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.”

Perhaps no legal grounds, but it now appear that Whedon at least had an opportunity to put his stamp on the reboot, and passed. If that’s true, how does Whedon’s decision sit with you — do you think he made the right call? Does it make you even angrier? Sound off in the comments section and stay tuned to Spinoff Online for more news on the Buffy reboot as it develops.

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Comments

  • Chapter11studios

    Joss is already doing Buffy in the comics, and has spent more than a decade of his life on this character. I can understand why a) he didn’t want to devote more time to “reimagining” something he’s already invested so much of himself into, and b) why he doesn’t want anyone else to touch it, either. I think it’s perfectly reasonable and consistent with his earlier public statement. Now, if someone offered him more Firefly and he said no… then me and Joss would be having words.

  • Brian

    Agreee with Chapter 11. why would he want to re-imagine it when a) it ended as a TV show less than 10 years ago and b) he’s still working on it in the comic book?

  • EndlessKng

    What Chapter11 said. Rebooting a “dead” franchise such as James Bond or Star Trek makes sense when the original creators are no longer around to be involved. Sure, there’ve been some Star Trek comics before they made the new film, but Roddenberry himself is resting in peace… those are different people working with their own interpretations of the work.

    The same goes for most superhero films – yes, Batman and Superman still have comic books, but the movies take place in their own universe, and are a separate interpretation of the source material from the late Bill Fingers and Bob Kane and Jerry Siegal and Joe Shuster respectively. The film franchise had long been severed from the source material.

    Joss, though, is making canonical Buffy material as we speak. Does it differ from the “original” film? Sure, but the film differed from his original vision. What we have is a creator who is making something new for his own universe. You don’t offer him the chance to “remake” something he’s already remade (in TV format) and continues to make (in the comic book). If he’d gone to the studios and said, “I want to make this movie because I want to tell a different side of the story,” that’d be one thing. But he’s telling the story he wants to tell in the medium that accepts it. It’s too late for him to “remake it,” and possibly even to add to a live action medium, and it’s too early for anyone else to do the same.

  • Evil_s2003

    I’ve never been a fan of the TV show, I love the movie.
    But why reboot something that isn’t that old (though that isn’t stopping Sony from their worthless Spider-Man reboot)? And when you consider it, the movie and the shows are two totally different creatures. How can you reboot something that’s already been presented in two form?

  • demoncat_4

    its to me a little upsetting that Joss will not be invovled in Buffy rebirth . but at least he was offered and can not say he was never even considered to take part. besides the fans will be the ones who decide if the reboot of Buffy works or not.

  • writershrink

    Get your facts straight, Josh Wigler, Joss does not need to blame himself. As you ALSO state, he clearly made the informed decision to not be involved in the project.

  • http://twitter.com/TommyBrownell Thomas Brownell

    Yeah, you’re making it sound like Whedon had an opportunity to do a new Buffy movie…not retread the same territory, as he’s already essentially rebooted it once (the TV show from the original movie).

    Two completely different things. If you’d said “Oh, they wanted to do a follow-up to the show, SMG was interested, yaddayadda, but Whedon said ‘No way, I’m doing Avengers!’”, I might would have been miffed. Passing on attempting to reboot a reboot that was already vastly more successful than the original anyway? I can see why he wouldn’t have wanted to do it.

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

    I can only assume that the reason Joss turned down this project was because he knew he wouldn’t be able to get re-unite the cast of the television series. He probably figured that the only way he’d want to do a Buffy movie would be if he could continue it off of the TV series. We already know that Sarah Michelle Gellar doesn’t want to return to Buffy (and who knows why — it’s not like her career is booming at the moment), so without her and the rest of the Scooby gang, Joss probably didn’t feel comfortable about returning to the (live-action) universe.

    I think there’s a lot more to this story than what the Kuzuis say. I’m sure that they didn’t just approach Joss and he answered, “No thanks.” No, no… I’m sure there’s definitely more that’ll be revealed in due time. He probably assumed that they wouldn’t go ahead without him, too.

    I’m all down for a Buffy reboot, I am. Not now, though. It’s way too soon. The television series is still too fresh in my mind and with it now continuing in comic book form, there’s really no reason to bring this film to life yet. If there was no TV show in-between the original film and this re-boot then yeah, by all means, go for it. There was a Buffy, though, and she lasted seven years. There wouldn’t be close as many love for those characters today if not for that television series, too.

    The Kuzuis are desperate because really, what else are they known for besides being those other people behind Buffy? They need a new story to tell and they need to leave Buffy alone for now. Without the fans’ support, this film will ultimately fail just like the original film did many moons ago… and this film WILL fail, without Joss Whedon.

  • http://twitter.com/joegrunenwald Joe Grunenwald

    I cannot believe that Joss wouldn’t be interested in going back and redoing something he already did perfectly fifteen years ago. The nerve of that guy. /sarcasm

  • Runnerx13

    It’s a mixed blessing. Maybe if Whedon was involved, this new movie could have been about a slayer other than Buffy, either before or after her. But then again, maybe the Kuzuis said it was Buffy or nothing. Who know, don’t care. I have seasons 1-7 on DVD, and I’m reading season 8. That’s enough for me.

  • reason before honor

    I have to say, I feel a little bit of pity for this poor benighted project. First they announced it without Joss Whedon, and the internet exploded because Joss wasn’t involved in the project, how dare they, etc. etc. etc.
    Now it turns out Joss had the opportunity to be involved, and passed on it. Which is fine. It’s his baby and his decision makes sense. But my guess is that the comment forums will explode again. How dare they profane Joss by offering him this? How dare they insult him so? How dare Joss bitch about it when he was offered….Etc….
    Can’t we just take it as it is? Not the end of the world, not blasphemy, but a poor, destined-to-be-forgotten reboot that will always be in the shadow of its more successful stepparents, no matter how good or bad it may end up being.

  • The_zeppouk

    Why would Joss want to be involved in a reboot, he got it right the first time. I have seven seasons of Buffy, I don’t need a remake, a lot of writers have tried to write Buffy and co, but without Joss to over see her she is a hollow cliche. I’ll pass

  • Noam

    I agree. Whedon told his story in my opinion. It’s time for him to move on from Buffy and on to new projects. I probably won’t be seeing the new Buffy flick, they’ll probably do the whole thing as a Twilight ripoff. Avengers will find me first in line.

  • RunnerX13

    BTW, Whedon already rebooted Buffy, that’s what the TV show was.

  • Lohr

    “…a new report suggests that Whedon’s lack of involvement is nobody’s fault but his own.” If he didn’t think a reboot should even happen in the first place, why on earth would he want to be involved in it?

  • Francis

    I think that the Reboot is a bad idea and that Joss made the right choice not getting involved in it!

  • Marclhar

    My understanding was that Joss was not offered involvment until after reboot was announced to be in development in the press and the internet back lash had begun. I could be mistaken, but it seems like a case of too little, too late.

  • Simon

    In June 2009, Joss talked about being approached and declining the reboot. This is not a new startling revelation.

    http://popwatch.ew.com/2009/06/12/joss-whedon-buffy-dollhouse-1/

  • Skipspacer

    If you were the one who, um, “booted” it to begin with, why would you want to reboot it? Joss told (and is continuing to tell in comics) his Buffy story, which, as the creator, is THE Buffy story. The producers have every right (legally) to do whatever they want with a property they own, and Joss has every right to not get involved with something he thinks is a bad idea.

  • Bow

    I dont blame him for not wanting to be involved, it’s not just about Joss it’s about the original cast also. Buffy without Gellar and the rest of the scooby gang is not Buffy. I as a fan dont want to see someone else as Buffy so why would Joss?

  • Cforshaw67220

    This article is just spin.

    1) Whedon passed on a Buffy reboot – why would he want to do it if it didn’t have the original cast, or just went over ground he had already covered less than a decade ago?

    2) There is no hint as to what the deal with this offer was. Did they offer him a lot? Did they offer him a little? Did they offer him complete control?

    3) This has only been announced now because the fans are angry at the decision to do it without Whedon. Was it a formal offer? Was it a phone call? Did they actually sit down around a table about it? There are no real details that I have seen.

    4) The time-frame does not fit. It was last Spring we first heard that Joss Whedon was the firm favourite to direct The Avengers, and chances are he was probably still committed to some sort of release for ‘Cabin in the Woods’ – both of which could have meant that Whedon had other projects on that he had committed to. If that was the case, then the Kuzui’s could have been waiting for Whedon to be unavailable so they could go, “Well, we tried!”

    5) Given his continuation of the stories in the comics, and the fact that he often rehires cast members from his previous shows all the time, and that he is strong friends with much of the supporting cast, the idea that Whedon just said, “I can’t be bothered,” makes zero sense. He is already committed to writing ‘Buffy’, so a decent offer with a decent time-frame and a commitment to get the original cast would have probably seen him eager to return to doing ‘Buffy’ – but why would he want to remake something so defining? Especially with a group of people who proved themselves untrustworthy for the original film, which almost killed the entire concept before the show even started?

    The fact is that unless we see a Whedon-led continuation of the television series this entire project is pointless, no matter what the bean-counters involved with this project claim. IF they were so respectful of the concept and the heritage, IF the understood what made the original show brilliant, IF they are talented and creative, WHY AREN’T THEY MAKING THEIR OWN ORIGINAL MOVIE???

  • Cforshaw67220

    They keep saying Whedon was offered it last summer – In the Spring he was repeatedly connected with ‘The Avengers’, and was the front-runner from the moment ‘Clash of the Titans’ failed at the box-office. By the time summer roled around it was clear he was going to be committed to ‘The Avengers’ – it seems likely that the Kuzui’s may have tried to make an offer around that time, and that Joss, or Joss’s people, said he was busy. Whether that was a political move because they didn’t want Joss, or it was just bad timing remains to be seen, but chances are that this press release is 99% spin. Joss is always very forthcoming about what he is doing and what he is involved with, and has a good rapport with his fans – the Kuzui’s, meanwhile, butchered his original script, and then were content to count the money they made from the television show without making any contribution to our enjoyment of it. I think, given that, I have more faith in the open, approachable person who has been hired to direct the most hotly anticipated film of the next few years than a couple of talentless, mercinary producers making a film which has only one selling point: brand recognition.

  • Cforshaw67220

    I love people’s obsession with this stupid, “They’re the rights holder, they can do what they want” position…

    Does that mean that if I had the rights to the bible I could start changing things around? No, because people would get upset. The whole rights argument is just a way of saying not being creative, or interested in entertaining people, is okay, so long as all you are concerned with is marketing and making money – which is pretty much way 90% of films from Hollywood are utter s.h.i.t these days.

  • http://twitter.com/JorgeLuisTweets Jorge Luis Mendez

    “but the fact that he was even offered a part in the reboot is an interesting new wrinkle to this already controversial story” – Not that interesting of a wrinkle. Why would Whedon “reimagine” his own story. the original is already awesome. There’s no reason to fix something that isn’t broken.

  • Marclhar

    From whedoneque.com – Seemingly stung by internet criticism, studio insiders told The Hollywood Reporter yesterday that Joss turned down the reboot last year. The press run with this story but fail to notice that Joss commented on it to EW.com back in June of 2009 “I believe [the producers] did ultimately reach out to my agent after the news broke. I think that’s something better left untouched by me.”

    So once again. Yes he was offered it. AFTER the news broke, and the producers were taking flak. Can’t imagine why Joss wouldn’t want to come to their rescue.

  • Firewriter

    The Kuzui’s are just trying to cash in on the Twilight craze. I hope the movie fails (for no other reason than I am sick of reboots and prequels).

    Why bother creating something new when you can retread something else? /sarcasm

  • Mr_Wayne

    Better question is why bitch about something that you obviously knew you’d have no control of. He should have taken complete control of Buffy. Since he didn’t these are the consequences. Stop you’re bitching Joss.

  • BradRzanka

    Like others have said, I see no conflict here. It sounds like he’s opposed to the idea of a reboot, period. The fact that he was offered involvement, and refused, in something he probably didn’t approve of to begin doesn’t make his decrying it some kind of hypocrisy. It’s called integrity.

  • BradRzanka

    Yes, he should have taken complete control of a property HE DOES NOT OWN. Do you understand how these things work? You’re slamming him for not doing something that HE COULD NOT DO, no matter how much he may have wanted to.

    Even if he’d agreed to come on board, it sounds like he would have had no say in the direction the producers have chosen to go in, which is reboot. The same producers who had already thrown his intentions out the window on the first film.

    Of course, if you’re just being sarcastic, I relent. I admit that it’s often hard to tell in a news forum.

  • Jdcdh

    Sarah has said she would return if the script could prove to her that Buffy could work as a movie. After the success (or lack there of) of the original movie, it becomes a case of “do you want to run the risk of history repeating itself?”

    Plus all the other cast have noted they’d love to return. James Masters (Spike) said it would have to be soon, because he’s not getting any younger. Alyson Hannigan (Willow) is currently doing How I Met Your Mother, and hasn’t done a movie since Date Movie. Nicholas Brendan (Xander) is always up for a Buffy movie, and Anthony Stewart Head (Giles) is still apparently interested in the idea of a “Ripper” tv movie. Aside from Bones, David Boreanaz (Angel) hasn’t really been headlining in many movies. Charisma Carpentar (Cordelia) would like to play her character again, should she be utilized what with Cordelia being indisposed. Eliza Dushku & Tom Lenk as Faith & Andrew probably wouldn’t be that hard to get (Whedon still talks to them). I think this will fail, and by that time Whedon will be free to once again redeem a Buffy movie, this time with a new movie with HIS people.

  • Brian from Canada

    Gellar DID agree to return to Buffy. Buffy was to come back as a sequel film handing the reigns over to a new slayer, played by Vanessa Hudgens. Hudgens backed out of the project, and the project collapsed — as told by many news outlets over the summer, particularly around ComiCon, when Whedon’s name came out as the official director of The Avengers.

    Even if Whedon wanted to do both, he can’t. He’s already thrown out the original script for The Avengers and gone his own way. (Hopefully it will be better than his X-Men script.) It would have been better to just say that he was offered something else, but Joss loves to make his fans dislike others — like Fox, who had every right to handle Dollhouse like they did.

  • Moloch

    why would he want to work on a reboot when he’s still writing the original? I think he made the right call, and I think a Buffy reboot without Joss is a bad idea. Which means that if he doesn’t want to do it, it shouldn’t exist.

  • Jay

    “I’ve never been a fan of the TV show, I love the movie.”

    Seriously? I think you’re just trying to provoke.

    http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/buffy_the_vampire_slayer/

  • Pfft!

    He probably told them it was a stupid and rather rubbish idea.

    Which it is. There’s no need for a new Buffy yet, regardless of who’s writing it.

  • Zenbryo

    This is ridiculous.

    “Oh, you can’t be mad now, because Whedon didn’t want to bend over AGAIN for the Kazuis and get screwed.”

    They asked him to erase his own show’s continuity and reboot a property he doesn’t feel should be rebooted. It should be continued, or it shouldn’t be filmed. That’s like telling somebody “Listen, we’re going to kill your dog. But hey, you know what? How about we give the gun to you, and you kill the dog.”

  • Joemomma

    I am not a huge Buffy fan, so I can say this without any fanboy feelings. Why the hell would you reboot something so soon? Did this story really need to be retold? Wasn’t the ‘reboot’ what Joss did after that painful looking movie? Isn’t there enough friggin’ vampire crap out there right now anyways?

    You know what I think they should remake. The Happy Day’s episode when Fonzie jumps the shark tank, but instead, have it filled with all these horrible remake films… and bigger effects!