It’s hard to believe that the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer show ended almost twenty years ago in 2003. In the time since the number of fans has only grown and the show has had a lasting impact on television so it only makes sense that there have been many rumors and petitions for a revival or reboot with the original cast.
The rumor mill has been circulating like crazy in recent years since the project was first announced in 2018 with Disney’s purchase on Fox as well as the huge amount of controversy surrounding showrunner Joss Whedon’s alleged abusive behavior.
So with all kinds of stories coming out about potential plotlines and various cast members commenting on whether they would join, we’ve compiled everything you need to know about the Buffy reboot and whether it is happening to cut down on that confusion.
So what is happening with the Buffy reboot? To fully understand where the reboot stands now, it’s important to delve into the full history of the show and its run.
The original Buffy the Vampire Slayer show ran from 1997 to 2003 and included seven seasons. While the show was on, the spinoff series Angel aired between 1999 to 2004 and followed vampire, Angel and despite airing on different TV networks, there were several crossover episodes.
Following the end of the Buffy series, Joss Whedon collaborated with various comic writers and illustrators to create a continuation of the Buffy series in comic book form with seasons 8 through to 12 being released between 2007 and 2018 which follows the original characters from the show.
With the remaining popularity surrounding the Buffy universe as well as various other shows seeing reboots and revivals such as the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina doing well meant that there was only a matter of time before there was serious consideration of a revisit to Sunnydale on the small screen. This came in 2018 when there was an announcement that Buffy will be rebooted for a brand new TV series. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been much practical development since that initial announcement due to various situations which have left the project in production limbo.
Here’s a list of the various announcements and reactions to the Buffy series reboot:
As mentioned above, the initial revival announcement was first made in 2018 and was thought to be in the early stages of pre-production with Monica Owusu-Breen set to serve as showrunner while Joss Whedon would be an executive producer. The plans for this reboot would be set in the present day and incorporate modern issues while also boasting a more diverse cast.
Owusu-Breen wanted to bring in a new Slayer with the show being a completely new series rather than a retelling of the original series. However, since then, there haven’t been any further announcements as to where the show is in terms of development.
After this announcement was made, the first question that many people asked was relating to the original cast and whether they would return. Although the revival was planned to be a sequel series that would follow a new Slayer, Owusu-Breen stated that there would be plenty of opportunities for original cast members to return as many of them have been followed in the subsequent comic book series.
However, a lot of cast members including Sarah Michelle Gellar and David Boreanaz gave their blessing to the revival but stated that they wouldn’t be interested in returning to the reboot.
Other questions were asked regarding who would be taking up the role as the new Slayer. Jessica Parker Kennedy who is best known for her role as Nora West-Allen/XS in The Flash expressed a lot of interest in taking on the role on her social media accounts although this was not confirmed or followed up by Owusu-Breen or Whedon publicly.
So what would the storyline for this reboot look like? No further details were given with the initial announcement concerning the plot but since the series was confirmed to be a sequel show with a different Slayer, there are all kinds of storylines and possibilities that the writers and creators can conjure up to make the show refreshing and different from the original series while still drawing in on the nostalgia.
Firstly, setting the series in the present day already makes the show distinctly different from the original as things have changed drastically in the 20 years since the original show first aired. This will mean that various issues will be explored that wouldn’t have been possible back when the original show was on.
Another factor to consider is whether the reboot would be following the end of the TV series or the end of the comic book series. This could make some differences, especially if there were plans for some original cast members to return.
Following on from the comics would allow Owusu-Breen to continue the lore that Joss Whedon has expanded on after the TV show ended while following on from season 7 means that the reboot would see the direct impact of the finale where all Slayers are given supernatural abilities simultaneously so they can fight against the forces of darkness.
Whatever the decision, the reboot was guaranteed to look at the Slayer from a whole new perspective and bring something new and unexpected to the franchise.
Is The Reboot Still Happening?
Nothing further has been announced or developed since begging the question of whether the Buffy reboot is still happening. Unfortunately, the lack of information seems to signal that it is likely that it may have been scrapped with the chances growing more and more likely each year.
There are many reasons why this could be the case. The first possibility is that the show has lingered in production development hell which is where a lot of TV shows are scrapped for good. However, there is also the very strong possibility that the Buffy reboot was scrapped due to the alleged abusive behavior exhibited by creator Joss Whedon in the past.
Actress Charisma Carpenter who played Cordelia Chase in the original Buffy series spoke out against Whedon’s treatment of her in support of Ray Fisher who claimed that Whedon mistreated him on the set of Justice League.
Following these allegations, Whedon disembarked the show The Nevers in 2020 and has no projects lined up in the future. This could have resulted in the Buffy reboot being scrapped but that doesn’t mean that the show can’t be revived without him in the future.
Reactions From The Buffy Original Cast
Here are just some of the reactions from the Buffy original cast on the possibility of a reboot or revival series:
Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers)
In 2019, Sarah Michelle Gellar stated: “I’m all for them rebooting it. I think it’s an important story. I think there’s a way to modernize it and tell a different story now. I think the way we ended lends itself to it, but at the same time, I’m so proud of the show that we made.”
Speaking on Mario Lopez’s podcast in 2021, Gellar then reflected: “I do think that story lends itself, it’d be interesting to see how a chosen one would deal with that. I don’t think it’s me, I don’t think I should be the one doing it.”
David Boreanaz (Angel)
When asked about the reboot, David Boreanaz said: “I think it’s great. I’m sure they’ll find the right storylines and the right people to fill [the] shoes of whatever characters they want to portray. It was great to be a part of it when it first started, and now to see it being revived is just another testimony to the hard work that we did. I congratulate that, and applaud that.”
Later in the same interview, Boreanaz was asked whether he would reprise his role and replied: “For now, I just let it be and lend my support from afar. [Angel] doesn’t age, so it’s not like he’s not around! Whatever they want to do with the character, it’s such a wide, huge universe, you can go anywhere with characters. I think the storylines will somehow reflect what the characters were about in the past. It’s all bloodline, so to speak. Ironic that I called it that! There’s always a bloodline somewhere, right?”
James Marsters (Spike)
When the reboot was first announced, James Marsters posted on his Twitter: “Holy crap! ‘Buffy’ is getting a reboot?!! Awesome! Black teen Buffy, cool! Joss is producing, thank god! Empowering the female youth, spectacular!!! Personally I hope that the new show retains the message of ‘Don’t give up, not on yourself, not on the world.’ What do you think?”.
In 2020, Marsters was asked whether he planned to appear in the reboot and responded: “I told Joss, whether it’s one line or 50, I’d come, no matter where I was in the world. But if he wanted to film me doing Spike, he had seven years, because I’m aging and Spike’s a vampire, and I don’t want to play an aged Spike. If there was a way, or if Spike was always in vampire face. Then that might work.”
Alyson Hannigan (Willow Rosenberg)
Alyson Hannigan was asked for her opinion on a Buffy reboot a few weeks before the news of the revival was announced and said: “It would be weird to see a remake with younger people… It would be like, ‘No, don’t do that!’ I would not want to see that. Like, if they remade Buffy with a new cast… That would hurt… That would hurt.”
When asked whether she would reprise her role as Willow earlier in 2021, Hannigan stated: “I never say never and I am always open to it but I am also very particular, especially with Buffy, where it would have to be good enough for the fans. I wouldn’t want to tarnish what was so special to so many people.”
Nicholas Brendon (Xander Harris)
When the news first broke of the Buffy reboot, Nicholas Brendon tweeted: “Reading the articles I’m pretty sure the new Buffy is a reboot (continuing stories) and not a remake (new actors playing the original roles)” and reiterated to a fan at the time that he was “just happy [Joss Whedon] is involved!”
Anthony Stewart Head (Rupert Giles)
When asked whether he would reprise his role as Giles, Anthony Stewart Head stated: “Yes. I wouldn’t know what it was, because Giles has aged a little bit. Maybe I’m the head of the Watchers Council now. But to be honest, of course, I would. It was so formative.”
Emma Caulfield (Anya Jenkins)
When the reboot was first announced, Emma Caulfield tweeted: “uh….#buffy #buffyreboot” without delving into any further detail.
Later in 2018, she wrote an article for Bustle in which she stated: “So perhaps quite selfishly, I want Buffy to remain like a fly encased in amber. I donʼt need Buffy Park to open on a private island, so the world can see cloned Buffys come to life. It might seem like a good idea at the time — “Buffy and the Scooby Gang are back, kids, and this time itʼs even better, because there’s HD and ‘skip the intro’ and gluten-free snacks!” — but instead of Buffy and Co. going primal and eating the tourists, Hollywoodʼs greed and lack of imagination will slowly devour their souls.”
Writing in the same article, she reflects on whether she would reprise her role as Anya, saying: “And then there are these thoughts: “Would I ever reprise my character if asked? Wait, why ask yourself a question like that, Emma? No one is asking you to come back!” And: “The reboot’s showrunner Monica Owusua Breen didnʼt even mention you in her tweet about Buffy. She mentioned everyone else, however…” And: “For real, Emma, why give this another thought? Because you were asked how you feel about it girl, thatʼs why!” And: “It looks like the new Buffy is to be a sequel! James Cameronʼs Aliens was a sequel! Aliens is my [all-time] favorite movie! Go sequels!” And: “It would be refreshing to see people of color in a nearly all-white Buffy-Verse!” And: ‘Maybe new blood in the institution that is Buffy would garner new appreciation for a timeless classic?’”
Clare Kramer (Glory)
When the announcement was first made, Clare Kramer tweeted: “Welcome to the #Buffy family, [Monica Owusu-Breen]! I know I can’t wait to learn more about the inclusive vision you and [Joss Whedon] have for today’s Slayer, fighting today’s battles in an even bigger world. #butdontmakeherarobot #engage”
Danny Strong (Jonathan Levinson)
In an interview with The Wrap in 2018, Danny Strong stated: “I would appear on it as Jonathan if they wanted Jonathan. Poor, poor, Jonathan. I don’t think Jonathan made it, though. So it might be tricky.”
When asked for his opinion on the reboot, Strong said: “What if it’s great? The ‘don’t touch Buffy’ [attitude] I don’t agree with, because Buffy will always exist. Those episodes will always exist. And if someone comes and reboots it, it’s not going to make those episodes any less amazing than they were before. I’m nervous for them because the bar is so high. I think that the show is so beloved and the show is so well-done that it just could be challenging to pull it off. And because of this fan response, you already know what you’re up against, which is, there is almost this firing squad waiting for you. But at the same time, Joss is involved. If he wasn’t involved, I would think it would be a disaster. But Joss is involved and I think that should make the fans feel better that he’s involved. But I would say give them a chance. What if it’s great? Who knows, it could be amazing.”
Drew Z. Greenberg (Writer)
When the reboot was announced, Drew Z. Greenberg tweeted a response directly to Monica Owusu-Breen’s tweet and stated: “Truly could not be more excited to see the #Buffy universe expanded to include more stories. And with my friend and hero [Monica Uwusu-Breen] at the helm, I cannot wait till I get to watch this show.”
Marti Noxon (Executive Producer)
Marti Noxon was one of the original series executive producers and is open about her mixed reaction to the revival announcement, saying: “I’ll be honest, initially I was like, ‘Nooo! Don’t touch the sacred text!’ But the more I learned about it, the more excited I got. [It’s] a great concept. I’m excited that there is a female showrunner and that she’s a woman of color writing about a woman of color. So I’m actually really pumped for it.”
When asked whether she would be involved in the reboot, Noxon stated: “If they ask — I don’t know what I’d say. It depends on what I was doing. But I think they’ve got it covered.”
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