It came out in the past week that Joss Whedon, the genius creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly/Serenity and Dollhouse, has turned down a chance to write the big screen reboot of Buffy. We reported about the series returning to movie screens recently and it seems to me this could be the best thing for the reboot.
Whedon will bring so much baggage to writing that screenplay. He will come to a Buffy movie with the entire series under his belt, not to mention the original movie and the subsequent comic incarnation of the character. Any reboot of the series would need some new thinking and fresh perspectives to have any chance of breaking away from the established template.
Now, this by no means suggests that this can only be good without Whedon involved. That kind of assertion would seem nye-on insane to me. Whedon is among the best writers of his generation and I’m sure he would create something which would give the fans a huge hug and make them feel comfortable and at ease with any reincarnation of the character.
This was the double-edged sword that he brought to Serenity, the big-screen version of his Firefly series. That, by no means, needed to be a reboot in any way, shape or form. That needed to be a concluding continuation and it serves its purpose magnificently. But it didn’t win over too many converts. If you had watched Firefly, you would love Serenity. If you hadn’t, it was a decent sci-fi action film where the uninitiated don’t quite get treated to the kind of satisfaction that Firefly watchers were given. Artistically, not a problem. Business-wise, not so great.
Again, that’s not to say that Buffy should be entirely about business. That’s part of the problem that Whedon may bring, but more than that would be that Buffy doesn’t really need any continuation from its original television incarnation. Firefly needed finishing. Whedon’s Buffy was finished. A new take may not be great, but it’s the only way to reboot and reincarnate the character for a new generation.