Buffy the Vampire Slayer reboot: Showrunner responds to concerns from fans
The reboot of Buffy the Vampire Slayer will not try to “replicate” the original series, its creator has said.
It was revealed this week that a diverse reboot of Joss Whedon’s iconic feminist TV series is in the works, with Monica Breen – who previously worked with Whedon on ABC’s Agents of SHIELD – is set to pen the adaptation and serve as showrunner.
The announcement of the show, which will feature a new cast and an African-American lead, received a tepid reaction from fans who opposed a remake of the original series.
However, in a statement Breen appeared to address concerns that the show would be a direct remake, hinting that it will be set in the same universe but feature a new Slayer as the lead – rather than simply recasting the role of Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and her friends.
She said: “For some genre writers it’s Star Wars. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is my Star Wars.
“Before I became a writer, I was a fan. For seven seasons, I watched Buffy Summers grow up, find love, kill that love. I watched her fight, and struggle and slay.
“There is only one Buffy. One Xander, one Willow, Giles, Cordelia, Oz, Tara, Kendra, Faith, Spike, Angel… They can’t be replaced. Joss Whedon’s brilliant and beautiful series can’t be replicated. I wouldn’t try to.
“But here we are, twenty years later… And the world seems a lot scarier. So maybe, it could be time to meet a new Slayer….
“And that’s all I can say. ”
It is unclear if the show will still be titled Buffy the Vampire Slayer given the apparent plans for a different lead character.
There is plenty of scope for there to be another Slayer in the mix if the new show shares the universe and continuity with Buffy.
As most Buffy fans will know, the show’s lore explains: “Into every generation a slayer is born: one girl in all the world, a chosen one. She alone will wield the strength and skill to fight the vampires, demons, and the forces of darkness; to stop the spread of their evil and the swell of their number. She is the Slayer.”
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Although Buffy was the eponymous Slayer across much of the beloved series, the show also introduced Slayers Kendra (Bianca Lawson) and Faith (Eliza Dushku) who were ‘chosen’ when the main character briefly died.
The final season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer also paved the way for multiple women to take up the mantle of Slayer, with the final episode confirming: “Every girl in the world who might be a Slayer, will be a Slayer. Every girl who could have the power, will have the power. Can stand up, will stand up. Slayers, every one of us.”
The original seven-season run of Buffy between 1997 and 2003 was one of the first major TV shows to feature a prominent same-sex romance.
Alyson Hannigan’s fan favourite witch character Willow met Tara (Amber Benson) in the fourth season of the show, in 1999. It would take another year before they were allowed to kiss on screen – after showrunner Joss Whedon threatened to quit if the network banned it.