Joss Whedon reacts to new Buffy: 'I don't love the idea of my creation in other hands'

buffy-gellar-whedonImage Credit: Greg Gorman/The WB; Todd Williamson/WireImage.comJoss Whedon spoke out about the upcoming Buffy reboot that, yes, he has nothing to do with. It’s a tough spot for Buffy fans, and Whedon’s classy — and sassy! — statement to E! reminds why we love him so:

This is a sad, sad reflection on our times, when people must feed off the carcasses of beloved stories from their youths — just because they can’t think of an original idea of their own, like I did with my Avengers idea that I made up myself.

Bwahaha.

Obviously I have strong, mixed emotions about something like this. … 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.

Leave me to my pain!  Sincerely, Joss Whedon. [read the full statement]

The fact that Whedon is working on the Avengers (and that he makes a Batman joke) raises an interesting question: Is the Buffy myth established enough for another writer to successfully take over the franchise, like what happens with comic books? Could Buffy have the kind of legacy that, say, Superman has, where different writers put their spin on the character at various points in cultural history? Could there be a Buffy canon wide enough to include multiple movies and TV shows, like Batman? Or is Whedon’s point of view with the character too uniquely his to make a sprawling franchise work?

What do you think, PopWatchers? Joss 4 Life? Or is there room in your un-staked heart for another Buffy?


Read more:
‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ reboot: Let’s get casting
‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer': Warner Bros. sinks fangs into reboot
Gallery: 28 TV reunions you want to see


Comments (171 total) Add your comment
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  • Mr T

    It was Whedon’s authorial voice that made BTVS work so well. It would take an equally strong writer to continue it, and even then it wouldn’t be the same. It might still be good (tho I doubt it), but it wouldn’t be the same.

    • Kiki

      I agree. I’m usually all in favor of new versions of old stories, but Joss’s characters and stories are so totally and weirdly Joss’s that I can’t imagine this will end well. Like someone reciting a Hamlet monologue while only understanding half the words — it just doesn’t work. (And it’s painful to watch.)

      • Joe

        What I don’t understand is why networks CAN do this. Doesn’t Joss own the rights to Buffy since it was his original concept?

        I’m not a fan of Buffy but I am a massive fan of Firefly. To reboot Firefly without Joss Whedon I 100% would not support, so I can definitely see uproar with the fans. This format has been tried with other massive failures like Knight Rider / Bionic Woman, reboots are a 1% chance they’ll take with an audience and since Whedon fans are especially loyal this is an even bigger risk for the network…

        I can understand networks being hesitant to take chances on original concepts but come on, buffy ended only 7 years ago. Pretty soon they’ll be rebooting 2 year old tv shows.

      • Joe

        my mistake, I thought it was a rebooted tv series, although for a movie my points are still relevant I think.

    • Anne

      Here’s how the Kuzuis are described:
      *
      The Kuzuis were both executive producers on the two spin-off TV series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, but this is mostly because they retained the rights to the concept; their creative involvement in the two series was minimal. Outside Buffy-related endeavors, their best-known efforts include the Trey Parker comedy Orgazmo (1997) and Tokyo Pop (1988).
      *
      So, it’s not Christopher Nolan rebooting BTVS, just to be clear. It’s these gravy-train riding wannabes, who, unfortunately, have legal rights to the material.
      *
      Hey, Fran — how much for the rights? Bet a bunch of us fans could start throwing some $ into a fund ….

    • Brian

      I’ve loved all of Joss’ shows, but I’m not angry that they’re rebooting Buffy without him. Like someone else here said, there’s always been a moment where someone other than Bob Kane/Bill Finger created the first Batman story without them, or the first Jerry Siegel/Joe Schuster-less Superman story, or the first Stan Lee-less Marvel story. Buffy was bound to be rebooted sometime, it’s just happening sooner than anyone thought.
      What bugs me about this is that we’ll probably never get to see Joss and the original casts of Buffy and Angel finish that established universe (unless this movie fails horribly). I’d like to have seen SMG and Boreanez continue the story into movies after the end of their respective shows.

  • Judo Thong

    I wish somebody else would take the Star Wars franchise out of Lucas’ hands.

    • Rolo Tomasi

      Good point

    • Thais

      That’s been on my Christmas list for over ten years now :(

    • Han Shot First

      lol…

      Whole-heartedly agree!!!!

  • Rolo Tomasi

    Bring back Kristy Swanson.

    • Anne

      No. Unless we are changing it to “Buffy, the Medicare Supplement Slayer.”

      • wtfnyc

        Or “Buffy, The Celebrity Skating Homewrecker”

      • k13

        Or Buffy, The slutty looking tramp….

    • DJ

      The Buffy movie with Swanson is an example of what happens when someone interfers with a creator’s vision. This is just what Joss is worried about.

      • Steve P

        What are you talking about, the movie with Kristy Swanson was released in 1992, 5 years before the series, and btw, Joss Whedon was the writer of the original movie as well…so please know what you’re writing about before you take the time to post, happy holidays broomstick!

      • Chill, Steve

        Have some more turkey and mellow out, dude. Whedon did write the script, but the final version of the film wasn’t really true to his vision (hence the difference between the show that he was exec. producer on and the movie which he had very little creative control over). Scripts get changed all the time because screenwriters really don’t have that much power. Whedon has been pretty vocal about the differences between the two in the past. So before sniping at DJ, maybe you should do a little more research yourself.

  • Jay

    Is the reboot a movie, or a TV show?

    • Anne

      Movie. One than can be boycotted.

      • Tarc

        Yeah… I’ll actively ‘pass’ on this new version. Idiotic.

  • Kate

    I think it is too soon when I wonder if you could ask a random high school what, I don’t know, the Hellmouth is (or heck, what was up with the first principal of Sunnydale High) and unless they can tell you, well too soon. It should wait for some sort of real anniversary, like at least the 25th.

  • Anne

    I hope Warner Brothers realizes that rebooting “Buffy” Joss-free won’t simply alienate fans, it will ENRAGE them! Seriously. We fans are going to make the nutjobs at the American Family Association look like protesting and boycotting amateurs. And don’t think we’ll limit it to a boycott of BTVS, we’ll start boycotting ALL the movies you make. Do not underestimate devoted fans of the Buffyverse, we have passion AND the internet. We will defeat you.

    • Matt

      Wow, Anne, what can I say? “Get a life” comes to mind, but I don’t want to sound impolite.

      It’s a freaking TV show, for God’s sake. Be a fan, if you like, but keep things in perspective. If the reboot fails, no harm at all was done to the “Buffyverse” as you know it, you can easily ignore the failed attempt and write it off. If it’s successful, you’ll have a new spin on one of your favourite tales to enjoy.

      But your comment just makes you sound bitter and, IMHO, slightly mad. No offence.

    • Chuck

      In fact, all we rabid shortsighted obsessed moronic Joss bootlickers will not only be boycotting all the movies you make, we will also be boycotting all the TV shows that aren’t written by Joss, all the magazines and books in the history of mankind in which he does not appear, and all the food which he did not personally prepare himself! In fact, we might even boycott breathing all the air he did not personally exhale! TAKE THAT, JOSS HATERS.

      • Anne

        I don’t give a flip about reboots of other things, even some other things Joss Whedon has done. But BTVS would be crap without him running it. That’s how the 1st movie ended up being so lame, the studio took it away from him and did horrible, horrible things to it.
        *
        Some entertainment is dependent on its creator for the thing that makes it good. I wouldn’t want to pull up this site one day and see that “the guys who brought you ‘The King of Queens'” are trying to reboot LOST or the producers of “Hostel” are taking on “The Sound of Music,” just because they have the legal right to do it.
        *
        There is no GOOD BTVS without Joss, simple. And if Warner Brothers wants to see how many pennies it can score by messing around with a beloved character and story, then they should expect anger.

      • TicklePig

        Bullcrap, you will alll give a look see in hopes that it has some of the same spark and maybe even some fresh original material. BTVS fans won’t be able to help themselves and that’s okay.

      • Pete

        @Anne I actually saw the original Buffy movie written by Whedon when it was released in 1992. It wasn’t good or bad, it was simply average. A few mildly funny scenes but otherwise bland. The production couldn’t have been any better because the script was average. I thought the tv series was no better than the original movie for the same reason. The WB needs more than an average script so they might be better off without Whedon. Dr. Horrible gets two enthusiastic thumbs way up, the rest of his stuff is over rated!

      • Adrienne

        Hell yeah. It’s not like Joss is a god. Other writers worked on Buffy like Jane Espenson, and to be honest, Joss is a bit of a woman-hater. He’s not the feminist he thinks he is, or he wouldn’t keep introducing rape plotlines that just reaffirms rape culture. For example, the entire premise of Dollhouse, the thankfully unproduced episode of Firefly dealing with the gang rape of Inara, and the entire “redemption of Spike” storyline.

        I think BTVS could use some new blood. There is a fifty percent chance it will suck, but that is pretty normal whenever a reboot is made. Give it a try before you knock it. It might be a great homage to a series that was at times, fantastic.

        But let’s face it, Joss is not perfect. And he ruined a lot of other people’s creations. Astonishing X-Men? He turned Kitty into Buffy-lite and completely wrecked Emma Frost. Let’s not forget he worked on Runaways, too, sadly.

    • Geronimo Jackson

      I have this picture of Buffy fans storming WM in a mob similar to that of the students at graduation like in the 4th season finale — I hope I got the season right.

      • g

        3rd season finale

      • anne

        or like the final scene in Angel…

    • MaxPowers

      I’m a Buffy fan and none too excited about this reboot, but isn’t getting mad about it a bit hypocritical, seeing as how Joss’s Buffy is itself a reboot of an existing property.

      • gizmodiansky

        Say what now?

      • Brom

        Joss’s TV show is based on the movie that Joss wrote. It’s his creation. I wouldn’t really call that a “reboot of an existing property.”

      • Hank Hill

        Max, are you not aware of the fact that Joss Whedon wrote the original Buffy movie? He openly addresses the hypocrisy when he laughingly points out he is working on the Avengers.

      • MaxPowers

        I should clarify, I was referring to fans of the Buffy TV show being mad not Joss Whedon.

    • Iliana

      Face it folks, even Whedon’t biggest “hit”, Buffy, was never a huge mainstream network success. It was just a modest hit for a netlet. The only reason we hear so much about it nowdays is because Buffy fans are mostly geeks who are very vocal and internet savvy, but there’s no massive real-life movement of outraged Buffy fans. And Joss hasn’t fared well with other stuff, judging by his other flops Firefly, Serenity, and Dollhouse. If the producers of this film can make a decent, solid action film that touches a nerve with audiences, it won’t matter if a handful of internet/comic book geeks hate it.

      • Anne

        Oh, Iliana, was a Buffy fan mean to you?

      • Jenn

        You don’t reboot an existing property in order to “touch a nerve” with a new audience. You’re doing it to draw in the existing, huge, rabid fan base. And the fan base is vocally saying “hell no.” They should stick this project in development hellmouth where it belongs.

      • Iliana

        What “huge” fanbase? It may be rabid, but huge it is not. And did you guys not learn anything from the Trekkies who were asking for JJ Abrams’ head on a pike when they heard he was gonna do a Trek reboot? Gimme a break. And BTW, Whdon is a hypocrite. If he really had any qualms about that, he would have never touched the X-men, after all, that was someone else’s creation. Funny how in his preemptive defense/sarcastic joke about taking other people’s creations, he fails to mention those books. In any case, Whedon hasn’t proved himself as a valuable commodity in Hollywood, all his stuff has either become cult properties or flops. If this new Buffy becomes a hit (not a cult fave with a small but rabid fanbase) but an actual hit with mainstream audiences, you will all have to eat your words.

      • MM

        But Ilana, if the original concept didn’t attract a huge fanbase, why would you want to piss off the people who did demonstrate interest?

      • cfkane

        Lliana, you are so right. Joss Whedon has certainly not proven himself to be a valuable commodity in Hollywood, which is why he was chosen to direct the Avengers movie.

      • SJ

        Iliana – Buffy was one of WBs biggest hits, and later UPN. It’s been widely critically acclaimed as one of the defining television shows EVER. Yes, it was on a netlet, but it lives on in reruns. Would you also minimize the impact of the Sopranos because it was on a premium pay cable network? The original episodes may have had small ratings, but the larger cultural impact of The Sopranos is not to be taken lightly. Same with Buffy/Angel.

        Also, you are greatly underestimating the fanbase, espeically internationally. Just poke around online for 5 minutes and you’ll see what I mean.

        No, really, do it. I dare you.

    • Niecy

      In Joss’ name we pray. *does Snoopy dance*

  • Eve

    This project would work better in 20 years or so. It’s too soon for a complete reboot. At only seven years since the end of the show, anything but a direct movie follow up (ala Firefly/Serenity or the X-Files) is just a horrible idea, and an insult to both the fans and the people who worked to make the show what it is.
    At this point, it doesn’t even matter if the film ends up being good or not, people are still going to hate it with a fiery vengeance.

    • TicklePig

      Bullcrap, if Mulder and Scully wanted to reunite and make another run of X-Files we’s be all over it like flies on poop and it hasn’t been 20 years. I’m not saying to bring back Sarah Geller, but if she did reprise her role that poop would be mighty attractive.

      • Stephanie

        I was a hxc X Files fan and even that last movie I thought was a mistake. Leave it the archives for awhile, I don’t want to see Mulder and Scully or their alien baby come back for more adventures.

        Believe it or not, sometimes the fans are OK with leaving things as they are!

  • Anne

    Eliza Dushku tweeted: “Joss made the “Buffster” & w/out him… I just don’t trust the girl. Or the world.”

    • Liz

      Amen.

    • TicklePig

      I’m surprised she would say that since he sucked her into a two season fizzle that could have ran for years if they hadn’t stopped writing good story lines.

  • Elizabeth

    I wish someone would do something original…

  • BizarroSarah

    I agree with Anne completely. Buffy fans will not take this lying down. From beneath you, it devours, WB! You’ve been warned.

    • Michelle

      “It eats you, starting with your bottom.”

  • Doug

    I’m a huge fan of Joss and Buffy, but I kind of see Margaret’s point. Look at what Christopher Nolan did to the Batman franchise. I’m not saying Buffy 3.0 will be anything close to that caliber, but why not? Nothing can ruin my intense (and somewhat inappropriate) love for the show, so why not give someone else a go at it? Joss made an incredible universe. Let’s see if others can add to it.

    • Birdman73

      The Batman franchise doesn’t really garner comparison … dozens of people over the last 70 years have autuered Batman, in comics, movies, TV. Bob Kane, Frank Miller, Denny O’Neill, Tim Burton … Batman is a character that has been in many hands successfully. Buffy is Joss’ creation, his baby – Buffy was Buffy because of Joss, and I can;t see someone else giving that story Joss’ voice.

      • Di

        Yes they did. But there was someone after Stan Lee (or whomever created Batman I never remember)… there was that first step away from the original author and I think if we want Buffy to become something that spans generations and generations into the future forever and ever amen; then we need to be open to the idea of someone else stepping in. Yes I agree it’s too soon and yes I agree that Joss should have a hand in writing everything in the known universe, but I’m also not going to not be interested in what this other chick has to say about this world.

      • Johnny

        So? Batman was Batman because of Bob Kane. Then someone else took over, and it wasn’t anymore. And by a long and dusty road that got us to to The Dark Night returns and Hush and Heath Ledger. Change, while not intrinsically good, is likewise not intrinsically BAD. This one can’t rationally be called one or the other without more to go on. So, much as I love Joss, I’m going to wait and see.

    • rose

      The difference is in how rights were set up with comics back in the past – namely, no creator rights. So someone could come in and take over and spin new stories using the same characters.

      This can’t happen with Buffy, because the Kuzui’s don’t own the rights to the franchise – that is, the TV show, comics, etc. So the only character they have is a blonde cheerleader named Buffy. They can’t use Sunnydale, or any of the characters or content from the TV show. All they have is a burned down high school gym and the concept of a slayer.

      The Batman analogy only works if you limit it to a single origin story – man watches family die, later becomes crime fighter. Is that Batman? Depends how closely you tie in the Joker, Riddler, Robin, Alfred, or aspects of how Batman and Bruce Wayne grew as characters over the intervening 70+ years.

  • jacksmom

    I love Joss :)

  • Mallory

    This is the worst idea ever. Someone needs to start a Facebook group petitioning this STAT. FB groups get it done.

    • chattypatra

      I checked FB and there is one. It’s called “Boycott the Buffy Reboot Movie”.

  • Mia

    Oh Josh. I love you and noooooo! Please do not do this Warner Bros! How can Fran Rubel Kuzu do this? Doesn’t she know what Josh did to make the series an amazing show? Her orginal movie killed josh’s ideas and was crap and now she wants to do it again but at the same time enraging all the BTVS fans? NOT a good move. Either let Josh in or DO NOT DO THIS!

    • Doug

      It’s JO$$ you A$$.

      • Mia

        excuse me?

      • Captain Obvious

        The man’s name is Joss, not Josh. It’s right there in the headline if you don’t believe us.

      • jamie

        I guess she needed it literally spelled out for her again…. pesky $ signs are so difficult to understand….

      • Mia

        Oh well. So I made a mistake. Don’t stake me! God you guys can be so mean sometimes!

      • Mia

        Get a hobby

      • jamie

        It’s the fact that you wrote it wrong a total of 4 times, all the while proclaiming your deep and abiding love for the man and his great talent that irks. Sorry.

  • Mike

    Bring back the original cast!!!! PLEASE

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