I saw this coming, but not so soon.
As the Buffy the Vampire Slayer franchise withered away, with Joss Whedon unable to bring it back or spin it off as TV movies or DVD features, I knew that the rights holders would get itchy. They would want to be able to use this IP for something. Anything. And they would get to the point where they would just simply remake the original film.
It’s coming to pass. Fran Rubel Kazui, the original film’s director, and her husband Kaz are names that you saw on every episode of Buffy as producers, even though they didn’t do anything. The reason: their Kuzui Enterprises retained the rights to Buffy. They’re now taking the initiative to restart the franchise from ground zero, without any of the characters from the show (I’m assuming they don’t have the rights to them. Someone out there in internet land help me if this isn’t the case).
This remake will have no Whedon involvement. While the Kuzuis (and their new partners at Vertigo Entertainment, Roy Lee and Doug Davidson) say they’re open to the idea of Whedon coming back, they never reached out to him before announcing this. That would mean Whedon would have to come crawling back to them on their hands and knees, something that just will not happen.
Here’s the cut and paste from Hollywood Reporter section of our article:
“It was Roy’s interest in taking Buffy into a new place that
grabbed us,” Fran Rubel Kuzui said, noting that original exec producer Sandy
Gallin also was consulted. “It was based on our respect for what he
does, and his particular sensitivity to Asian filmmakers, that we
wanted to work with him.”
Kuzui, who is prepping to direct a movie in Japan in the fall,
added: “Everything has its moment. Every movie takes on a life at
some point, and this seems like the moment to do this.”
This, in case anybody at Vertigo is reading this, is a terrible idea. Just a miserably bad one. Unless you come up with something brilliant (and you won’t. The brilliant idea has already been had), you’re doomed. You’ll make a movie better than the original but not as good as the TV show. And what’s worse is that you’ll have not just a legion of geeks against you – Buffy was really popular with the entertainment media cognoscenti, the people who you’re going to need o get behind your new film if you want to push it to the masses as something different from the TV show.
But at any rate it’s just plain dumb and bad. And too soon. The Buffy show has been off the air for only six years. That’s not soon enough for it to drop out of the pop culture consciousness, or at least soon enough for it to be ready to be replaced with a new version.
Here’s my advice to the Kazuis: I know the recession is hurting everybody, but don’t shit all over your most valuable property in an effort to just make a quick buck.