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James Marsters & Amber Benson 'hopeful' for a new Buffy the Vampire Slayer for a new generation
During the convention company's online Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel event on Saturday, which featured cast members James Marsters, Amber Benson, Clare Kramer, Elisabeth Röhm, and Camden Toy, Marsters, who played the vampire Spike on both Buffy and its spinoff Angel, reiterated his opinion that he's "very hopeful" for "a new Slayer for a new generation," and said that his understanding is that although it's not on the fast track for production (though, to be fair, nothing is these days), it's still going forward.
Announced in 2018, the new series, created by showrunner Monica Owusu-Breen with original Buffy creator Joss Whedon attached as an executive producer, would focus on a Slayer played by a woman of color. Owusu-Breen has stated that the show wouldn't necessarily be a new take on Buffy Summers, but would instead focus on a "new Slayer," thereby maintaining continuity with the original series.
"I think the showrunner is a really accomplished television producer who said that Buffy was her Star Wars, that’s what she grew up on and it convinced her to start storytelling," Marsters said. "And I still think that’s going. I think Joss is connected to it. So I’m very hopeful for that, I can’t wait to see that."
And since the idea is for it to still take place in the original Buffyverse, Marsters added that he'd be more than happy to make an appearance on the show.
"I think they can have Spike guest-star on that," he said. "Old Spike could come in … (adopts voice and affectation of an elderly British man who no longer has teeth) 'Hello! How you all doing? You want some training?'"
Amber Benson, who played Tara on the series, also expressed her enthusiasm for a new Buffy for a new generation. "I think it’d be amazing to have a reboot where we have a very diverse cast, because I feel like that was one thing that we were sorely lacking on the show," she said. "And if we have a woman of color who’s going to show-run it and we’re going to have a woman of color who’s going to be the lead, I think it represents our world, and I think that’s the beauty of Buffy, is that it can speak of the time of where it’s being created, and I’m really hopeful that they actually make it."
Marsters agreed. "I used to ask people on the set, 'Where is Sunnydale? Near Johannesburg?' But it was ‘90s television, and everything was right near Johannesburg," he joked.
Benson was also asked about her character's relationship with Willow, played by Alyson Hannigan. She explained that neither she nor Hannigan knew "at first that that was where the characters were going to come together." As far as she knew, she was just on board to play Willow's new friend in a couple of episodes. But people would go up to her afterward and say, “'Wow, you guys have great chemistry!'”
So creator Joss Whedon then pulled Benson aside and said: “'So, that great chemistry? You’re actually going to be taking that to the next level.'”
"I don’t think we realized the impact that that would have," Benson said. "That we were like the first real long-term lesbian relationship on network television and that it would change things. I know that Aly and I both feel so honored and blessed that we got to be a part of that."
The entire Q&A is available below. Discussion about the reboot takes place just before the 34-minute mark, while the moderator asks Benson about Tara's relationship with Willow a bit after the 37-minute mark.