We still don’t know exactly what the creative team behind the new Buffy the Vampire Slayer is cooking up, but it sounds like Buffy 2.0 could be less “reboot” and more “revival.”
Monica Owusu-Breen, who is set to run the new series (which is being produced by creator Joss Whedon), said reports of a full-on reboot of the original Buffy series isn’t exactly accurate. Instead, Owusu-Breen said she grew up a fan of the original series, and wouldn’t want to try and replace the iconic characters that made up the Scooby Gang. Instead, she teased it might be time for fans to meet “a new Slayer.”
"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," Owusu-Breen wrote on Twitter. "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, 20 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."
The original Buffy the Vampire Slayer ran for seven seasons and starred Sarah Michelle Gellar, Nicholas Brendon, Alyson Hannigan, Anthony Head, James Marsters, and David Boreanaz. it spawned a hit spinoff series in Angel, and launched more than a few careers along the way (most notably series creator Whedon, who went on to direct The Avengers and Justice League). It’s also one of the most beloved and critically acclaimed genre shows to ever grace the airwaves. Whedon had a way with storytelling and dialogue that made the series fresh, innovative and poignant to the teenage experience.
Needless to say, the pressure is on for Owusu-Breen to replicate that lightning in a bottle. At least judging by her comments here, it sounds like she’s not trying to simply copy what came before. It could be that we get a modern-day revival (it has been 15 years since the original series ended, after all), with a “new Slayer” taking up the mantle. The approach would allow Buffy 2.0 to sidestep the expectations of the original while still telling a new story within that universe.
But, even that approach creates a host of new questions. Will it be set within the same continuity of the original series? Could we potentially see some original stars reprise their roles? If it is a continuation, how do you reconcile seven seasons of canon while still telling a story that’s open for new viewers? Or will it just pick up in the modern-day without acknowledging the original Buffy directly, and tell its own story in its own way
We’ve already seen characters like Faith have their own adventures in live action and comics, so there’s plenty of precedent for this franchise to have legs beyond the original Scooby Gang.
Aat this point, we simply don’t know what they’ll be doing (all we do know is the studio is looking for an actress of color for the title role) — but Owusu-Breen has made it clear she loves the original series and has every intention of honoring it. Here’s hoping she can pull it off.