There was a bit of a shock last week, when 20th Century Fox Television announced, almost out of the blue, the vaguely rumored talks of a Buffy revival were real. It turned out series creator Joss Whedon had been in talks about it with FOX as early as last fall after the 20th-anniversary celebration showed there was still a devoted fandom. But could (and should) the show be revived? Times have changed, and the show would need to evolve with them. Those fears are being put to rest, with Buffy the Vampire Slayer reboot writer Monica Owusu-Breen releasing a statement defining what the new show will be.
One thing should be made clear here: Joss Whedon, who created the original Buffy TV series isn't going to be heading up the project, Owusu-Breen is. (Whedon has committed to The Nevers at HBO and his schedule won't allow both.) Owusu-Breen is an African American television producer and screenwriter whose career spans decades, starting with Alias back in 2003, and running through to her current job at Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC, where she is co-executive producer.
As such, her vision is different from that of what Whedon might have come up with. This is not straight Buffy reboot, set in the same period with the same characters played by different actors.
Instead, Owusu-Breen sees it, (to borrow a title from Star Trek), as Buffy: The Next Generation.
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.
This is the first precise definition of what was meant when The Hollywood Reporter said: "Producers Fox 21 TV Studios will pitch the Buffy redo." One can understand where the confusion came from "A Buffy Redo" certainly sounds like they plan to recast the characters and bring back the same show.
But instead, it seems like the show 20th Century Fox Television will be creating is an all-new one. Instead of referring to the new show as Buffy, perhaps it would be better if fans thought of these shows collectively as "...The Vampire Slayer" series.
Either way, the show isn't coming tomorrow. As The Hollywood Reporter said when the news dropped, it is in the pitch stage. The production house is looking for a network that might be interested in picking it up. Will The CW bite once more on the show that helped launch their network? Or will the Disney-FOX merger make ABC see the show as an attractive in-house-production-to-be?