20th Century Fox Television has confirmed that a Buffy the Vampire Slayer reboot series will be developed. Let’s take a look at arguments in favor of the Buffy reboot, as well as some counterarguments.
Buffy may be back, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a good thing. In an industry driven by quick and easy money, studios are turning more and more to reviving the proven series of the past. That usually means one thing, it’s only a matter of time before your favorite show gets a reboot.
In March, Fox TV chair Gary Newman hinted that the company was interested in a new Buffy series but wouldn’t give a timeline. Then, there were questions about Whedon’s involvement and some fans were uncertain if a reboot was even necessary, something Charmed fans understand very well.
When the CW announced that there would be a series reboot, many fans lashed out on social media to vent their frustration. It seemed like the big studios wouldn’t let a good thing remain in the past, and there was a fear that Charmed would lose its magic.
However, the CW premiered the pilot episode of Charmed to audiences at San Diego Comic-Con this year and there are murmurs that the new series might appease fans. The pilot featured female empowerment, fighting sexual harassment, and LGBTQ representation. The subject matter that made the show so relevant when it originally premiered has stuck around and maybe some fans will be enticed by those decisions.
The Charmed reboot has yet to win over everyone, however, and a Buffy reboot can expect similar growing pains.
According to a report with Hollywood Reporter, Buffy the Vampire Slayer has earned itself a reboot with an undetermined release date. While not much is known about the new show, creator Joss Whedon will return in an executive producer role and Monica Owusu-Breen will pen the new series.
With any reboot, there is a mixture of hope and fear. You hope that the series lives up to your expectations, but you also are afraid that the original series will be ruined by a cheesy revival. So, here a few arguments in favor of a Buffy reboot, and the counterarguments for each.
It’s about time
If there were any time to reboot the Buffy franchise, it would be now. It has been more than 10 years since the final episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and fans want to see what she will do next. There will always be an argument in favor of reviving a socially relevant series in our political climate.
As the United States tears itself apart because of politics and people become more and more divided, a powerful character like Buffy might be exactly what people need. For many, her strong character was a beacon of hope and exemplified the good we are all capable of. If done right, the reboot can inspire a lot of young people to look beyond the darker times we are currently facing.
On the other end of the spectrum, however, it is never the right time for a reboot because reboots are not worth it. If you are like me, then you probably cringe every time you hear the word. More often than not, it means a reiteration of what was already told but aimed at a new audience.
Also, it’s more difficult to immerse yourself in a world for a second time. We are familiar with it and the stories being told, so it’s easy for it to become mundane. I had that problem when I was watching The Incredibles 2. Even though I understood it was a great movie, I found it difficult to remain engaged with and care about the characters. That’s a real fear for fans of Buffy right now, can the series remain relevant.
Representation and diversity
Though details about the story are unknown, it will not be a continuation of the old series and will feature a black actress fulfilling the role of Buffy. Sources with the Hollywood Reporter have also said that the new series will build on the original and be diverse. It’s always a good sign if a series or movie wants to express diversity, whether it be in their cast or their stories.
If Buffy can be representative of the world we live in, I will be on-board with the series and I think a lot of fans will be too. Of course, the show originally broke boundaries with a prominent female lead and the new series has a lot to live up to. Importantly, diversity and representation has to extend beyond the titular role.
The counterargument here is dependent on the decision to cast a black actress as Buffy. Similar to the push to have a non-white James Bond, there is a concern that this is a form of tokenism in the industry. Recasting a formerly white role in favor of a black woman (for example) is not inherently a negative thing, it’s just something that producers have to be aware of.
Many people in Hollywood love to see these types of casting decisions, and that’s understandable. There is another worldview that would advocate for new roles being written for a non-white lead, rather than just replacing white characters. With that being said, it can be good and it will be something to pay attention to. Personally, concerns of mine will fade if other prominent roles in Buffy are given to a diverse range of actors.
Let’s wait and see.
To be honest, there are very few details about the Buffy series. It’s hard to make a judgment call without knowing what direction Whedon and Breen are taking the series. As far as the production goes, it seems like very little is official as of now. So, we should just give it some time to decide how we feel.
The relative success of Buffy spin-offs might be a good sign for this reboot. The original movie was released in 1992 featuring Kristy Swanson as Buffy and Donald Sutherland as Merrick. The follow-up series ran for a total of seven seasons and inspired the spin-off Angel and a comic book series. A precedent has been set for this franchise, and the potential is there.
It is unclear how involved Whedon will be in the writing process but Breen has worked alongside him on Agents of SHIELD. Also executive producing are the former producers of the Buffy movie Gail Berman, Joe Earley, Fran Kazui and Kaz Kazui. Those involved have some familiarity with the source material and each other, which is another good sign and a reason to give the reboot some time before judging.
A network is not yet attached to the script but Fox is expected to pitch the series in the coming months.
The “Buffyverse” is wide and diverse, so a reboot has some potential. With Joss Whedon back to oversee the project, fans might expect another hit.
Are you excited for the Buffy reboot? Or, do you think the series should be left alone? Let me know in the comment section below!