For all of you Buffy fans out there, your wildest dreams are about to come true... and it's your worst nightmare. The director and producer of the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie are getting ready to relaunch the franchise minus Angel, Willow, Xander, Spike and (believe it or not) Joss Whedon. The new film would have no connection to the TV series, to avoid trampling on Whedon's vision, and would be darker, event-sized and, they hope, franchise-worthy. They've even teamed up with Asian-horror remake king Roy Lee (The Grudge, The Ring, The Eye, The Strangers) to make sure it has the appropriately creepy (and, apparently, Asian) vibe. While I love Joss Whedon, I also love the idea of a teenage girl killing vampires, so I'd be happy to see someone try a new take on Buffy... as long as it's my take. Here's my helpful (mandatory) guide to how they should do it.
Obviously, a movie called Buffy the Vampire Slayer needs to focus on Buffy herself, and the name "Buffy" comes with certain connotations. So we can expect the basic story to not change very much: rich, spoiled cheerleader-type is chosen to fight vampires, for some reason. But will the movie go the comedy route, a la the original? Doubtful, since the rights owners like Lee's idea of taking Buffy to a "new place." Besides, why try to do comedy again, when nothing you can do will live up to the shining example Joss Whedon has set for you? We'd like to see a movie that delivers non-stop action and a healthy dose of horror, two elements that took a back seat to the angst-comedy combo of previous incarnations. By taking it the route of an Underworld or Resident Evil, they've at least got a shot at a three-picture deal.
Hopefully, 1992 Buffy director Fran Rubel Kuzui won't be stepping back behind the camera, since that film was the last (and pretty much only) thing she ever directed. Lee may want to get some of his J-horror directors involved, but if they're trying to turn this into an action franchise, we'd look at the directors who deliver the best action. Doug Liman, who helmed the first Bourne film, as well as Jumper and Mr. & Mrs. Smith, might be good for giving the movie a hyperkinetic feel. Hell, get any of the directors of the Transporter franchise -- Corey Yuen (Transporter 1, DOA), Louis Leterrier (Transporter 2, Incredible Hulk) or Olivier Megaton (Transporter 3) -- and you'll have a martial arts extravaganza, with more vamp-fu than you can shake a stick at.
How do you solve a problem like Buffy? No offense to O.B. Kristy Swanson, but Sarah Michelle Gellar is Buffy, and all future Buffys will be compared to her. So right away, I'm gonna say, "Don't go blonde." Sorry, Hayden Panettiere, but surely not all rich, spoiled girls named Buffy are blonde -- although I have to wonder how many girls named "Buffy" have even been born since the original movie came out. The Hollywood Reporter is already throwing out actress names like Megan Fox and Kristen Stewart, but if this thing is gonna be a franchise, we need to get the girl when she's young and hasn't already signed on to a vampire franchise. It's entirely possible that the next Buffy hasn't even been in a film yet, but if we had to pick, Daveigh Chase of Big Love and S. Darko seems fairly morose, and freaked us out a little in the latter, and we think her dance moves as a member of Sparkle Motion could translate well to anti-vamp martial arts.
What do you guys think? Worst news in the history of ever? Or just unfortunate? Let the Powers That Be know below.