It’s 2018 and the 30-year-old version of me sheds a tear because the news just broke that a Buffy the Vampire Slayer reboot or sequel series is in the works from Midnight, Texas showrunner Monica Owusu-Breen. My favorite show of all time, which I have two tattoos for, is coming back!
Scripts were actively being worked on and submitted to 20th Century Fox Television and original cast members like Alyson Hannigan (Willow) and James Marsters (Spike) stated to media outlets that they would return to the series if asked. Buffy herself, Sarah Michelle Gellar, was in favor of a new incarnation but politely declined to be involved.
And then… Nothing.
I anxiously awaited more official news, but it never came. Months and years went by without a word until the bombshell news of creator Joss Whedon‘s abuse and adultery made headlines.
Numerous Buffy icons and behind-the-scenes workers – including Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia), Michelle Trachtenberg (Dawn), Emma Caulfield (Anya) and Amber Benson (Tara) – were part of a huge media blitz that highlighted Joss Whedon as a psychologically, emotionally and potentially physically abusive monster behind the camera. Their plight was highlighted and supported by other industry veterans from DC movies that worked with the disgraced director.
This hasn’t stopped Stephen Dunn from pining for a sequel series.
The showrunner and executive producer behind the Queer as Folk reboot, Whedon just threw his hat into the Buffy reboot conversation. And with Queer as Folk being such a hit on Peacock, it’s not too big of a stretch that he could helm another project that brings a dead series back to life.
Whedon recently told Express:
[Rebooting Buffy] is a dream of mine. Buffy is my lifeblood. Willow was one of my introductions to queerness outside of Queer as Folk. Queer people often find a lot of refuse in that indirect representation that can sometimes come from the scifi genre. [Scifi] is a powerful medium. I think scifi and that kind of storytelling is so steeped in queerness, despite the fact that it often hasn’t always been super obvious.
If Mr. Dunn is contacted about working on the dead Buffy the Vampire Slayer reboot, it will be interesting to see how politics affect production. I think it’s a fair statement that not a lot of people will be willing to work with and/or put money into Joss Whedon’s pocket – and he owns the rights to the source material! There is no way to greenlight this project without his involvement.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer is very near and dear to my heart. If it does return, my only hopes are that it’s half as good as the original and it’s able to reach and inspire an audience in 2023/2024 as much as it did from 1997 to 2003.