I remember watching the first episode Buffy: The Vampire Slayer. I was immediately hooked on the girl-fights-Hellmouth TV series and tuned in every week to catch up with the adventures of Willow, Xander, Angel, Giles and the rest of the gang. At first I avoided the original movie, but after realizing it was written by Joss Whedon I watched it. After all, if Whedon put his creative mark on it then I could accept it as part of the Buffy story.
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I’ve gone on since then to absorb all Whedon materials. While I’ll always think Firefly is better than Angel which is slightly better than Buffy, that doesn’t mean I’m not a fan of the show or that I didn’t wish that season eight of The Vampire Slayer took place in film or TV form instead of comic book form. I still think Buffy was one of the best programs to air on network television – but as much as I miss it, if any rebooted version doesn’t have Whedon involved in it then I don’t think it should be made.
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Whit Anderson is living the fangirl fantasy by converting her version of the Buffy chronicles into a big screen adaptation for Warner Bros., and while I don’t want to take away her dream, it just doesn’t seem right. She pointed out to the LA Times that we fans should give her slack – after all Christopher Nolan’s rebooted Batman series was able to satisfy new and old viewers. The big difference between rebooted Batman and trying to recreate Buffy is Batman is a franchise that has gone through the hands of different writers, directors and illustrators, just like most comic book characters. It is okay to re-imagine him with different creative eyes because that is how the story has always existed. Buffy hasn’t existed in that way; every iteration has always been helmed in some part by the series’ creator.
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Even worse is Anderson’s plan to not make this “your high-school Buffy.” Part of the charm of Buffy Summers was she was your average high school (and eventually college) student, except she had kick ass martial arts skills and awesome weaponry. Every girl could imagine herself being a slayer, because Buffy went through the same problems we went through every day – well, minus the vampires and evil creatures always trying to break through into the mortal realm. Taking the slayer out of Sunnydale and re-inventing her character without the hand of the man who created her in the first place is dangerous territory.