Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Mendelson's Memos 500th post! Today's brilliantly boneheaded idea - a remake/reboot/re-something of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

One feature film. Seven years worth of television. Five years worth of closely related spin-off television. Countless comic books. What ideas can a new movie, starting from scratch, possibly explore that Joss Whedon and his merry bunch haven't already dealt with? Apparently the original minds behind the first Buffy the Vampire Slayer property think there's something to be mined, because they are apparently off to remake-ville.

How much darker can you make this property, aside from just turning it into a gore-filled R-rated slasher film? Why make a point to avoid the sort of tangled mythology and rich continuity that made the show strong in the first place? What possible success can come out of rebooting a series whose fans are so insanely loyal to the original cast and crew that they will likely boycott your product on principal?

Regardless of your feelings toward remakes or reboots, this is a stunningly miscalculated idea. The reason that Buffy the Vampire Slayer is so respected as a property is because of the people behind and in front of the camera. Fans couldn't care less about the idea per se of a former California cheerleader turned ass-kicking vampire hunter (at least I didn't). It was all in the execution. Whedon and company used the trappings to create a rich mythology, uncommonly vivid characters, and potent social commentary that rarely got in the way of the storytelling.

And, frankly, the very fans that would theoretically line up for a new Buffy movie are just the sort to take this news the worst. Buffy fans are on par with Trekkies, and it took forty-years for Star Trek fans to be accommodating for a redo of their favorite series. This just seems contradictory in logic. Like Star Trek, the basic premise (Stage Coach in space) wasn't what made the show an iconic piece of 1960s culture, but rather the execution and the characters that inhabited said universe. The various spin offs had the luxury of being created by or approved by the original creators, thus giving them the breathing room to establish new characters in the same universe. I can't imagine that this will do any better than the several 'vampire with a soul' TV shows that have been attempted (the new Dark Shadows, Vampire Diaries, Moonlight) in the wake of Angel's cancellation.

Basically, I'm guessing that Fran Rubel Kuzui (the director of the first film and original executive producer of the series) doesn't own the rights to any other properties and haven't had much luck getting other projects off the ground. So, since everyone's gotta eat, she is trying to cash in on the one chip she has. I'm sympathetic, but this is just a silly idea. I'm not saying it will flop, but I can't imagine what it can bring to the table (besides amped-up action, more explicit sexuality, and more graphic violence) that the Scooby Gang hasn't already explored.

And, come what may, it's only been six years people!

Scott Mendelson

1 comment:

Kyle Leaman said...

Congrats on the 500th Post!


Related Posts with Thumbnails