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Web Stalker – Fan Outrage Over New Buffy Reboot!

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Do you remember the day Buffy went off the air? If not, you clearly aren’t one of the masses raising hell online over the Biggest News All Week, if not ever. (If you have to ask what news that might have been, well, there’s really no hope for you.) Let’s the rest of us all “slip into something a little more break and enterish,” shall we?

Some background for those thus far unfamiliar with the Buffy-verse: Sarah Michelle Gellar starred as the titular butt-kicker in the popular WB series, which ran from 1997 to 2003, on which she was charged with ridding the world of sundry demons, ghouls, werewolves, mutants, wraiths, bad witches, hell beasts, soul eaters and, oh yeah, vampires. Based on a middling 1992 movie starring Kristy Swanson, the series was created alt-television icon Joss Whedon, who also wrote the original movie’s screenplay but had little to do with the production, which was developed and directed Fran Rubel Kuzui and produced by her husband and business partner, Kaz Kazui.

Whedon went on to oversee the creation of the cultishly adored TV show in tandem with the Kuzuis, and quickly gained a cult following of his own. But though the whole world associated Buffy with Whedon and Whedon with Buffy, the Kuzuis retained the rights to the Buffy franchise. They just never saw fit to do anything with them after the show’s demise. Until now.

One week ago today, The Hollywood Reporter
broke the news that the Kuzuis have a new Buffy movie in the works! A
movie in which Whedon will have no part, and which features none of the
series characters (aside from Buffy herself) or cast, news that struck
fans with the force of an episode-ending stake through the heart. No,
the new Buffy movie is to be — wait for it — a “reboot.”

Is anyone else getting heartily sick of that word, along with “relaunch,” “rethinking” and “reinvention?”

To call the ensuing reaction an outcry would be a serious
understatement. “If ever there was a recipe for disaster, this is it,”
wrote the TV Squad. Cinematical concurred: “Good luck to whomever they’re bringing in to revamp this iconic chick because she or he has some big shoes to fill.” Even Perez Hilton
weighed in. “Buffy the Vampire Slayer may be making a comeback to the
big screen, but without the help of anyone who made it worth watching.”

The fan community concurred. Aggrieved comments over at Whedonesque
ranged from derision (“Made. Of. Fail.”) to disdain (“This is a
travesty!”) to flat-out denial (“I for one do not believe this.”) Note
to Whedon-ites: Sticking your fingers in your ears and chanting “I
can’t hear you, I can’t hear you, I can’t hear you” is not an effective
coping strategy.

Meanwhile, a commentator over at the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Facebook page
summed up the feelings of fellow fans the world wide web over, saying
“No Whedon? No original Buffy cast? It’s that stupid Twilight crap,
they think is somehow is better than Buffy… It’s a sick joke is what
it is. A sick joke that Hollywood is playing on us real fans.”

Approximately a billion other posts reiterated the sentiment, and some Buffy-lovers even went so far as to create a petition
(!), which says in part: “We would like to take this opportunity to
officially state that we do not support any incarnation of Buffy that
is not done expressly how Joss Whedon wants it to be done. Not only do
we oppose your intentions, but should you choose to continue without
him, we will boycott and fight against it every step of the way.” At
present there are 1100+ signatures — not too shabby.

Others made their voices heard by voting in an “Are you excited for a new Buffy movie?” poll set up by Eonline’s Uberblog, with a whopping 86% casting their votes for “No, I am enraged at the shameless corporate exploitation of Joss Whedon’s art.”

Entertainment Weekly’s Michael Ausiello weighed in
with a bait-and-switch post trumpeting “A ‘Buffy’ movie without its
maker? Joss Whedon Speaks Out!” in which he shared the following
less-than-earthshaking email exchange:

Ausiello: “What do you think about this Buffy movie they’re making without you?”
Whedon: “I hope it’s cool.”

Sigh. In any event, it appear the Kuzuis have quite the uphill
battle ahead, though it would be remiss not to mention that there’s at
least one dissenting voice in the “Save Buffy!” fray. Over at io9,
blogger Graeme McMillan boldly penned a post titled “Why Joss And Buffy
Don’t Need Each Other.” Blasphemy! His main arguments: “Joss Whedon Has
Had More Than Seven Years Of Buffy, Let Someone Else Have A Go” and
“Joss Whedon Has Had More Than Seven Years Of Buffy, Let Him Do
Something Else.”

Do I hear an angry mob of pitchfork-wielding Buffy lovers headed McMillan’s way?

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