During its seven-season run, the beloved ”Buffy the Vampire Slayer” series put some fang into high-school melodrama long before “Twilight” made the undead all sparkly, and one big reason was the ability of the show’s creator, Joss Whedon, to put himself in the head of his female fans. Now we’ll find out if that rapport works in the other direction as the 29-year-old Anderson works on the script for a Warner Bros. feature-film “Buffy” reboot that is moving forward without Whedon.
Anderson, with a chuckle, said she is ”fighting through” the script right now, but her concept has already engerized some key supporters. Charles Roven, one of the producers of “Batman Begins,” said his Atlas Entertainment signed on after he saw something special in Anderson’s tone and story.
“Generally, I wouldn’t have said ‘Let’s revive this,’ but Whit’s take is pretty compelling and a lot of fun, and it’s interesting to see all of this re-imagined. This is a completely new reboot. Tone is extremely important and you want the audience to realize what is at stake and the peril is real, but at the same time what’s going on should be fun and inviting and keep everyone engaged. It needs to be relevant to today, too, and that is what Whit has found a way to do.”
Roven added: “There is an active fan base eagerly awaiting this character’s return…. While this is not your high-school Buffy, she’ll be just as witty, tough and sexy as we all remember her to be.” The project has plenty of hurdles ahead, and there is no announced director, but Roven said hopes to see the film reach theaters in 2012 or perhaps even 2011.
Anderson knows that without Whedon (who is gearing up to direct “The Avengers” for Marvel Studios) the most devoted fans of the old series will be keeping a skeptical eye on this nascent revival — and sharpening their wooden stakes. Anderson, who studied theater at Northwestern and moved to Los Angeles in 2003, said she will take the touchstones of the Whedon world but frame them in “a new story” that is very much of the moment. She cited Christopher Nolan’s revival of Batman as a supreme example of how a familiar character and revered mythology can be brought to the big screen with a vital new vision.
“The thing that was so wonderful about ‘Buffy’ is what made it special was so timeless,” Anderson said. “The deep struggle she had with duty and destiny, that tug between what you’re supposed to be doing and what you want to be doing. The fate of the world is on her shoulders but some days she wakes up and she just doesn’t want to do it. And are we doomed and destined to love someone? That conflict was very interesting to me. Those are the things I loved about her and her world. She also represents — like all the heroes — something empowering for us. She’s reminds us of what we could be if we were in our top form, the best of us if we were at our very best, and even then we still see the vulnerability and doubts she has inside. That’s where we all connect.”
BACK AWAY FROM THE BUFFY.