Buffy the Vampire Slayer could be making a reappearance on the big screen, but don't count on series mastermind Joss Whedon having anything to do with it.
Roy Lee and Doug Davison of production company Vertigo Entertainment are working on a Buffy relaunch in conjunction with Fran Rubel Kuzui, the director of the original 1992 movie who still holds the rights to the property through her company, Kuzui Enterprises. But Joss Whedon, the man most closely associated with the franchise, is not currently involved and while the producers have not ruled out his participation, neither have they made any efforts to bring him aboard.
The planned film would have no connection to the popular television series, meaning fan favorite supporting characters like Angel, Spike, Xander and Willow will not appear. Vertigo and Kuzui want to take another run at the franchise without "trampling on the beloved existing universe created by Whedon," the Hollywood Reporter said, describing the situation as similar to that faced by J.J. Abrams' new Star Trek film.
"It was Roy's interest in taking Buffy into a new place that grabbed us," Kuzui said. "It was based on our respect for what he does, and his particular sensitivity to Asian filmmakers, that we wanted to work with him." Lee has numerous movies to his credit as a producer but is probably best known for bringing Asian horror films like The Ring, The Grudge and The Uninvited to North American audiences.
Whedon wrote the screenplay for the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer film but was dissatisfied with the final product, which he felt had been forced away from his original vision by commercial concerns. Despite that, he was brought back for the Buffy television series, which he said was truer to his concept for the movie and was also a far more successful venture despite its darker overall tone.
Lee, Davison and Kuzui are holding meetings with writers and while the project does not yet have a home, Kuzui sounded confident that it would go ahead. "Everything has its moment," she said. "Every movie takes on a life at some point, and this seems like the moment to do this."