The Buffy Reboot May Be A Revival Despite Initial Reports
by Erik Amaya
Reboots and revivals are precarious things. Some reboots must happen out of necessity — the original cast or creators may be long dead — while others emerge from more cynical places; alienating the established fanbase. Attempts to reboot Xena: Warrior Princes were met with derision when the plan included original stars Lucy Lawless and Renee O’Connor “handing off” their roles to a “new generation” of younger stars or excluding them outright. And a similar thing occurred last Friday when plans were announced for a reboot of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer.
Of course, the original reporting of the reboot made a big assumption about the nature of the series despite also reporting many details were in flux. As presented on Friday, the new series would center on an African-American version of Buffy produced by Midnight, Texas creator Monica Owusu-Breen. Buffy creator, noted feminist and lawn dart collector Joss Whedon was also said to be involved in a more distant executive producer capacity.
Fans flipped out for a number of reasons — including, it must be said, the racist reaction to the very idea a black woman playing Buffy — and it seems the legitimate fears and less-informed crowing reached Owusu-Breen, who offered her support of the original series and a clue to the nature of the new series in a Tweet on Thursday.
— monicaowusubreen (@monicabreen) July 26, 2018
The implication, of course, is that the new series will focus on a new Slayer unrelated to Buffy — at least until the inevitable cameos by original series stars and characters. It will likely utilize a similar set of characters: the reluctant Slayer, the put-upon mentor, the eager best friend and the confused, but good nature goofball along for the ride. Or maybe the characteristics will be mixed up with the slayer as the eager one and the mentor as reluctant. Or, just maybe, it will find a completely new dynamic.
The point is: no one involved actually said it was a reboot. The initial reporting first used the word. And that word is utilized imprecisely in trade publications to describe the recent continuation of shows like Will & Grace, The X-Files, and Twin Peaks as well as complete remakes like MacGyver and Magnum P.I. The fans, being the fans, use what little information is available to form an opinion.
So, for the moment, perhaps hot heads can cool down and appreciate that more Buffy is coming in some form or fashion that will not ignore what came before, but build upon the thing they love.