Joss Whedon won't be "left to his pain" so much after this little "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" development. Warner Bros. has been made to seem like the Big Bad Guy in this situation when they chose to reboot "Buffy" without the involvement of Whedon, who wrote the screenplay for the original feature film and spearheaded the TV series.
Turns out Whedon actually was offered the first opportunity for a "Buffy" reboot, though -- at least that the tune WB insiders are singing -- which kind of takes away from our little Whedon pity fest. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Whedon decided to pass on the film because he'd rather work on other projects (read: "The Avengers") and it was only then that producers turned to unknown writer Whit Anderson. She came up with a version of the myth that captured the studios' attention, and Warner Bros. decided to go forward with the project even without Whedon.
Some have criticized Whedon for not taking the "Buffy" project when he had the chance, but considering he already spent six years working on the TV series and many more working on the comic books, I think it's understandable that he chose not to participate in the film. But the public outlook up until this point is that he was never contacted to work on the film, and I think it's a little inappropriate that Whedon never took the time to clarify that he passed the opportunity up.
Previously, Whedon had said that, "I always hoped that Buffy would live on even after my death. But, you know, AFTER. I don't love the idea of my creation in other hands, but I'm also well aware that many more hands than mine went into making that show what it was. And there is no legal grounds for doing anything other than sighing audibly. I can't wish people who are passionate about my little myth ill."
Whedon probably asked "Buffy" rightsholder Fran Rubel Kuzui, who originally came to him to ask him to work on a film, not to pursue turning the film into a movie after he turned the opportunity down. Again, I think Whedon was in the right to not make the film, but he definitely should have been the person to come forward and say that he was approached to be involved with the "Buffy" movie instead of letting "studio insiders" try to cover their tracks.
Does knowing Whedon was approached with the "Buffy" movie change your opinion on it?