Back in the early nineties, director Fran Rubel Kuzui bought a script from an unknown Roseanne writer named Joss Whedon. The result was the 1992 movie Buffy the Vampire Slayer, starring Kristy Swanson, Luke Perry, and Pee-Wee Herman, a kitschy flop.
Five years later Whedon brought Buffy to TV, and the rest is history -- solid ratings, critical acclaim, and the most rabid fan base this side of a Star Trek convention. Buffy ended in 2003, and fans have been clamoring for a return to the screen since. So when Kuzui announced that she'd be rebooting Buffy that should have been good news. Unfortunately, her plan is pretty much the worst idea ever: She's doing it on her own, with no connection to the series.
Here are five reasons why there's no way this is going to work.
1. No Joss Whedon
It's hard to deny the Whedon factor. A girl who'd rather be stressing about the prom, but it just so happens she's destined to be a vampire killer? The concept itself isn't instant magic (sounds like the pitch for a Troma flick), it's what Whedon did with it. He wrote the best episodes of Buffy, and tea-leaf readers say they can see his hand even in the good ones where he doesn't get a credit. Take him out of the mix, and this could easily be like Charmed. Which, in case you haven't seen it, sucked.
2. No Actors From the TV Show
No Sarah Michelle Gellar, no Alyson Hannigan, no Nicholas Brendon, no Anthony Head. And fine, reboots often dump the original cast without losing the fans (see: Star Trek), but like FDR polio jokes in the '50s, this is definitely "too soon."
3. No Characters From the TV Show
Even if the fans could be won over with different actors, the word is already out that she won't be using any characters from the series: no Angel, no Xander, no Willow, no Spike. Which, with the movie making just $16 million and checking in with a whopping 32% on ye olde tomatometer, means this is like taking all the crappy stuff from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, without any of the good stuff.
4. An Inexperienced Director
The only other thing Kuzui's directed was a 1988 movie called Tokyo Pop, about an American girl who goes to Japan to become a bubblegum pop star. Ever heard of it? Me neither. Sure, she's credited as an executive producer on all the seasons of Buffy and Angel, but five bucks says that's a leftover of the deal she signed when she bought the original script rather than anything to do with creative content.
5. The Fans Will Explode
Usually, the idea behind a reboot is to make something that people will see because they liked the original. You know, because there are fans. And Buffy fans are legion and loyal, fueling a cottage industry of comic books, videogames, Hot Topic t-shirts, and more than sixty novels. But even a quick look at fansites like Whedonesque turns up quotes like "I feel like I might vomit" and "This is just an absolute nightmare."
So Kuzui's remaking a movie without using the writer, actors, or characters that made the franchise so popular, guaranteeing that she'll scare off the hordes of rabid fans that make the whole idea feasible in the first place. What could go wrong?