One of my favorite presents from last Christmas was a copy of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Long Way Home, which was the first chapter in the ongoing "Season Eight," a continuation of the tv series in comic book form. I was eager and curious to see how characters I had known and loved had progressed since the destruction of Sunnydale, but I was also a bit worried. Would the things I had loved about the show translate over into comic form? God knows I'd seen some horrific adaptations in my day. Did Joss Whedon still have the touch?
Happily, he did. It was like meeting old friends again (though I'm still pissed about Anya getting killed off in the last episode of the show). Jokes, terror, one-liners, and head kicks were served up in their proper portion sizes as Whedon once again showed that he knew how to keep me both entertained and guessing.
So you can imagine my surprise when I learned that, though he is credited as Buffy's creator, Whedon doesn't actually own the rights to the Buffy franchise.
That honor belongs to Fran Rubel Kazui and her husband, Kaz. As you've no doubt heard from the wailing and gnashing of teeth of fans of the series, they plan to do a movie relaunch of the franchise without Whedon or any aspect of tv's "Buffyverse."
That is to say, no Angel, no Willow, no Xander, no Spike. No Giles, no Drusilla, no Cordelia, no Oz, no nobody, no how.
It's probably clear from my tone that I think that as ideas go, this one sucks more than every vampire on the show put together. I know, the Kazuis probably saw all of that Twilight money and decided that they wanted some of that cash flow, and figured that their original movie was at least as bad as Stephenie Meyer's bestselling literary turds. They probably felt entitled.
Oh, and that original movie? The 1992 damp squib that disappeared from the box office like a vampire in sunlight? Fran directed it.
Suffice to say that I don't think the current rights holders have their fingers on the pulse of what will sell.