A new series in the Buffy universe is in the early stages of development over at Fox, according to a report by The Hollywood Reporter. The news blew up in early August, and a few scant details have continued to to trickle out ever since. The show raises a lot of questions for fans, especially since Buffy has one of the most dedicated and discerning fandoms on the Internet today.
There is a lot of information to keep track of in big deals like this, and unfortunately at this stage, things can shift at a moment's notice. Still, it is worth tracking the developments and watching them for signs of a shake up — whether you're itching for the Buffy revival or dreading it.
Here's a break down of everything we know so far about the new Buffy series.
Slide a New Slayer
For starters, we can say with some certainty that this will not be a "reboot" of Buffy, but a "sequel." This means that the new show will feature a whole new character in the role of the slayer, possibly even following in Buffy's footsteps. The Hollywood Reporter article specifically noted that the new series "will be contemporary and build on the mythology of the original."
Early reports also suggest that the new slayer will be black, as the show strives for more representation in its cast and characters.prevnext
The new show has been identified as "contemporary," meaning that it will most likely take place in some version of the present. This means that it will have been a decade and a half since Buffy's old adventures ended within the show. Although, the time lapse also creates room for the lauded comic books which followed the original series to be counted as canon, as well as the spin-off series Angel.prevnext
Naturally, one of the first questions many people will ask is whether original series creator Joss Whedon is involved in the new show. THR reported that Whedon will be an executive producer on the show, but he will not be writing it nor will he be the showrunner. Whedon has shown some contempt for Hollywood's reboot and revival fixations. Just last year, he told the outlet that he thought the shows had an even harder time making an impact than originals.
"I see a little bit of what I call monkey's paw in these reboots," he said. "You bring something back, and even if it's exactly as good as it was, the experience can't be. You've already experienced it, and part of what was great was going through it for the first time. You have to meet expectations and adjust it for the climate, which is not easy. Luckily most of my actors still look wonderful, but I'm not worried about them being creaky. I'm more worried about me being creaky as a storyteller. You don't want that feeling that you should have left before the encore."prevnext
This time around, the showrunner on Fox's new Slayer series will be Monica Osuwu-Breen. Osuwu-Breen is also writing the script for the first episode. She is best-known for her work on shows like Alias and Lost, and she worked closely with Whedon on Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. After the Buffy announcement, she posted about how much the original series meant to her on Twitter.
"For some genre writers, it's Star Wars. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is my Star Wars. Before I became a writer, I was a fan. For seven seasons, I watched Buffy Summers grow up, find love, kill that love. I watched her fight, and struggle and slay," she explained.prevnext
A big focus of the new Slayer series is apparently representation. The original show was considered a trailblazer in terms of feminism, with Buffy still representing an iconic female hero to this day. Still, the cast was almost entirely white, and the new show will attempt to fix that.prevnext
Given the time skip, the new series could easily incorporate much the original cast for cameos, guest appearances or even recurring roles if it fit within the story. The show launched the careers of actors like Alyson Hannigan, David Boreanaz and Seth Green. However, deciding who could come back would depend on what the new show keeps as part of its established mythos.prevnext
The new show will be tasked with the daunting task of creating a solid Buffy the Vampire Slayer canon. The original series ended with season 7. After that, a spin-off series called Angel went on without its titular character. However, before long a number of comic books hit the shelves, and at times they clashed with the stories in Angel.
On top of that, the comics incorporated all kinds of supernatural elements that were unrealistic for TV — including the power of flight, a character without skin and all kinds of large-scale world-altering events. Even if long-time fans oppose the revival, they will have to keep an eye on it just to see what the official canon dictates.prevnext
Perhaps the saddest news is that there is no definitive date for the Slayer revival premiere yet. The show is still in the very early stages of development at 20th Century Fox, and while some important deals have seemingly been closed concerning Whedon and Osuwu-Breen, there is nothing on the books yet about getting the show up and running. Before that, we should expect casting announcements and all kinds of other details. At this point, it seems ambitious to hope that the Slayer revival will be on TV by the end of 2020.prev