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September 06 2003

An early version of the Buffy movie script. Read what Joss Whedon originally wrote.

Link via 'Buffy: An SFX special' magazine which I would recommend fans getting a hold of. A fantastic overview of the series and interviews and rare pics of the stars. Here's a teaser from Nick Brendon's interview.

According to Brendon, it was orginally intended that Xander be killed off in season 7, only to have him come back as a monster. In the end, Whedon and his posse decided that was too drastic a move and instead decided to main him by having his eye gouged out.

Here's what the original movie script looks like as a comic.

[ edited by Vamp_Insurance on 2003-09-06 00:42 ]
They made the right decision re: Xander. I would have been seriously upset if they had killed him off, and not in a "oh, no, poor Xander" kind of way. The eye-gouging was traumatic enough.
At the start I was afraid it was going to be like the movie we saw, that the Buffy we know had taken much longer for Joss to find her.

But by the end ... God that was beautiful.
yeah i didn't get the end really. but yeah, the script read really fast and well, just great. the script was not camp at all, it was surprisingly sentimental, thank god a lot of the stuff was recycled for season 1.

buffy's mom: look how chatty we are!
I just find it amusing that she wanted to marry Charlie Sheen in this version.
I'm kinda torn. One of the many things I wish could happen would be to see Joss Whedon get carte blanche and full creative control - let him tell the origin of Buffy again for the big screen from start to finish the way he'd wanna tell it. Either he could revisit his original script and hold true to it like a bible, or with over a decade of experience under his belt he could start completely from scratch.

However, doing that would perhaps diminish the greatness that is the television series itself. I mean, in hindsight, if the movie company that done Whedon's original script the way it's written (and there's a lot of remarkable differences between what he wanted to do and what made it on screen), perhaps he'd never have had the impetus to continue in the boob toob. Maybe there would have been a couple sequels of the first film and then that'd be it. Instead, we have a literal library of almost a hundred and fifty programs, each of which is roughly the equivalent to half a film, at much better quality than the original 1992 Swanson flick.

I mean, 20/20 hindsight and all that, but it turned out pretty good didn't it? All things considering. Sure the original film sucked, but had things been different, we might not have all these great dvds. =) A part of me would like to see Whedon someday tell the story of Buffy again, starting fresh, but maybe it's best to just leave well enough alone.
I know what you mean ZachsMind, re: Joss redoing to original version vs. taking away from the established series.
One thing I've always imagined is some die-hard Whedon fan and aspiring director-type deciding to do a remake of the original movie in say a decade or more. I can hear the person in the media now, 'I really want to stay true to his original vision,' 'This has been a life-long dream for me,' and stuff like that. ;)
Hey, would somebody mind filling me in on the main plot differences between the film and this screenplay? I never saw the movie, since I suspect it would only be a painful experience, but I am curious ...

And ZachsMind -- it would be really cool to see this screenplay faithfully brought to the screen, but (a) like you said, things turned out pretty good in the end :) and (b) I'd rather Joss spent his time telling new stories, either inside or outside the Buffyverse.
I tried describing differences between the screenplay, the movie, and the tv series in WhedonWiki elsewhere in this website but after re-reviewing the screenplay, I think I got some details wrong. Memory being like swiss cheese and all.
I wouldn't call the movie "a painful experience" - it's different, and less mature in places but has some fun pacing and moments ("rude much?" and "kill her A LOT") and it's not TVBuffy. But would I say it's worse than Evil Robot Jack Tripper? Probably not.

Really I think a big part of what made the tv show good was that it had a lot of hours to grow characters and plotlines. I don't care how amazing a movie is, even a series like Lord of the Rings gets only 9 hours (or 92 for the director's cuts :) to elaborate. TV's got 22 hours in the season if they want to use it all. Buffy's core stories probably utilized about 12 for the arcs, total. You just don't get to do that in a movie.

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