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May 27 2009

Variety has more on the Buffy reboot movie. Vertigo principal Roy Lee says "Now seems like the right time, studios are looking for a franchise and vampires are relevant again" and "as a producer, I'm just trying to find a movie the studios want to make. It seems the core concept is the way to go".

I was just posting this. Vampires are relevant again? Ahahahaha. $$$!
"I'm all about money. If I can ride the coat tails of a trend, then I might make money. I really couldn't give two shakes about anything else, I'll strike while the iron is hot"
Bloodsucking fiends. And I don't mean those vampires.
I've just been checking on trademarks for BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER with the US patent office. Although there's a lot (26), they all seem to be for the logo. Nothing referencing logo in a movie, either.
Ok, "vampires are relevant again" is still boggling me. Relevant?
Twilight. I actually feel bad about writing this now last year.
"Twilight made a shitload of money, I want some and can't be bothered coming up with something new."

There you go. No need to read the article now.
Apologies if this has already been brought up in the 550 post plus thread further down (I tried reading it all, honest) but given that the basic point of this article is actually true, that being that vampires are hot property right now, wouldn't now be a good time for Joss to be pushing his own version of a Buffy movie? I mean, it seems that this proposal is being taken quite seriously as having the potential to go ahead so surely a version that had the Whedon name attached to it would have equal, if not greater, chance of happening?

Just seems to me like we've been under the impression that a Buffy movie happening at all is unlikely and now this story comes along and it's suddenly possible? Naturally the version we want involves Joss, Sarah and the rest all being willing to reprise their roles but if they were up for it then is now not the perfect opportunity for those talks to happen?
This is what gives fans a bad name. I'm sorry, but it's true. Everyone's quick to jump on the bandwagon bashing the executives for thinking about profit, and I'll agree it's frustrating and isn't the best way to produce good material, but it's also their job. Everyone involved so far, as far as I can see, has every right to do what they're doing, and just because we as fans may not like the result is no reason to trivialize their responses. He makes a good point - vampires -are- relevant to the target audience now, much more than they would have been three to five years ago.

Also, assuming you've all read the same 'interview' link posted here that I did, Joss isn't bothered; so I don't think we should be, either.
I'm not even sure Joss wants to do it right now, let alone the cast RockManic. They're all awful busy on new projects.

captainforehead, this isn't execs at Fox trying to set up another Buffy movie. It's people who, frankly, are trying to profit on something who probably shouldn't be. This isn't about giving the Buffy fans what they want. It's about milking a commercial property. That's not a creative story I want to see.

[ edited by gossi on 2009-05-27 13:21 ]
Bloodsucking fiends. And I don't mean those vampires.


Paint A Vulgar Picture keeps going through my head.
Can I just say one thing?
Excellent tags, Simon!
gossi, I understand what you're saying, but frankly as far as I can see they have every right to do this. The Kuzuis didn't come by the rights by money or some underhanded deal, as far as I understand it they helped the story of Buffy see the light of day in the first place. As inextricable as Joss has been to Buffy up until now, I really don't understand why a fresh look at a versatile creative concept has everyone so up in arms, if you think about it rationally.

And once again I state that "milking a commercial product", as you put it, is the job of these people. We all have to make money somehow, and I think it's unfair to criticize these people for making the best of an opportunity to do their jobs. And to be blunt, the job of nearly everyone in gainful employment is to make money, not to cater to others regardless of profit. It's not nice, and it's not the way things should be, but that's how it is for everyone, I believe.

[ edited by captainforehead on 2009-05-27 13:33 ]

[ edited by captainforehead on 2009-05-27 13:33 ]
The tags made me laugh out loud.

The patent office would be the wrong place to look. Protections occur as copyright, patent, trademark and trade secret; it seems the likeliest protection here would be as a trademark (like Disney with Mickey Mouse). Copyright is for fixed expression, such as scripts, etc. Patents are for inventions that are novel and new, etc.

As I read the Variety article, it seems that the people doing this are not even really interested in the movie as a movie, just as another commodity. This'll never happen.

[ edited by Dana5140 on 2009-05-27 15:44 ]
I really don't understand why a fresh look at a versatile creative concept has everyone so up in arms,


Because it stinks of a a cheap shoddy cash-in and a cynical effort to make money off Joss, Mutant Enemy, the cast and 20th Century Fox's backs. There's no love for the character or the franchise here.
I see what they're doing, I understand why they're doing it, but that doesn't mean I like it. At all.

They may not have come by the rights in an underhanded manner, but I'm tired of living in the decade of the remake/reimagining. I care more about Buffy than I do Friday the 13th or Texas Chainsaw Massacre or 90210, but on a whole it really grates my cheese the way people in the entertainment industry continue to cash in on properties that aren't even cold yet.
it seems that the people doing this are not even really interested in the movie as a movie, just as another commodity

Dana, the production company (Vertigo) is a movie production company. They've hooked up with Kuzui Enterprises, who (say) they own the BUFFY rights. Vertigo have also hooked up recently with 20th Century Fox. And SMG. For seperate projects, but still, my alarm bells are going off all over the map with this one. 20th wouldn't be stupid enough. Surely.
I'm not trying to argue or be antagonistic in any way, it's just that after thinking about it I can't understand how a new film, regardless of how it may turn out (or even less relevant, the intent behind it) will affect your enjoyment of everything that has come before. I understand disliking the concept, even being offended, but some of the blatant personal insults (not in this thread especially, but others) against the people involved in this and ridiculous suggestions like organizing a fan effort against this project have really made me disappointed in the fandom.

If you don't like the idea, don't support it, but there's no reason for anyone to attack a project like this or the people behind it.
And not only that, but cash in on them in such an obviously money-grubbing way. This never, ever ends well. In my particular day niche, namely writing knitting books and doing related work, a few years ago yarn store owners everywhere decided fun fur scarves were so incredibly AWESOME that they should stock up on thousands of dollars' worth of cheap, shoddy plastic novelty yarn. Publishers realized OH MY GOD, KNITTING IS HOT, QUICK! WE NEED TO DO A KNITTING BOOK NOW NOW NOW. They threw money at anyone they saw holding pointy sticks. One of them may have been someone eating sushi for lunch, who can say? A thousand knitting books came out, and many of them were total crap.

A few years later, yarn stores everywhere have dusty piles of cheap scarf yarn taking up space on their sale tables, and the publishers aren't quite as crazy for knitting books anymore.

So. For "cheap scarf yarn," insert "crappy movie reboot real knitters...ummm, Buffy fans...don't care about" and for "publishers" insert "production companies intent on cashing in on this vampire thing" and you've got pretty much the same situation. It sucked in my day job and it's gonna suck here.

[ edited by knitgrrl on 2009-05-27 13:50 ]
Irrespective of who owns a property, rights in specific areas can and are sold or licensed to different people.
JK Rowling owns the rights to Harry Potter. But she sold the movie rights to a studio. Once she did that she no longer had the right to make a HP movie. The studio did.

Without knowing who owns what and who has sold/assigned/licensed what to who we are just speculating.

But it's clear that the Kuzui's did own the movie rights (They made the first movie) and it's clear that they, and Vertigo, believe they won the rights today. Add the fact that Fox have not publicly slapped them down or threatened legal action and it looks more and more like the Kuzui's really do own the movie rights.

If so then Fox may be unable to make a movie without the Kuzui's. Maybe the Kuzui's want lots of money from Fox to let them make a Buffy movie and this is their way of putting pressure on Fox?
I'm not even sure Joss wants to do it right now, let alone the cast RockManic. They're all awful busy on new projects.


Oh, I'm not saying that they necessarily do, gossi. My question is based on the assumption that they would be though.

It just seems to me that if it was my work that someone was planning on rebooting without my help or consent (regardless of there being no legal requirement side of the issue) I'd kinda want to see what I could do about getting in there first, y'know? If there was suddenly a chance that a Buffy movie could realistically happen then I'd want to be the one writing it and getting the rewards and credit that I deserved.

I said in the first thread that as fans I don't really think this movie being made should bother us all that much. We simply don't watch it if we don't want to. If I was Joss however, I'd have an entirely different viewpoint right now and it wouldn't be quite so rational.
Well, for once, I am baffled at the level of honesty of someone in the movie business ! Admitting that easily that you don't give a rat's ass about the franchise, and that you would have done Teletubbies in space if the last big success had been Sesame Street against the martians, it takes a lot of guts (or greed).
Please let them talk to writers from the series, that's our only hope at this point. Jane Espenson is not really available I guess, but Drew Goddard or Marti Noxon would be as awesome. I think fan action should try to go this way.
Maybe the Kuzui's want lots of money from Fox to let them make a Buffy movie and this is their way of putting pressure on Fox?


The thought has crossed my mind. 20th Century Fox do make a fair bit from the franchise and I would doubt they would want anything to devalue it. I was also wondering if the vehement fan (and media) backlash has had an impact.
captainforehead, I understand all that, myself. But if you could take a viable concept with a (very) active, existing fanbase and make money off it by actually catering to that existing fanbase, why alienate that fanbase instead by taking the "reimagining" step right out of the box? Most of Hollywood's "reimagined" projects have been total drek. I'd think they'd at least have opened talks with some kind of "Hey, we're interested in doing something with 'Buffy, the Vampire slayer', and we're looking at different ways we could approach this." Instead, this whole thing looks like, "Hey, 'Buffy' is still a potential moneymaker. This is a good time for us to cash in on it, but we're going to throw out everything that's been developed in the story so far and do our version. Fuck that, 'cause, y'know, that's Old Stuff, and we don't care about it or the existing fanbase."
Here's what anyone who says "why not a Buffy Buffy movie?" is missing. They want a reboot to avoid casual moviegoers saying "I haven't seen Buffy, so I'll pass." It has to be a reboot for them to have a chance at a big time payday. AFAIK the Kuzui's still do have the movie rights - and, hey, they may yet approach Joss and he may agree that a reboot movie is a good idea. Or it may not happen at all, no one knows yet.
The Buffy movie sucked (and not in a good way) big time and the Kuzuis were mainly responsible for that. I doubt if they would be able to make anything evenly remotely decent without Joss, so I suggest that we all stop talking about it, ignore it and it will go away ;-)
Or it may happen and be terrible.

By keeping the Kuzui's on board - which they have - they can stick in the trailers "From the producers of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER". Factually true, for both the movie and the TV show.
Yeah, it could go either way, I'm not denying that.
Gossi: I actually feel bad about writing this now last year.

By keeping the Kuzui's on board - which they have - they can stick in the trailers "From the producers of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER". Factually true, for both the movie and the TV show.


Please gossi, stop fueling these people ;)
But seriously, damn that's a grim prospect.
Gossi, you have mentioned a couple of times in threads relating to this subject that we can make a link between Vertigo Entertainment and SMG, presumably because of ‘The Grudge’ and the still unreleased ‘Possession’. From a comment like, “Vertigo have also hooked up recently with 20th Century Fox. And SMG. For separate projects, but still, my alarm bells are going off all over the map with this one. 20th wouldn't be stupid enough. Surely,” I get the impression you wonder if Gellar is somehow involved (or could become involved) in all of this. Have I misunderstood what you mean? Surely, none of us would believe that for a second?

[ edited by alien lanes on 2009-05-27 14:16 ]
The Buffy movie sucked (and not in a good way) big time and the Kuzuis were mainly responsible for that.

Without them the movie would very likely never have been made.
So they are also responsible for Joss being able to do the Buffy TV series, Angel, the Comics etc. Without the movie I doubt Fox would have let him do the show.
"My 4000th entry had to be about this?"

To misquote the end of Becoming Part Two: Ohh, Si needs a hug.
I have no problem with the idea of a Buffy reboot, not even one without Joss attached. Lot's of problems with this particular project and the people behind however:

I agree the Kuzui's deserve some credit for their work in making Buffy happen, but the shamelessness and the total lack of gratetude or care for the man that made the name Buffy (which is all that they're going to use) what it is, by people who have already gotten paid so much for doing relatively little is still upsetting. I'm actually quite upset by the mere realisation that the copyrights management system is so botched that someone as talented as Joss has to sign away all this rights to get a movie made. The fact that something as damaging as this can get made and stuff like Once more with feeling screenings gets torpedoed is kinda depressing.

This is done so obviously without any care for the artistic qualities of the product, it's just a quick way to score some bucks on the supposed vampire hype, there's no care whatsoever for the way it can damage the Buffy brand name.

And then there also is the fact that this not a Buffy movie in any way: it's like selling apple-pie without the apple and the pie. I imagine a lot of Buffy fans will go and see it and will be dissapointed: in my book it's basically just a fraud.
zz9, that may be true but let's not give them too much credit!
The patent office would be the wrong place to look. Protections occur as copyright, patent, trademark and trade secret; it seems the likeliest protection here would be as a trademark (like Disney with Mickey Mouse). Copyright is for fixed expression, such as scripts, etc. Patnetes are for inventions that are novel and new, etc

Dana, you said this in another thread, too. But I think you're wrong about it. The central IP concern here is most likely copyright. Copyright DOES cover fixed expressions (the work ahs to be embodied in a fixed expression like a script or painting or whatever, not an unfixed one like an unrecorded performance), but once the work is fixed a lot of 'intangible' stuff like character, plot, etc. gets protected by it. It's copyright infringement to make a movie with the Buffy character in it, even if your movie doesn't copy any part of the fixed expressions (movie, TV shows, comics) where Buffy has appeared before. So, the rights we are talking about here are almost definitely copyrights. In particular, they are the movie rights (which is to say, the right to make a movie based on a particular copyrighted work - where "based on," again, need not mean copying exactly from its previous fixed incarnation).

There are also probably Trademark issues (the logo and stuff), but those are almsot definitely secondary.

Patents, as you rightly point out, have nothing to do with this.
This entire idea still seriously makes my skin crawl and a little sick to my stomach. I realize that the Kuzui's have every right to do what they're doing, but I really, really just don't want to see the movie come to fruition. It really just feels cheap and disrespectful to the Buffyverse we've come to know and love just for them to make a quick buck.
The obvious way out for them is to get Joss to supervise a reboot that doesn't concern itself with existing continuity. Joss, I assume your phone will be ringing shortly and then you have a decision to make ;).
I'm actually quite upset by the mere realisation that the copyrights management system is so botched that someone as talented as Joss has to sign away all this rights to get a movie made.

What would you suggest?

Movies and TV series cost tens of millions of dollars to make. Would anyone invest that kind of money, risking it all with a very big chance of losing it, into a project if they didn't own the property?

If you rented a house and it needed $10k spending on it to repair the roof would you pay? When the landlord could kick you out a month later? If you own the house you'll pay, knowing you will get the benefit from it.

Writers don't have to sell their script. They can make the movie themselves, like Kevin Smith and Mel Gibson have done. (And with the internet and high quality digital camcorders that is getting easier and easier) You take the risk and you get the reward.

If you're saying that the studios should risk their money but the writer keeps the rights then it's the writer benefiting from the studio's efforts. The studio would be taking the risk and the writer getting all the benefit from sequels, remakes, etc.

Most movie fail. Most TV shows fail. Studios and investors have to be able to make huge profits on the hits to pay for the losses on the many failures. To do that they have to own the rights.

Even with this "unfair" ownership and being able to make profits for years down the line quite a few studios have gone bankrupt.
Without owning the rights all the studios would have gone bust years ago.
So, the rights we are talking about here are almost definitely copyrights. In particular, they are the movie rights (which is to say, the right to make a movie based on a particular copyrighted work - where "based on," again, need not mean copying exactly from its previous fixed incarnation).

But the owner of the copyright may not own the movie rights.
JK Rowling owns Harry Potter, but she sold the movie rights to a studio. If she then announced that she was going to make her own harry Potter movie that studio could sue her. They own the movie rights, not her.

The Kuzui's could easily have sold the copyright to Fox but said "We want to keep the movie rights". At the time, a failed movie and a show that maybe last a year or so on a tiny network, Fox could have said "Yeah, sure. Whatever" rolling their eyes at the thought that anyone would ever want to make another Buffy movie.
This is just so beyond repulsive and wrong on every level. Why don't these people come up with their own "vampire" hit and leave Buffy the hell out of it?

Joss may not have wanted to do a Buffy movie now but it seems as if he might not have a choice, if he wants to preserve Buffy's good name. Same with Fox, are they really going to let these people rob them like this.

I can't believe they are trying to freaking reboot Buffy. It boggles the mind and makes my skin crawl.
I suspect that technically the Kuzuis deserve a lot more credit than they actually get. If we apply the "auteur" theory then Fran Rubel Kuzui must be considered the true creator of the movie, and it is at least arguable that the Kuzuis were the real creators of the TV series as well. The fact that they were pretty much "sleeping partners" on the TV show is neither here nor there; they set the wheels in motion and that's what counts.

Indeed, I wonder if the Kuzuis are in fact the legal creators of Firefly, Serenity, Sugarshock,Dollhouse or Dr Horrible? After all, these were all sold on the basis that Joss Whedon was the "creator" of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which is at least in part false. (We don't say that Dan O'Bannon or Robert Shusset "created" Alien, or that Drew Goddard "created" Cloverfield, now do we?) I'm not a lawyer, so I might be very wrong on the law, but methinks that Joss Whedon may not even be entitled to be regarded as the "creator" of anything at all, even Dr Horrible or Sugarshock.

Would the Kuzuis even regard ownership and retrospective creatorship of, and back royalties for, these things as adequate compensation for the deception they've been subjected to for the past 17 years? I don't know. But it seems like they deserve some recompense for the way their role regarding Buffy has been played down. Maybe they wouldn't accept anything less than life imprisonment. Or maybe they could be bought off with as little as, say, ten billion dollars. Who knows?
I posted in another thread -that since has been deleted ;-P, but now makes better sense in this thread that under the same logic wouldn't Star Trek's success make now a good time for a Serenity sequel? The cast all have bigger public profiles as well. They could even premiere it the same day as this Feux Buffy movie. No, they won't see this coming....
This is pretty much stealing.
The Kazuis have their name in everything. I don't think they need to steal someone else's project to make money. And yeah, I'm pretty sure that the Kazuis didn't help create Buffy, helped ruin it and now will steal what Joss has done that eventually made it great.
My totally unsupported guess is that Vertigo/Kuzui wants to do this project on the serious cheap and already know that Joss would not be interested in making a cheap version of Buffy because he has too much respect for the franchise and for the fans. Vertigo/Kuzui have no respect for either and just see a way to turn $10M into maybe $20M.

We aren't talking about a $60M franchise movie here with serious potential at the box office. We are talking about something cheap, dirty, filmed in Turkey in three weeks and thrown into the international cinema and going straight to DVD in the US.

Just a quick buck and a total devaluing of the franchise. Makes perfect business sense and also makes me sick.
This is just so beyond repulsive and wrong on every level. Why don't these people come up with their own "vampire" hit and leave Buffy the hell out of it?

Joss may not have wanted to do a Buffy movie now but it seems as if he might not have a choice, if he wants to preserve Buffy's good name. Same with Fox, are they really going to let these people rob them like this.


Sorry, but the Kuzui's bought Buffy from Joss. He took the money, like every writer who ever sells a spec script.
As much as we hate the idea of this movie it does like the Kuzui's own it. Why should they have to "come up with another vampire idea"?

And they are not "Robbing" Fox. If Fox did not buy the movie rights then Fox do not own the movie rights. If Fox made a Buffy move without the Kuzui's they would be robbing them, just as they needed the Kuzui's permission to make the TV series.

Serose, I've never gone with the "Auteur" theory, at least when it comes to a spec script. With a spec it is the writer who originated the movie. It's the writer who created the story, plot, characters, dialogue and the director and actors are following their blueprints.

So I have no doubt Joss "Created" Buffy.
It's a paradox because if you say it's their right to make money, and we all just sit quietly and say "I hope it's cool" but boycott it, like we all obviously would, they don't make any money. Who would see this? The only people who would ever watch this are people who can get past the name, the majority of which eventually became Joss Whedon fans. So... our reason behind sitting quietly and watching our favorite property get desecrated goes away once they make no money at the box office. Then, the anger comes back, because they did this for no reason. I think this is a no-win situation, and fan ire is actually helping make a bad situation just go away, there's no greater good point to being quiet about this.
This is pretty much stealing.
The Kazuis have their name in everything. I don't think they need to steal someone else's project to make money. And yeah, I'm pretty sure that the Kazuis didn't help create Buffy, helped ruin it and now will steal what Joss has done that eventually made it great.


The Kuzui's bought Buffy from Joss. He sold them his spec script and with it all the rights. He took the money and cashed the check.

You can't steal something if you already own it.
And the fact that we have not heard anyone at Fox slapping them down just proves they do own the movie rights.

Much as I suspect this movie would (if it ever gets made) suck big time I know that if I was in their position I would not let anyone else tell me what I should do with my property.

But the owner of the copyright may not own the movie rights.

Yeah, that's what I was saying, zz9.

It seems clear, from what we know, that the Kuzuis own (at least) the movie rights. (They may also own the TV rights, for all we know, having just licensed them to FOX rather than sold them.)

[ edited by Septimus on 2009-05-27 15:51 ]
Narky, I suspect that the Kuzui's intend to make what they believe is a good movie. I never heard Joss say they didn't care how the first movie was made, just that they wanted to do it differently to the way he wanted.
They might genuinely believe, to this day, they they were right and Joss's script was bad and that they made it better.

If they get royalties from the TV series and all the merchandising then it's in their interest to not damage the brand. It's a question of what they think is good and what is good.
Sorry Septimus, so many posts, so much confusion...
Missed your point. My bad.
Septimus- I know where we are getting it wrong. Copyright also protects the ability to develop adaptations from existing works, and it is here that the law would be on the Kazuis' side. They would be adapting the movie based on the original property and that is indeed covered by copyright. As one of my slides states: "A work need not be entirely new to be protectible. Copyright protects new material an author adds to a previously existing work. Copyright protects "derivative works." These are works created by adapting or transforming previously written material into a new work of authorship, ie, a screenplay based on a novel or an English translation of a foreign work." (Slides at http://w3.palmer.edu/lawrence. Click on Slide Set 14 under the scientific writing section).

I have rarely ever seen a fan outcry to match this one in the 2 days since this announcement went public. I do not recall anywhere near this kind of concern with the Star Trek reboot, which had the cultural cache of JJ Abrams attached. Buffy without Joss is nowhere near as safe. I do not believe this will ever come off, since the initial reaction to the float was so highly negative. Only having Joss involved would rectify the situation. I still wonder if that is the real goal.

[ edited by Dana5140 on 2009-05-27 16:01 ]
If they get royalties from the TV series and all the merchandising then it's in their interest to not damage the brand. It's a question of what they think is good and what is good.


Well, what they thought was good flopped. I'm not sure if that makes me feel better or worse.

[ edited by nyrk on 2009-05-27 16:03 ]
For "cheap scarf yarn," insert "crappy movie reboot real knitters...ummm, Buffy fans...don't care about" and for "publishers" insert "production companies intent on cashing in on this vampire thing" and you've got pretty much the same situation.

Plus, knitgrrl, they both involve pointy sticks.
Re JJ Abrams and Star Trek and how it relates, JJ Abrams is a known artist, a smart guy who has deep respect for his source material, and the new Star Trek film is as loving of the beloved (young) characters as any fan could have hoped. His many touches of homage were succinct enough without being a bludgeoning sharp object on our brain pans, and I love him for it (not to mention he throws in a big twist with the time travel aspect, and which was needed to not be just blah old, here comes another Star Trek story again).

I don't know these people, the Kazuis, except for one film, back in the 80s, which in my mind was only mildly amusing and not terribly noteworthy. Whether they own the rights to make another film is pretty irrelevant to me when I know if they do, it will ride on the cachet of all the hard work of Joss Whedon and his hard-working actors, writers, show runners, artists, and crews over the years, because by association, it is Joss' work that would catapult anything bearing the Buffy moniker (or even just alluding to Buffy tangentially) into a film production of interest. That's what raises my hackles into pointy points. That old Buffy movie is like a cheap corndog at a backwoods country fair, while the series and now Season 8, was/are fine filet mignon. I don't think other people ought to profit off of that.

[ edited by Tonya J on 2009-05-27 17:25 ]
Lee, who is now meeting writers with Vertigo partner Doug Davison, says he wants a concept that hews to the original film. "As a producer, I'm just trying to find a movie the studios want to make," he says. "It seems the core concept is the way to go."


[play the ball not the man] -Simon

[ edited by Simon on 2009-05-27 16:57 ]
The Kuzuis are doing this as a bid for attention in a town where attention is second to money in the short list of Things that Matter. They know this stupid idea will go nowhere. It's about getting their name in Variety.

[ edited by dorkenheimer on 2009-05-27 17:11 ]
Copyrights in the U.S. are registered with the Library of Congress.
So is Joss going to be able to give this upcoming Wesleyan talk without it devolving into a stream of "WTF is up with this Buffy movie" questions?
So anyone else notice that the article says that they can't even use characters from the original movie? i.e. no Buffy

So what the hell is left? A girl fights vampires and a British guy watches
So what the hell is left? A girl fights vampires and a British guy watches

Told from the actual POV of the British guy, who isn't a Watcher, but a Stalker!
Let Down, since these producers made the original Buffy movie, I think it's fair to say they can use the Buffy character (and so brand). They can't use characters created for Fox's TV series, as Fox own those characters.

[ edited by gossi on 2009-05-27 17:36 ]
Let Down, it says "May not" which I took to mean "Might not", not "Can not".
If they own the movie they should own the right to remake it (and a remake can change so much that it really is a new movie. Think Thunderball and Never Say Never) and use the characters from the original.
But because Willow, Xander, Gles et al were created for Fox they can not use those.
The article specifically says "may not feature any characters from the original film or from Whedon's TV spinoffs", which by your taking would mean the TV stuff isn't a "can't' but a "might not", which we know isn't the case.

The most likely explanation is that Variety messed that sentence up.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2009-05-27 17:44 ]
Bix It may well be that he doesn't have any idea "WTF is up", and will just say so. He doesn't seem to have been consulted by any one about anything to do with it.

It is certainly hard to see how they can make a movie that trades on the Buffy name, without a character named "Buffy" in it. Will it be "Buffy, the Next Generation", or what?

[ edited by toast on 2009-05-27 17:45 ]
Toast, the fact that his answer may be "no idea" doesn't mean he won't get baraged with questions about it. ;)

And I only mentioned it because I hope he doesn't get barraged with questions about it.
Too true, b!x.
Ditto. If I was Joss I wouldn't say a thing about this until I'd heard from Fox anyway. Once it's clear how it stands, then maybe do a Simon Pegg 'Spaced' post further down the line if he cares.
Only having Joss involved would rectify the situation. I still wonder if that is the real goal.

Seems unlikely. Sounds like the whole idea is to do this on the cheap, hence no Joss, no Fox, no actors.

Stuff like this is why Felicia was really smart to keep the rights to The Guild.
Buffy The Next Generation?

I would love a Fray movie.
My two biggest problems with this whole idea are:
A) This is being done by people who have only the most tenuous of connections with the BtVS property, and is being done without any regard to the property's already existing franchise entities
B) If the Kuzuis' attempt fails, it could irrevocably damage the existing franchise, which will be forced to try and protect itself from the stigma of being associated with a crappy movie which shares its title and basic concepts
Stuff like this is why Felicia was really smart to keep the rights to The Guild.

And why Joss is so eager to work outside the studio system, I'd guess.
"7 James Bonds at Casino Royale, They came to save the world and wina gal at Casino Royale." I think this may be the David-Niven-as-Bond entry when a serious summation of Buffyology is odne in a century or so.

Having finally seen Goldfinger I now know the difference.
Anyoen curious, the Kuzuis were responsible for Rugrats I think.

Hmm, none of the characters? Not Pike, who still has fans? No MErrick? Not even the "turtle" character herself?

[ edited by DaddyCatALSO on 2009-05-27 18:37 ]
Fray is Joss's, right? This is the most ridiculous BS that I have ever encountered. One second I am pissed off that we aren't getting a Buffy movie and the literal next second I am pissed off more that a "Buffy" movie could happen.

It's like a VD heard my pain at no movie and smiled wickedly as it whispered "Done". Gives a whole new meaning to the saying "careful what you wish for" and the concept of actually getting it, but turns out that IT morphs into the worse thing imaginable.
Captainforehead, personally I think people living in a world view that its all about making a buck and if people don't like what they are doing they won't watch/interact/etc is very sad. In other words, not speaking out against the Kusui's for attempting to make money playing off what other people have created then fooling fans into going thinking it's something else. I mean, it's kind of ironic that to stand up for what is RIGHT is what Buffy, the real Joss vision of Buffy was all about. Many of us LEARNED something from that show. To see it bastardized in such a way would be painful. I don't want to see the concept/image damaged. I'm sure many in Hollywood are in what they do for the money alone, I'm sure most are, but I tend to choose my fandoms for projects that the people involve do it for the LOVE of what they are doing, not just the bucks. Looks at BSG, look at Farscape, look at Tarsem's The Fall or even Doctor Horrible. All projects were made for the love of the thing beyond the bucks and payback. So yeah, when someone comes in to cash in on something like that, I'll likely speak out against it.
Fray is Joss's, right?


Yes according to the legal blurb in the trade paperback.
Well what can we do, as fans of Joss, to prevent this from happening? Or at the very least show our deep deep dislike of anything Buffy related being outside of Joss's control. We should try to do something that shows our support of Joss and the cast in all things Buffy.

Ads in the HR? Another billboard campaign? Postcard letters to Fox? Messages seem to be mixed here on the best way to react. Or not react at all, which it seems a little too late for anyway.
I'm planning to put up a website for the reboot tomorrow morning. It has a picture of a girl holding a load of dollars (and a stake), surrounded by quotes from Entertainment Weekly and such about how this is a brilliant (sarcasm font Sheldon) idea. And that's it.
I would also love a Fray movie...only if Joss is involved of course ;)
DaddyCatAlso, your typos make your posts completely unreadable.
Sorry to be a party pooper, but I don't think Fray is really Joss Whedon's. I know the copyright notice says that, but saying something doesn't make it so. If ever there were a Fray movie, then the Kuzuis could argue (in court if necessary) that it was in reality nothing more than a Buffy spinoff, and therefore that is part of the Buffyverse and therefore their empire. I'm not sure if they'd win, but they'd almost certainly sue as they've little to lose and a lot to gain. (I suspect that very few people here would go to see a Fran Rubel Kuzui Fray movie, but that's the risk we take if we press for Fray to be put on film.)
Anyone know why the Kuzuis are also executive producers on Angel?
Erm. It would be the height of stupidity for a publisher to put "copyright Joss Whedon" on something if it isn't the case.
At this point in time, pretty much all we can do is be very, very vocal and public about our displeasure at the idea of a Buffy movie without Joss' involvement or our beloved characters. Unfortunately, since it seems this 'reboot' is only to make money, it's doubtful that Vertigo or the Kuzuis (gesundheit!) will pay us much attention.
What bix said.
This continues to astonish me, as clearly it does the rest of the community. What I don't think the producers understand is that Buffy was a vehicle for storytelling. It had less to do with vampires than it did with the challenges of life and conflicts of emotion. A Buffy movie made as an answer to "Twilight" and the general gonzo of vampire lit at the moment totally opposes the "core concept" of Buffy.
But just because someone has the copyright for something doesn't mean they own the movie rights.

I posted a while ago about writers keeping some separated rights on properties they sell it's part of the WGA standard contract. Joss may well be free to write a Fray comic but not be able to make a Fray movie without the Kuzui's and/or Fox.
The other thing is, in addition to zz9's point, Fray may be copyrighted by Joss, but it can ALSO be covered by the Kuzui's copyright. That happens with derivative works all of the time.

The LOTR movies are copyrighted by New Line Cinemas (or whoever made them). But, they are ALSO covered by the original Tolkien copyright. I can't make a comic book based on the movies with jsut the permission of New Line Cinemas; I also need the permission of the Tolkien estate. (That permission may or may not have been granted to New Line along with the movie adaptation rights.)

So, similarly, Fray is copyrighted by Joss. But it can ALSO be covered by the Kuzuis original copyright. No-one (including Joss) could make Fray movie without getting the rights from both Joss and the Kuzuis. (Again, that permission may or may not have been granted to Joss when he made the comic book.)

It can be evne more complicated than that, with different types of rights (adaptation rights, movie rights, etc. etc.) and different owners (at least joss, the Kuzuis, FOX, and Dark Horse), but the fundamental principle is the same. One work can be covered by mroe than one copyright and adapting it requires the permission of ALL the copyright holders.
Why would they have anything to do with Fray? It's not TV media and it's getting even several generations farther from the first Buffy movie and I also expect, after signing away the rights to Buffy Joss is much more careful about his creative property.

I just keep thinking surely anyone in talks to put money up for this movie would look, not just at the extreme fan response which really is a very limited number of the Buffy fans as a whole and could be discounted, but at the fact not one single Internet reporter that I have seen has suggested it was a good idea without Joss.

Edited to say thanks to Gossi for putting up a website. Good to see you are still willing to put that much time and energy into this fandom.

[ edited by Vinity on 2009-05-27 19:42 ]

Edited again after reading Septimous {prolly spelled that wrong, sorry} post about copyright. Good lord! How does anything ever get done? I guess by passing money around :(

[ edited by Vinity on 2009-05-27 19:45 ]
Protip: If you're going to sign a contract, get a lawyer first.
I suppose what I find interesting is what exactly th Kuzuis' have the rights to? To make a Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie, with any of the characters portrayed within. At least that's what I would like to think.

However, the fact that the Kuzuis' are on Angel's credits, that seems to suggest that they have some sort of right thereafter to the "verse" as it were.

However, the comments on within these articles indicates that the characters Joss created for the TV show may not be allowed to be used, which would suggest that he has control over how these are used.

It's all a bit convoluted.

So, we could have a film about Buffy - but would they be allowed to mention anything about what she'd been through in the TV Show? Probably. But it wouldn't make sense as presumably she wouldn't be able to reference anyone by name?

This is all apart from the fact that what we(or I should say I) want to see is a continuation of the relationships set up in the TV show.

They could make up a new slayer, who happens to also be called Buffy, so they could still cash in on the name. I seems a bit ludicrous to actually reboot the character of Buffy Summers herself hoping Buffy fans will watch that.

And then I still come back for the reason behind this at all. To make money from the fact that what's really popular is the one thing they can't give me.

As Anya said "and I really don't want to take a tour of pretty things that I can't have".

Now - if they were to go back to Joss and go down the Tales of Slayer root, with his input, I would go see it. However, I just can't see him working with them again and quite frankly I would not blame him.
Vinty, Fray is still based on Buffy. Septimus mentioned LOTR. I couldn't write a book/comic/ movie based on the LOTR world and mythology with just a new central character made up by me. I'd be sued within hours.

It's very likely that the Kuzui's did a deal with Fox for "A TV show based on Buffy and any derivative works"

Edit: Bubblecat, Buffy didn't have a surname in the movie. "Summers" was written for the TV show, so (we assume) the Kuzui's couldn't call her Summers.

[ edited by zz9 on 2009-05-27 19:50 ]
zz9 - that shows how much interest I took in the character of Buffy in the movie then, lol!

It's that pesky "and any derivative works" line then that f**ked it all up. Darn.

Well, speaking from my own view-point, I'm not really interested in the "concept" of Buffy. They have no writer on this yet, do they? No script. And Fox have still to have their say I would have thought, presumably they have some rights in this area?
Lee, who is now meeting writers with Vertigo partner Doug Davison, says he wants a concept that hews to the original film. "As a producer, I'm just trying to find a movie the studios want to make," he says. "It seems the core concept is the way to go."

In other words, "Let's alienate the core of people who would actually make a movie like this a success".

I'm just reeling from this and can't put into words how bad this move would be. Stick a fork in the Kuzuis, they're done.
Actually, I think Fox has the rights to the characters. Not to confuse things more than they are...
Who knows Bubblecat? I'm just speculating wildly.

An analogy that came to me is Snow White. The fairy tale is public domain, anyone can write a story about Snow White and the seven dwarfs. But you'll have to think up new names. Sleepy, Grumpy Dozy etc were created by Disney and are their property.

[ edited by zz9 on 2009-05-27 20:05 ]
BRB, going to win the lottery so I can buy the Buffy rights and give them to Joss.
What were the dwarfs names in the original fairy tale? But then again, in the original the dwarfs prolly came in and found her and......I went to a dirty place. EEK Most fairy stories originally had quite harsh content.
I agree ichmaelyttt. I also hate that this has stemmed from the whole 'vampires are cool now' notion that was fuelled largely by Twilight. That's just insulting!

I don't see how they think this could work anyway: the primary audience for any Buffy movie would be the existing Buffy fans, and we're not too chuffed atm. I don't know if it would even attract new teenage audiences - they're all gaga over Twilight right now. I try and talk to people about Buffy/Joss: very few are fans, quite a few have heard of it but couldn't give a toss, and a large proportion worship Edward Cullen!

[ edited by Shep on 2009-05-27 20:14 ]
Edit: Bubblecat, Buffy didn't have a surname in the movie.

Not even in the script?
I don't think they had names. Or they were foreign. Probably German.

Jobo, nope. No mention of Summers at all. Or Joyce. She's "Buffy's Mom"

[ edited by zz9 on 2009-05-27 20:19 ]
So Fox would let the Kuruis' have the other characters if they wanted too. The fact that it's got this far would also seem to suggest that Fox have no rights over the "verse".

So far they can have Buffy "made up surname" and the council and a lot of "hardcore" fans not going to see it. Darn it, they'll make money but what they'll do is not make as much as if this had been done in the right way.
I don't believe that the dwarfs originally had names.

So, the new movie is going to be "Buffy Winters, Undead Exterminator"?
Maybe the outcry will at least give them pause to consider using the original cast, characters, and Whedon. I think there's life in them all yet, and although nearly everyone has a TV show, they could make the shooting schedules work.

I have no problem with the Buffy franchise being resurrected for money. That is precisely the incentive that would be needed. Buffy has ALWAYS been about making money, primarily. As I've said many a time, the money is there for the plucking right now.

Just do it right. Nothing is set in stone at this moment. Find the money from the studios. I say approach Joss Whedon and get him working on a script, or ask his recommendations for people who could work on it. Forget those comics, and maybe much of the TV show. The movie should bring the feeling back to the feel of seasons 1, 2, and 3 to really grab the additional audience that they want to make this film successful beyond the fans. And get that cast. There's still time! By the time the money and the script is secured, SMG JR. should be already here.

If none of this happens, I will be disappointed. But not devastated. As always, nothing can deter my hope for a Buffy movie done well. The question is, will pandering to hardcore fans (Based on the comics!? Fray movie, anyone? Eeesh.) make more money or less?
I would also love a Fray movie...only if Joss is involved of course ;)

katetwo


Thanks, everytime I try translat my thoughts I end without a thought.

How can Alan Moore works be used in movies without his conset?
(at least apparently, since he denies all adapptations)
The more I hear about this the more I am inclined towards projectile vomiting.
A-holes won't be getting my money. If this happens, I know the trailer will probably look enticing, but most do, and still suck. It's very doubtful that something good will come of this, so in this case, I will pass judgment during this most ugly period of gestation clear through the retched birthing pangs.
Since I haven't seen it brought up, could it be that this whole reboot concept is being orchestrated by Roy Lee -- whose claim to fame is repackaging Asian movies into Hollywood versions? To give them the benefit of the doubt, Kuzui Enterprises haven't exactly been setting the world on fire with their filmmaking endeavors.

For those who were wondering about Roy Lee's sensibilities, this slightly dated New Yorker article offers some insight. Lee doesn't exactly seem to have much interest in story, characters or subtext -- all the things that make Whedon's work exceptional. See this quote:
Lee trusts the constant evolution of his interests because it is the market’s evolution. “It’s good that I didn’t know film history, that I’d never seen a Hitchcock film until I moved out here,” he said. His favorite movies include “The Matrix” and “Joe Versus the Volcano.” “All films seem new to me, just like they do to ninety per cent of filmgoers today,” he continued. “I’m young, I like commercial fare, and I get bored easily. I am the target audience.”

I kinda wonder if he's even seen Buffy, either in movie or television form.
How can Alan Moore works be used in movies without his conset?
(at least apparently, since he denies all adapptations)


His works that have been turned into movies are owned by DC/Time Warner, so it's not up to him.
"I'm just trying to find a movie the studios want to make." Put that opposite Joss': "I want to make a thing people love, not like and to subvert genre cliches and get across a message" and you've pretty much summed up why I'm afraid this movie will suck so badly (EML).
Hollywood reminds me of the anti-Rumpelstiltskin - weaving gold into straw.

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