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May 30 2009

Tony Head on the new Buffy movie: "It may be a bit like watching a car wreck". He tells USA Weekend's The Who's News Blog, "the Kuzuis didn't do a great job on the movie the first time around".

Pretty obviously, I agree with Tony here.
And here we go again...

Good to hear someone (from the show) actually talking about it though.
That's one of the things I like about ASH - you get the distinct impression he says whatever he's thinking at the moment, and doesn't check with a publicist or anyone else.

"But it would be madness to do it without him."

Madness, I tells ya. Lunacy. Bedlam.

Welcome to Hollywood. (Though as I've posted, I think this lil' stinker will go kaput.)
And here we go again...

Good to hear someone (from the show) actually talking about it though.


Aye I'm trying to hold back on the coverage of the movie unless Buffy cast or crew say something about it or something major happens. The endless blog posts/news items/cartoons saying exactly the same thing did get old rather fast.
Since I'll be off doing stuff before we reach the haiku stage here, I'll just get it started! :P

While the Kuzuis
Dream of success with Buffy,
Fans and crew implode.


Have a nice weekend!
Yeah, I think it's a great idea to hold back the coverage except on special cases like this...
Yet more reason, if we needed any, that Mr. Head is awesome. And Simon, I for one applaud having this article, because unlike the other ones, it is actually a new thing.

I wonder if any of the other actors will speak up about it...
Well, we know that Felicia Day and Tom Lenk have tweeted about it. Is that all?
Watching a car wreck
is what Joss-less Buffy'd be,
but I hope it's cool.
I just put it out of my mind. Yep. That's about right.
Well, we know that Felicia Day and Tom Lenk have tweeted about it. Is that all?

I think @drhorrible tweeted "oy".
Also it's not actually a Joss project. So really if it does get greenlit, coverage will be minimal at best.
As Giles would say himself, Precisely.
I think that's appropriate, but I am interested in the opinions of former cast members and others who have rotated in and out of various Joss projects.
He's awesome. :D
NPR this morning, USA Weekend...ASH, if you hired a new publicist, I can only say that I heartily approve.
I don't care to read every blog post on the subject, but if a series cast member follows in the footsteps of ASH and frankly states her/his opinion consequences bedamned, I'd love to read it here. Especially if one is as eloquent as ATH. Miss that man on US airwaves.

ETA: if a series cast or crew member...

[ edited by WhoIsOmega? on 2009-05-31 00:33 ]
Well said.
The pithy @drhorrible twitter-Oy.

Now, more haiku-like train wrecks:

Kuzui-ku

I hear tell that it
Was funny when he wrote it.
Don't blame the Jossir
I love ASH. Also, I stumbled onto this picture over at Buffyfest and thought it was both clever and hilarious.
I heart him. Also has anyone seen The Invisibles? Opinions?
I loved the first season of The Invisibles.

Or, as they say over the pond, first series.
There is no end to how much I love ASH <3
I love Tony. He's a classy guy. And I couldn't agree with him more.
Watching a car wreck,
says Anthony Stewart Head.
Giles cleans his glasses.
I agree with him that it has the potential to be bad, but as I've said elsewhere, an alternate canon relaunch has as much chance to be "Batman Begins" as it does to be "Catwoman" -- it's all about who they hire. If the Kuzuis try to write/direct it themselves, yes, it will probably suck. If the Kuzuis take heed of Joss' request for the show -- namely that they stay out of it -- it could be great if they hand it to someone who has a vision of it that's good, even if it's not Joss.

Put another way, I think it's more important that the Kuzuis stay out of the creative aspect than for Joss to actually be in it, if the goal is just "good movie", ignoring canon concerns. Does that make sense?
I liked The Invisibles quite a lot. Looking forward to a second seas- er, series. Don't ask how I saw the first. Didn't feel like waiting two or three years for it to come to a US channel (like Primeval...)
I had mentioned in a deleted thread that there's this line from a Hollywood Reporter Article from the Kuzuis:

"Kuzui and Vertigo are looking to restart the story line without trampling on the beloved existing universe created by Whedon.

One of the underlying ideas of "Buffy" allows the filmmakers to do just that: that each generation has its own vampire slayer to protect it."

So, the optimisty part of me wants to imagine a Whedon exec-produced flick called "SLAYER" that features a new young girl named Betty who is the new chosen one. (Wanna do like Star Trek? Have Gellar in there as the once-slayer who offhandedly mentions that there were once many slayers, but now there is only one. Give her 15 mins of screen time a la Nimoy - an dmaybe.. just maybe it could work)

Get Marti or Greenwalt (or even Jed and Maurissa) to head up some aspect of it to make it work.. and maybe we get some kind of continuation.

But yeah, statistics bear out the theory that we'll likely get a venti-sized cup of suck.
Hugh Laurie and ASH were two of the great guests in Spooks (MI-5 for Americans) series 1. Shame they never brought Hugh Laurie's character back after season 1. Wonder if he's gotten any work lately. ;-)
There is a difference between Batman Begins (and other recent 'relaunches', like Star Trek) and this proposed movie, and the major one is that the previous offering did not stink. Batman Begins gave a darker and grittier Batman in response to the Batnipples. Star Trek was far more well, Star Warsy, in response to the later movies, and the failure of Enterprise. Both succeeded because they were needed in revitalizing, and making darker and grittier, failed or floundering franchises.

This is not the case with Buffy, where it WAS the reboot to the earlier movie. It went from cheesy and bad to darker and more realistic (and actually good), just like with Batman Begins. Which is why any sort of remake, especially without Joss is just unnecessary.
KingofCretins said:
I agree with him that it has the potential to be bad, but as I've said elsewhere, an alternate canon relaunch has as much chance to be "Batman Begins" as it does to be "Catwoman" -- it's all about who they hire.

Objectively that's true, a new series of Buffy movies could end up giving us The Dark Knight of the Buffy franchise (if the `92 Buffy film is like the movie version of the Adam West Batman and the Tim Burton flicks were...kinda-sorta the Buffy TV series...but nah, not hopeful for that pattern to play out with Buffy).

Batman's maybe a bad example. With the four earlier major Batman films, there was room for improvement, it really wasn't a huge challenge for Christopher Nolan to first differentiate the tone of his films from those and then provide better overall scripts. Aside from better effects, what would a Buffy movie be improving on ? Maybe no improvement, but a different take on the character ?
Uh, I'd actually say "Batman & Robin" was a flat-out, unqualified worse movie than "Buffy" was.

I didn't say a remake was necessary or unnecessary. Just that the movie could, in fact, be good. If the Kuzuis hire a good director who, while perhaps having a different approach than Joss, does in fact have talent and a vision, and there's a good script, it could be good. It's only a near-definite sucky movie if the Kuzuis themselves make the thing.

I mean, really, if the David Goyer/Christopher Nolan team suddenly declared that they wanted to jump in with the Kuzuis and Vertigo to make a new "Buffy" movie, would people honestly be worried that it would be bad? Or just upset that it would represent an alternate canon and offended that it's not Joss making it?
Heh, I wasn't going for perfect parallels in the potential patterns the two franchises may sort of develop, sorry for causing that confusion.

My point was, aside from cash for the Kazuis, what's the reason for it from a viewer perspective ? We already have 12 great seasons. One little non-Whedon-driven film wouldn't be much to get excited over. Sure, I'd be curious about the project if a director and/or writer was attached who'd done stuff I liked in the past.

Unlikely (on a mass scale, at least) side benefit--maybe some folks who check out a new Buffy film will be a bit more likely to rent/buy/download the TV series.

I wouldn't so much be worried about Goyer/Nolan attempting to make a Buffy movie, but I'd probably think it sucks that they're not out there making something original or creating another Batman or adaptation of your choice. There are franchises that could benefit from a reboot at the hands of a quality director far more than this one.
I think Batman is different. The films are based on a comic book, not rebooted from each other. Nor, for that matter, from the Adam West series.

Anyway, I've gone on record as to my opinion of films based on TV series. I'm agin' it.

TV series based on films can be quite good (see MASH).
Going darker, imagine a movie about alternate Buffy from Cleveland, from The Wish. That could be an interesting movie!
I dunno. Maybe it's because nothing is going to confuse me about Joss-canon vs. anything else. There's a part of me that's very curious what that Goyer/Nolan team would do, or what Zac Snyder would do, or what the Wachowskis ("Matrix", not "Speed Racer") would do, or what Diablo Cody would do with a script (I've said throughout -- the perfect big-screen "Buffy" movie would play like a cross between "The Dark Knight" and "Juno"). I think there'd be something interesting to see about a version of the Buffy character where instead of the girl who burned down her gym and moved to Sunnydale, she was the popular perky girl who has to move to a big city. Instead of her parents divorcing, she's orphaned. Instead of a Watcher mentor, she's got a Watcher stalker. Where her social contacts were more Logan and Weevil than Xander and Willow. How can people not be curious about that? I submit anyone that's read so much as even one AU fanfic has to be at least a little curious about that.

So I, like Joss, hope the movie is cool. If they announce that Fran Rubel Kuzui is directing and it's being written by the Wayans Bros, my interest would change.
If they don't even want to pay Joss, why would they pay any of those people? Look for unknowns, if it happens. Which isn't automatically a bad thing, but no use speculating with names. It'll probably just get Wonder Woman'd anyway.
Does anyone know what the average budget is for a Vertigo film? No one like Goyer or Nolan would touch it with a ten foot pole.

All the recent movies listed for Vertigo at imdb has either a first time director, directors who have never worked on an English speaking film, or lists no director at all.

[ edited by TamaraC on 2009-05-31 04:29 ]
Average budget? I don't know. But they did produce a movie with effin' Scorcese, so they must be willing to pay for talent sometimes.
What movie is that KoC?

Nevermind, I see that they were one of 5 production companies involved with The Departed. I'd call that a Warner Bros. film.

[ edited by TamaraC on 2009-05-31 04:34 ]
Vertigo is one of the credited producers of "The Departed". I don't know how substantial their involvement was, though. Maybe it was their property and they got someone else to invest in it. But, they could do that with "Buffy", too.
Martin Scorcese's Buffy the Vampire Slayer, starring Leonardo Dicaprio as Buffy.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2009-05-31 04:39 ]
Okay, if they got Diablo Cody to write it, I would (pay to) see it.

[ edited by UnpluggedCrazy on 2009-05-31 04:42 ]
If they don't cast Morgan Freeman as a Watcher, I'm boycotting.
The Grudge had a budget of $10M. The Grudge 2 had a budget of $20M. No famous director is going to work on a movie of that size unless it is a passion project. Just an observation.
Unless Scorcese was interested enough in the project to work for less. Actor, writers, directors, and other crew people on the creative side of things sometimes work for less than what they're deemed by Hollywood to be worth, if they find something they're passionate about. There were some big name actors in Donnie Darko that couldn't have been paid what they usually got.

I submit anyone that's read so much as even one AU fanfic has to be at least a little curious about that.

Heh, I read a really apocalyptic Buffy fanfic once, but it was put out in chunks and I don't think the author ever finished it. It was decent, from what I remember. Don't see how reading Alternate Universe fanfic correlates with being curious about different takes on the 'verse though. I loved "The Wish" and "Normal Again" (a hallucination, but still), but I don't feel a need to see more of that (would've been cool if "The Wish" was a multi-parter though). You're talking about so many different changes that it's almost like...why even tag it with "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". It may as well be a brand new franchise or they can revamp one of the other vampire slayer franchises out there (you could do a female Blade, or...I dunno, what female monster slayers are out there in film land. Was Bloodrayne one of them ? Ultraviolet (the Milla Jovovich one) ? Another Underworld, but well-written and with focus on one main character..."Daughter of Van Helsing"...dozens of other franchises they could play with before justifiably touching this one.

Yeah, I know, Buffy is what the Kazuis have the rights to here, so that's all moot. But if they changed it to a large enough degree, it would simply stop being something that could be called an adaptation of Buffy.

I'm not hand-wringing, not really caring about this project, we'll just have to wait and see if it even gets made I guess.
Well, I don't know about doing *all* those changes, just all of them were examples of changes to the character or setting.

There's a part of me that looks at this as the perfect Hollywood example of lighting a candle or cursing the darkness, and I think Joss chose to do neither by saying he hopes its cool. There's no sign that he or 20th are suddenly wanting to "light a candle", and if he were just going to go off on the Kuzuis making a movie (that they have a right to make which he provided them) with no intention of making one himself would be cursing the darkness.

Here's an idea -- someone that could, for the kind of budget Vertigo would likely come up with, be willing to run a project like this. How about Rob Thomas, creator of TV's Veronica Mars, and probably Vice-President of the Rob Thomas/Joss Whedon Mutual Admiration Society? I bet he could scare up a vision of the Buffy character and mythology that groks the core of what Joss created without just retreading it. And since Alona Tal was one of my earlier suggestions for someone who could play Buffy if Sarah didn't wanna, there's already a connection there.
I came to a realization today. Uwe Boll must be behind this project. Only the man famous for terrible video game films can turn a train wreck of a movie into a profit.
KoC, they already did a dark Slayer story like you said... it's called Fray.

I am with Kris, just make a new franchise, because when you make so many changes, its not Buffy. Don't sully the existing one. Or if you want to be unrealistically optimistic, don't let the other one restrict you to something. For example, if they had had come up with a new movie idea that was influenced by Buffy, but still different, would there be nearly the fan outcry that there is now? No, I think not. Admittedly, I doubt I would be interested, because it would be an obvious ploy to scoop up on the vampire craze (which I never got... I like Buffy because of the story and characters, not because it has vampires). But by making a Buffy In Name Only movie, it becomes even more obvious that it is a cash grab, and does a disservice to the existing universe. I doubt that anything that I'll see will ever make me change my mind.

As a side note, other than the Nolans, the directors and writers you mentioned I would never think would make a good Buffy movie. I liked Snyders 1st and 3rd movies, hated the 2nd (plus isn't the guy due for some non-adaptation based movie?). Matrix... egh. And not really a fan of Juno compared to other comedies... too obnoxiously indie. It was good to see, but didn't connect with me. I would be much more interested in seeing Peter Jackson, Guillermo Del Toro (directors more suited to the fantasy element of Buffy) or the Coen Brothers (because they are awesome). But that obviously ain't gonna happen... and the obvious best choice for a Buffy movie would be Joss. But he has other things to do. Which is why it is best that Buffy continues in comic form, to allow people to move on and do new things while still giving us Buffy fix (plus, no budget limit on comics).

Right, back on topic. So, Tony Head is awesome, huh? Wish I could see some of his shows here in the States... Though the King Arthur series that he is in (or is it Merlin? I know he plays Uther Pendragon, right?) seems way to unrealistic for me. Yes, laugh and point at the sad historian who expects realism from a story based on numerous myths and never occurred, and all the while he loves fantasy and sci-fi, none of which are realistic. But nothing gets my goat up more than unrealistic or anachronistic weaponry, armor, or values when it comes to movies, tv shows or books that allegedly depict or are influenced by ancient or medieval cultures. Heck, I was getting angry at Buffy's poor depiction of the crossbow, and the fact she doesn't go around with swords more often.

edit: MP, it all makes sense now! That must be it.

[ edited by SteppeMerc on 2009-05-31 05:21 ]
Wow, great catch with the Uwe Boll crack. I think that may be the worst case scenario captured in one man's name. Forget the Kazui's directing another one. What if they gave it to THAT guy?!

It would be simultaneously the worst thing ever and possibly the cosmically funniest moment in feature film history.
Merlin also has magic spells every week, special guest elves and a dragon (voiced by John Hurt) imprisoned under the castle.

And it's still a lot more historically accurate than the BBC's Robin Hood.
Man, I love the Head.
<3 Merlin.
And I think I'm going to have to check out the Invisibles now.
Oh.. and yeah, I forgot to say in my last post..

ASH, you are definitively "da bomb" (as my late 90s vernacular remains intact.)
Love ASH. Just watched Merlin on the TV over here and had a giggle to myself when I saw Uther Pendragon sporting a pierced left earlobe where an earring might occasionally frequent. That Pendragon, he's so up with the peeps and rad. : )
While part of me hopes that, if the movie gets made, it'll actually be good, part of me is hoping that it'll be hilariously bad. And yeah, it's like watching a car race, secretly hoping for an big, entertaining wreck.

I'm not going to rail against the movie or hope that it doesn't get made. If it's bad, it'll bomb by bad word of mouth, and it'll show that Joss and Mutant Enemy are essential to Buffy's success. If it's good, we get a good Buffy movie, yay. Either way it's a win, and will generate lots of online conversation. It's just that what semi-saved the first movie was the script, but the direction sucked, so if you have the same director in charge without the script writer or anyone from his writing team... well, let's just say that the race cars are four abreast and heading into a tight curve. It's not looking too good.
The notion of this proposed movie is ridiculous. That is all.
Didn't intend to read any more on this topic, but when I saw the headline .... Yay Tony!!
Thank you, Tony!
The prodco, Vertigo, does movies with budgets in the range of about $15m towards the top end. They're shot abroad for tax and/or cost reasons. It could change with the "BUFFY" brand, but I doubt it. The Grudge grossed something like $150m at the box office, but the sequel only had a $20m budget.

I can't see the notion of it being a big budget, huge director & writer remake happening.

[ edited by gossi on 2009-05-31 12:38 ]
It seems like it's the "Buffy" property's destiny to have half-assed licensed products and expansions. The people clamor for a new video game, they got a Europe-only GameBoy game as opposed to a next-gen console game. The people clamor for an MMO, and rather than going to Blizzard or Cryptic or NCSoft, it gets shoved into the cookie-cutter Multiverse setting. And now, a feature film possibility, and it'll have a smaller budget than "Serenity" and no Joss.
Totally off topic, but I am super excited for Merlin to start in the USA!
A Buffy movie without Joss would not please my occipital lobe.

Not much with the sense but it's all I can say on the matter... well that and - this is CRAZY TALK!!
Just a quick mention: Joss spoke at Wesleyan University last night. I was there... and he spoke about the "reboot," more than I had ever seen him comment. Of course, no photography/videotaping was allowed, so I will paraphrase. He said he really enjoyed the Star Trek reboot, that it was done with a respect for the original. He also said that when he first made the Buffy movie, he asked for the TV rights, which were given to him with no issues: they weren't seen as important. But the Kuzuis did retain all movie rights. Which is why we are where we are now. He said, without too much bitterness, that he was probably the only person in Hollywood who *couldn't* made a Buffy movie right now without getting sued.

He also suggested that Fox might try and get a piece of the pie: a la Watchmen. He wasn't sure how the rights would all come together.

He spoke about it with only his usual level of self-deprecation and humor. He sounds like he is still grateful to the Kuzuis for making his little script in the first place, no matter how the first movie turned out. (He also made a number of Donald Sutherland references. Apparently? Paul Rubens is awesome. That Sutherland guy? Not so much).

While I'm not sure I'd see a Buffy movie without Joss, he seems fairly resigned to it and that it's out of his control.

Oh, and as for the rest of the talk? He is *so* nice. Signed everything everyone put in front of him and complained not even once!
The fact that he took positive steps to protect the TV rights, but none for movie or sequel rights, even to require his collaboration, is all I need to hear to know that a spike has been driven through the head of this argument that the Kuzuis are doing something "immoral" by considering a new movie without him.

It's also nice to know that he doesn't sound like he has real antipathy for them personally, and even has some fond memories of *some* of that cast. Has Joss ever commented in any detail on the performances or work of Kristy Swanson or Luke Perry? It would be great to hear some more positive from him about that movie.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2009-05-31 15:55 ]
K of C: The rest of what you say may well be true, but the part about the movie rights isn't. Most likely he was able to negotiate for the tv rights because no one (except Joss) thought it would ever be a tv property. They were the people with the money, making a movie. He would have had no leverage whatsoever on keeping any movie rights at that point in his career. the fact that he didn't get any doesn't show he didn't care to have them.

[ edited by toast on 2009-05-31 16:16 ]
Yeah, no way would they have agreed to give him the sequel/remake rights. I think the current WGA contract says they have to at least offer him the chance to write the first draft of a sequel. Not sure if that applied in '92 and of course, they don't have to use it and can just get another writer to do a new draft.

Giving him (or letting him keep) the TV rights is like George Lucas getting the Star Wars rights. The studio thought they were worthless at the time...
Wow, Joss was my age when he wrote the original movie? No wonder the Kuzuis managed get the rights and trample all over the script!
A friend of mine explained it thusly in an email:

"Rights issues are funny things. When Joss signed the contract for Buffy, he was still an unknown, so the contract would give Fox complete ownership of the property. He wouldn't really have any choice about it; all unknowns have to sign the same contract.

Essentially, at any point while the show was on the air, Fox could have taken it away from him and given it to another showrunner. Thankfully, they were smarter than to do that, at least.

Fox learned its lesson the hard way 30-some years ago, when they gave George Lucas the rights to all sequels to Star Wars. Fox didn't care because they thought Star Wars was going to bomb. But not only does George Lucas own all the other Star Wars movies (Fox just distributes them), but he had the money and the clout to retain ownership of everything else he's done since then (Indiana Jones, etc.).

Technically speaking, Fox could remake the first Star Wars movie (the 1977 film) if they wanted to. George Lucas would get money from it, but he'd probably be very ticked. He might even try to find some loophole to sue them, but technically speaking, Fox has the right to do that.

On the same note, Joss would probably get money from Fox from having created the Buffyverse if Fox moves ahead with its Garbage Buffy Remake, but there probably isn't a whole lot he can do to stop them.

Not that any of this makes it a good thing, but that's how it works. Hope that helps for understanding it a bit."

But back to the article itself - I do love how Tony says what's on his mind and doesn't pull punches or sugar-coat things. He's a very honest man. And I do so love that about him.

Is it June yet?
Thanks for that XanFan300. Very interesting information. The whole thing is just kind of unfortunate. If Joss can deal with it I guess we can too.

So I guess we can just let go of the idea of ever getting the Buffy movie we might want. Closure anyway.
The fact that he took positive steps to protect the TV rights, but none for movie or sequel rights, even to require his collaboration, is all I need to hear to know that a spike has been driven through the head of this argument that the Kuzuis are doing something "immoral" by considering a new movie without him.

That's not "positive steps" you're reading but positive results that Whedon managed to slip off the table and into his pocket because the Kuzuis didn't realize it was a valuable card. If they could have foreseen the next decade, you can be damn sure they wouldn't have even given the TV show rights to Whedon. Saying Whedon didn't care enough to secure the rights is a wild interpretation of the text, sir. Wild and wrong. ;)

Is this why Whedon has always been stymied in any efforts to make a Buffy movie? The Kuzuis?

[ edited by Emmie on 2009-05-31 17:47 ]
Meanwhile that comment above is the first mention of any substance beyond "saw Joss at Wesleyan" that I've seen of that event anywhere yet.
Anything he asked for outside the scope of whatever standard language is used -- i.e., whoever normally gets the TV rights (almost certainly the buyer) -- is a step he's taken positively to reserve them for himself. It's probably true that he couldn't have secured the sequel rights for himself in a post-"Star Wars" Hollywood, but without any indication that he tried anyway, but *did* get the TV rights, that is a logical indication of what his intentions were.

To have one's legitimate contract honored is, in itself, a moral right. There never was any reasonable argument that the Kuzuis were doing anything "immoral" (neither Joss, per XanMan, nor Tony, in this article, suggest otherwise, either), the fact that Joss asked for and got something outside the normal scope just adds emphasis to that fact, in my opinion.

Would Joss have taken less money, perhaps, if the Kuzuis had, rather than give up the sequel rights, accepted a condition whereby Joss got to write the first draft of any sequel script, for instance? That's what I'm talking about when I say he took steps regarding the TV rights but not the movie rights.
Preach it Tony! :)
Thank you XanFan for the scoop on the Wesleyan talk. Its refreshing to hear at least something of Joss's views on this, apart from "I hope it's cool." I agree this isn't really a moral issue. Of course, I would prefer to see Joss do a Buffy reboot than anyone else. But if it's a choice between no movie at all and a movie without Joss, I say let's give the latter a shot. I too thought Star Trek was awesome and respectful of the original material. If the Buffy movie gets some talented people involved, it could be a great thing. And since a great many talented people know and appreciate Joss's Buffy for the great show that it was, a Buffy movie is much more likely to attract talent now than it was in 1992, when it attracted only the Kuzuis.

Not that I have anything against the Kuzuis. Sure they messed up the movie, and likely made it a lot worse than it could have been. But when all is said and done, the movie they made was not terrible. At worst, it was only terrible in comparison to the TV series, which was in my view one of the greatest ever shows on TV. More importantly though, and as Joss himself seems acknowledge, some gratitude is owed to the Kuzuis just for making that movie in the first place. If they hadn't, we might never have had the show at all.

That said, I think it would be in everyone's interests, including the Kuzuis's, if they did not involve themselves in the creative side of any reboot. That should be left to people who are far more talented, preferably Joss of course. But if not Joss, I agree with KofC that people like Brian Vaughn or Diablo Cody would be great choices for script writing. Also, I'd love to see Sam Raimi direct. He has shown that, even after blockbusters like Spider-man, he's willing to work on small budget horror films that are very scary and funny. (Go see Drag Me To Hell now if you haven't already.)

Again, given the right talent, and even a modest movie budget (maybe even less than Firefly) I think this "reboot" could be something great. And it wouldn't be a crime if, due to the current vampire craze in popular culture, it turned out to make a lot of money. So far the books, movies, and shows that have capitalized on this trend have been pretty dumb (e.g., the Twilight books and movie, the Charlaine Harris novels, and even Alan Ball's HBO adaptation, Trueblood). I'd love to see Buffy show them all how its done, especially since they all pretty much owe their existence to that show.

[ edited by Squishy on 2009-05-31 19:07 ]
True Blood is awesome and is in no way "dumb". That being said, Buffy owes more than a little to Anne Rice.
Yes, True Blood is slightly better than the others I lumped it in there with, but IMO is at best mediocre.

Not sure I can agree that Buffy owes much of anything to Anne Rice. Sure, she wrote about vampires before Joss. But then so did a lot of other people, and they did a better job at it than Rice did (again IMO). For full disclosure, I must admit that I really dislike Anne Rice's work. ETA I would agree though, that the other stuff I mentioned (e.g., Twilight, True Blood, etc.) may owe a lot to Rice. They all have that same strong emphasis on romance, which is perhaps partly why they don't appeal to me.

[ edited by Squishy on 2009-05-31 19:39 ]
Have the kuzuis lost their (excuse me) damn minds a buffy movie without Joss at the helm shades of wonder woman lt's inexcusable better recognised kuzuis better recognised
Squishy, there is an awful lot of romance and dark forbidden love in Buffy. Season 2? Season 6? Maybe people just see what they want to see.

zee, what?
When Joss signed the contract for Buffy, he was still an unknown, so the contract would give Fox complete ownership of the property. He wouldn't really have any choice about it; all unknowns have to sign the same contract.

Even if you're an established writer with a fantastic track record you give up all these rights when you sell a spec script. The studio's will not spend the money to make a movie unless they hold all the sequel/spin off/remake rights.

The only exceptions are when they are based on an existing property, like Harry Potter or Batman (But then they would never be spec scripts anyway) or if someone produces a movie himself, like Kevin Smith for example.

Essentially, at any point while the show was on the air, Fox could have taken it away from him and given it to another showrunner.

If the quote where he said he kept the TV rights is accurate then they couldn't have taken it away from ME. (They could have threatened to cancel it if he didn't agree to step down as showrunner, but they'd still need him to agree.)
Couple of points of clarification: He really really didn't sound angry, upset, or anything of that nature. The talk about about "how TV and movies get made." So, he talked primarily about Buffy, because that's where he was starting from square one. I was actually very surprised he talked at such length about the reboot. I don't know if it was the venue, but he really did discuss it as a business deal: which it is. He spoke a lot about balancing the art and the business aspects.

He said that seeing it from a "studio" point of view with Dr. Horrible was very enlightening. He jokingly said that when he got some of the negative feedback about a certain character's demise he worried for just a second about T-shirt sales.

Bix, much of the talk was focused on talking to the film students who just finished a three-day (?) seminar on "Defining American Culture: How Movies and TV get made." Other than the discussion of the reboot, he didn't cover any new ground. He jokingly said he was upset "Dollhouse" got renewed, because he had "plans this summer." They wrapped on "Cabin in the Woods" Friday. They start Dollhouse.... this week?

And for everyone getting upset about Anne Rice, don't. One of the questions during the Q&A was about Anne Rice. He said he read "Interview with the Vampire" and it "in no way affected his telling of vampire romance." He was very obviously being sarcastic. He also said he owed a debt to a vampire comic series. Tomb of Dracula, perhaps? I don't recall that perfectly, and I did not take notes.

And zz9, he *sold* the TV rights to Fox. That's how the TV show got made. Just like he *sold* the movie rights to the Kuzuis.

He did talk a little bit about Dr. Horrible, in the "yes it was my writer's strike project" vein. He also said to the students that they, too, could make anything they wanted. It wouldn't be on the same scale as Dr. H, of course, but it was possible with today's equipment to tell a story well.

He suggested that the problem was getting other people to see it. He suggested some sort of collaborative Website, where not only could people find others to work on their projects, they could be screened there as well. That got a lot of heads nodding from the student section.

Um, I'm wracking my brain to remember anything else of interest from the talk. I mean, it was all interesting, but anything specific. He talked about his time as a script doctor (hated it, but it paid the bills). He mentioned Firefly and Serenity, but only in passing. Though he did refer to someone as "that troll from Fox."

He did clarify that there were new people at Fox now, and the reason why he didn't try to go to an FX, a Showtime, etc., was because it was Eliza's deal, not his.

That's all I've got for now. It was a fun evening and well worth the FREE entry fee. The auditorium was full, about half were people taking the seminar and the other half were just walk-ins like me.
zee, your post is, as they always are, messy and difficult to read due to your lack of punctuation and bad spelling. Please clean it up, you have been asked to this a few times before and we won't ask again.
Thanks for sharing, XanFan32. Very informative.
Thanks for clarifying that XanFan, didn't know he had then sold the rights to Fox.

Glad he wasn't foaming at the mouth about the Buffy rights situation. It would be wonderful to be in George Lucas's place but that just isn't going to happen, not unless and until the net lets lots of writer/producers hit the big time.
At the moment, I'd love the Kuzui's to "Rip me off" by buying a script of mine and making it into a movie!
Dollhouse starts again Monday. Or Tuesday. Can't rem.
Gotta testify about True Blood. Don't know much about most of other Vampirica, since I honestly don't have a thing for vampire stories as such, despite my Buffy fanhood - and neither had I watched "Six Feet Under", so no big attachment to the work of Alan Ball. And I'd never heard of Charlaine Harris' Sookie-mysteries before I started watching True Blood.

It was the sheerest accident that I happened on to "True Blood" one night and got hooked. It's bloody and disgusting and at times downright nasty - but it's also funny, smart, beautifully shot and acted, and surprisingly - has a soul. It's a bit muddled at times, and it definitely improved as the season wore on, but I wouldn't call it mediocre.

The central vampirism/homosexuality/racism conceit is sometimes a bit contorted and strange, but as done it's mostly loose and flexible enough to be universal - i.e., at times we're all outsiders with some characteristic or habit or gift or failing that pisses off some other folks - so for me, it basically works. The political and cultural satire is almost worth the price of admission.

So, I like it - by the end of the season, I was attached to most of the main characters, and fascinated to see where they would take it. I think it's head and shoulders above the bulk of current TV offerings.

They get bonus points for seriously good music throughout the show, and a gold star for best title sequence ever. It does not lack the poetry. ; >

ETA: XanFan32 - thanks for your lengthy report on Joss at Wesleyan. I'd been looking for something on the 'net, but no sausage until yours. Merci.
The only thing I can think of that "Buffy" lifted from Anne Rice (unless it was used elsewhere before that) was the process by which one becomes a vampire. Joss' vampires are actually a pretty direct rejection of Anne Rice's emo-pires, or at least were until the mythology around Angel/Darla/Spike/Dru started to build up.
QuoterGal, thanks so much for putting all the pretty words together about True Blood. I will just say a hearty, "what she said." :)

KoC, I wasn't trying to imply that Joss used any parts of Rice's stories in his, just that the timing for Buffy coincided with a wave of popularity for Rice's vampire books. I was never a fan of the vamps until reading those books. Wouldn't have given Buffy a second look if I hadn't read them.

[ edited by TamaraC on 2009-05-31 21:31 ]
thank you XanFan32
Q Gal, I entirely agree about True Blood, and would also like to add that it is visually gorgeous, extremely well done camerawork-wise (a subject about which I know nothing whatsoever, but the results are just right-excellent use of light and dark, etc.) I too have grown attached to the characters, and I'm looking forward to the new season in a couple of weeks..
sorry guys after l comment l leave and l don't check on it l read you loud and clear caroline tamara lm saying the kuzuis should recognize joss's talent he was the one who made buffy a cult hit
I know it's not my decision but I would respectfully suggest that people should not be terminated for technical grammar issues. For one thing, one can never know for certain the extent to which those issues relate to cultural, economic, or educational differences in background. The assumption that it's just carelessness might not always be true. Not taking a position one way or the other about any particular person here, just saying . . .

Going back to the True Blood issue, I agree that it was probably unfair of me to lump it in with Twilight and even the Harris novels upon which it is based. True Blood is obviously trying to tackle issues that go beyond the melodramatic romance themes of Harris, etc. My problem with it is simply that it did not "work" for me in the same way Buffy did, a problem that I think is partly because of the weakness of the source materials (i.e., the Sookie novels). I should also disclose that I am a huge fan of of Alan Ball's other work, so I may be holding True Blood to an unfairly high standard. The comparison that really kills True Blood for me though is the comparison to Buffy itself. I just don't think Ball's characters or narratives are nearly as engaging as Joss's. That said, I still watch it when I can because I love Alan Ball and it's kinda entertaining sometimes. And I agree with quoter gal that the opening credits are terrific.
Thanks Squishy l. Again Caroline l apologize lf l cause any problems. l will keep my comments in the right manner.
Thanks for the info., XanFan32. Sounds like a great evening.

Count me in with the True Blood fans. The TV show caused me to read the first Sookie Stackhouse book, and I discovered that this is one of those rare cases where I prefer the filmed version to the book.
Squishy, if you have issues with the way we moderate our site, please e-mail us about it instead of posting about it here.

Zee, "after l comment l leave and l don't check on it" is as much part of the problem as exotic spelling/grammar. Hit and run posting is never a good idea.
So am I correct in assuming that part of the reason there has not been a Joss/Mutant Enemy-made Buffy movie to this point has been because of rights issues with the Kuzuis? That does explain a lot then. It also pretty much puts the final nail in the coffin with regards to hopes for any such movie in the future.

If the Kuzui/Vertigo Buffy movie does end up getting made, while I can never see myself being truly happy with the idea, if they at least show enough restraint not to try to write/direct it themselves, and get some genuine talent involved who actually cares about the material, then I'll feel better about it. The Buffy franchise can't afford another disaster of a movie like the first one was.
Understood Caroline.

Steve, even if Joss/ME had gotten the rights, I doubt we'd have a Buffy movie by now. Joss has suggested that there is also an issue with getting financing. I think at the Paley Fest he was asked about a movie and he said that nobody with the money to do a film has yet approached him about it.
True Blood is a huge coup for HBO and from what's been happening with it, from a pick-up at only episode 2 to an early start to Season 2 on June 14th--usually you have to wait about a full year from the premiere of one season to the premiere of the next on cable--it looks like it'll build a nice audience there. Genre fans have signed up to the premium cable package specifically for it. Hoping lots of people are getting hooked on the DVDs and Blu-Ray as well, I'm considering buying it for my aunt.

Someone upthread mentioned that they didn't tune into and didn't become invested in Buffy because of the vampires and that's true for me too--not an area of fiction I specifically gravitate toward and not even a favorite classic monster/myth, but on occasion you do see some really good storytelling within the genre (whereas, I couldn't direct you to much worthwhile in the werewolf sub-genre, there's very little). True Blood's the same--yeah, it's even more specifically about vampires than Buffy was, but it's the stories being told, the wicked scripts, the quality acting, and the look of the show that have kept me. Not because it features vamps.

Everything QuoterGal said, plus it's a genuinely sexy show (but not when it's being gorey too, gore + sex doesn't mix for me).

I will say one other thing about True Blood--its pilot isn't the best thing ever, it's cheesier than the rest of the eps, but I was hooked after the second ep and it steadily got better from there (it's just the building thing, it's not that earlier episodes were by any means poor).
Count me in with the True Blood fans, I love everything about it. It's totally lived up to my expectations for Alan Ball and HBO, which are high indeed.
And there's lots of humor, can't imagine anyone missing that.

The acting is first rate, it's beautifully filmed and the cultural "small town in Mississippi" element is totally on the mark, including the accents. (I've never lived there but I've passed through on a couple of road trips, and have relatives from the area.)

Can't wait for June 14th. ;)
Just because he's not gonna be on it .
I won't see a problem in a director who never had worked in English language movies. Yimou Zhang, is a master and there are many guys from Spanish speaking countries who are great.

I had just finished to see Kindred - The Embraced. That's a show that should have a reboot/movie.
The only thing I can think of that "Buffy" lifted from Anne Rice (unless it was used elsewhere before that) was the process by which one becomes a vampire.

Try Bram Stoker's "Dracula."
XFan32: He also said he owed a debt to a vampire comic series. Tomb of Dracula, perhaps?

There was an X-Men Annual (forget which one, back when there was only one X-Men book, might still have it) where Dracula was trying to make Storm his bride. Got a bit super-charged from her mutant blood too.
I wonder if Joss could do an Angel movie with Buffy in it? Put that up against the redo...

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