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July 04 2010

Eliza Dushku talks about her time as Faith at the Supanova Pop Culture Expo.

There's another one here where she talks about Dollhouse a bit as well.
The more I think about it, the more I wish she would have accepted the Faith spin-off. It could have been so good. Rivaling Angel, I think. I'm not just saying this because I want more Buffyverse, but if any character on the show could carry her own show, it's definitely Faith.

Does anyone know the story behind the failed spin-off? I know she said no. But was there a pick up from a network if she would have said yes, or did she say no before they even pitched it to the network?
From what I remember, everything was positive from the network side and there would have been a pick up. They had given the go ahead to Joss for a Faith spin-off. Eliza saying no was what killed it. :(
The way I heard it, Faith was an idea floating around that people thought would be cool. Tru Calling was a solid job offer with backing. So to be available for a Faith that was only a vague possibility would have meant walking away from a solid offer.

No one knew at the time that TC wouldn't meet expectations or last very long. Similar series ran around 5 years.
I wonder if Eliza regrets it. I don't think Tru Calling was what she expected.
At the time, though, it was probably the smart choice for a young actress to do something new rather than continuing to play the same character (and spin-offs don't usually do all that well, do they? Frasier is probably the most successful example. Oh, and Angel was good too ;)). I would have absolutely loved a Faith spin-off though. She was so amazing as that character.
As much as I love Faith, I disliked the pitch of what the show would've been about, as well as the fact that Spike would've been brought to it. (Yea, I don't like him. *ducks*)

I'm not in tune with what Eliza was thinking, but I think that even if TC wasn't on the table as a solid offer (which yes, WAS the best choice for her at the time, she had played Faith for 5 years, and was only 22 years old.) I don't think she would've done the spinoff. In interviews around that time, she kinda hinted that she was over that phase of her career, and was just ready to move on no matter what happened.
What was the pitch? I never really heard about it, but curious now.
catherine, from what I remember, it was Faith traveling around on a motorcycle because she was still on the run from the cops, and Spike was going to be a ghost or something that fought along beside her.
Huh. Well... it could have been awesome, right? Amazing characters, very charismatic actors, presumably whedony writers... I'd watch anything with ED in it though. (Actually I guess that's not true, I never watched Tru Calling... in fact I've only ever seen her as Faith and Echo... but the point is I think she's great!).
Edcslover9, where did you hear that? And my god, could Joss have actually proposed that? After Angel, Faith had my favourite redemptive arc(yeah even more than Wesley...she was just so badass and without a gun!) so to have had that as her story; a hero on the run from the police with a ghost sidekick doing good, just NO!

BTW Catherine, I love how you keep the faith(Pun only kinda intended!)

[ edited by BlueSkies on 2010-07-05 21:23 ]
I'm pretty sure it was Tim Minear's baby, not Joss's, and that I read it in an interview with him on here back in the day.
Oh okay cool thanks! Now I don't have to be mad at joss, TIm Minear be afraid! I'm glaring very angrily at my screen right now...grrr!!
I actually liked the Faith road-trip idea. Yeah the whole Spike as a sidekick would have been stupid, cause the characters had no prior history together whatsoever, and I doubt Faith would put up with his attitude for very long. They could have substituted Spike with Robin Wood and Vi and made something really interesting. Kinda like Supernatural, but something which I'd actually watch.
Wasn't Robin Wood also going to be a part of it?Faith,Ghost Spike and Robin Wood.
Well the Wood thing kinda seems like it happened for a bit from her arc in s8 so icould buy into that. But i think she'd need a new kind of partner, or even her and Kennedy fighting for dominance!
I hadn't heard that but it's probable I guess, even though that would make even less sense than just Faith and Spike--you know, given the history between Wood and Spike.

NOOOO to anything involving Kennedy! Gah!

What about Faith, Xander and Ghost Anya?
Oh wouldn't that be worse! I mean Spike would get on her nerves, but I'm sure Anya would be worse! I imagine Faith would hate her even more...remember when they met in season 4?! Eek!
Faith in Cleveland with Giles' old pal (played by Ron Glass) as her Watcher and an elderly ninja/karate teacher (played by George Takei) as a father figure.
The problem with Faith the series, to me, is that she wouldn't have been at all unique. Since it takes place after Chosen there would be something like two-thousand other super-powered girls like her running around out there. Unless the writers decided to just conveniently ignore that.

I think a show about a Slayer could still work even now if it didn't try to be Buffy at all in style but instead charted its own course, keeping the universe but losing the Buffy "tone". But I also think Eliza saying no to Faith basically put a stake through the Buffy franchise. One potential long shot--Joss does Avengers, everybody loves it and it makes a zillion bucks, and because of his higher profile Joss is asked to do a Buffy movie.
I think it's a real shame this series never got off the ground but I appreciate that Dushku would want to try stretching her acting muscles.

Wikipedia has quotes some info on the undeveloped Faith series:

IGNFF: ...Why did you decide not to go that route?

Dushku: The idea for the Faith spin-off just kind of came up in discussion because everyone really, I think, was feeling like this show's going to end and there are all these fans who love it so much and who love these characters and so, if possible, how could we extend that? I just personally felt like... It would have been a really hard thing to do, and not that I wouldn't have been up for a challenge, but with it coming on immediately following the show, I think that those would have been really big boots to fill. I think it would have been compared to Buffy. And just in terms of me, I've played that character on and off for five years now and I've changed a lot and while the character of Faith changed when I came back because I've changed, I felt like maybe it was time to... I mean, I love Faith. She's my girl and she's been really good to me, but I kind of just wanted to try something else. Purely that, because it had nothing to do with me not trusting Joss and his team of writers, who I just think are amazing. Tim Minear and Drew Goddard and Marti Noxon and all these people, they're so talented and it had nothing to do with me doubting that they could make this show amazing, but I just... I don't know, sometimes you have to go with your gut, and my gut was telling me that I maybe needed to try something else that was just different.

Tim Minear explained some of the details about the spinoff and reasons why it did not happen:

"I had come up with a pitch. Eliza was gracious, kind and wonderful, but she felt like she wanted to do something new. There is no hard feelings there. But the show was basically going to be Faith meets Kung Fu. It would have been Faith, probably on a motorcycle, crossing the earth, trying to find her place in the world. I'm sure it would get an arc at some point, but the idea of her rooted somewhere seemed wrong to me. The idea of her constantly on the move seemed right to me. And she broke out of prison (on Angel) so there would have been some people after her."

Tru Calling producer Dawn Parouse later admitted uncertainty during the show's development that Eliza would choose it over the spinoff:
"We weren't quite sure if we were going to get [Eliza], because there were rumors that there was going to be a Buffy spinoff for her."

“What I loved about her was that even when she was completely in the dark side, completely out of her mind and killing people and torturing people, she was written in a way, and we played her in a way, that people still felt for her, people still pulled for her. . . . people loved her in spite of everything she did.”

Yeah, that's what I've always loved about the character of Faith. And now I realize that I was not even slightly original. Oh, well. It's also what I love about Awesome Actor Eliza--a heart opener, she.
Yes, through everything she did, Faith still always felt very human and you could always sympathize and relate with what she was going through, even though none of us have gone through it. But you could take pieces of it and relate it back to your own life for sure.
I always thought it funny that Tru Calling and Dollhouse ended up running for the same length of episodes.
At least Dollhouse got a proper ending. TC just kind of ended. Unfortunate, though. I really liked the show. And after reading interviews with writers and producers, I really liked where they were going. They just took a long time to develop the mythology. The whole first season was pretty much the same thing without any real progression of the plot.
Yeah the start of it was just so MOTW! It needed more to it than "Hi I'm running around trying to save people, but I can't tell anyone about it!" had they introduced Jack earlier then the whole bit on the father as well maybe that would have upped the ante, but it was too slow. Loved to have seen it progress and end though!
I remember reading an interview with one of the writers, Jane Espenson, I think. She said that one storyline featured Tru saving her boyfriend (it's been a while since I've watched it. I think his name was Luke...) when he wasn't supposed to be saved. It got into this whole issue about what happens to the soul when somone is saved who isn't supposed to be. She was excited about this really gothic-esque scene where Tru and Luke are sitting on the couch watching television... it's Luke, but at the same it's not. He's different. Empty.

I'll try to find the interview.

Update: It was Jensen, not Luke. Here's the link. Lots of juicy info about what would have happened.

[ edited by jesse on 2010-07-06 12:36 ]
I remember not really liking the idea of the Faith spin-off at the time (the her and Spike on the road idea) but I bet with Tim and Joss behind it it would have been original and completely different than anything I expected. Plus it would have been more Buffyverse *clings*
Thanks Jesse, I remember hearing about some of that and the last episode showed some of that, it would have been great! It was really picking up, just like Dollhouse was! Damn you TV!!
BlueSkies Leaf: I was less than crazy about it when I first heard it myself. Probably could have been made good. (As for Tru Calling, I got the S-2 DVD,w atched 2 episodes, and gave up.)

Kaan: I know you're just enjoying yourself, but Emma had specifically said she was done playing Anya weekly.

Hellmouthguy: I think that, if you see the Buffyverse as an entire world, Joss isn't finished with it. He could set anything in it eventually. Just like Here's Lucy, Mannix, Matlock, Diagnosis:Murder share a single universe.

Sigh, hope he tries Spook Squad while Amber, Danny, Bianca, and Alexis are still young enough. Ken LErner's hair is white now but that could be part of the premise *grin.

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