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January 06 2011

(SPOILER) "It was something that Buffy had. And yet the WB never, never ever explored it." The Huffington Post quizzes Anthony Head on Merlin and the Buffy Remake. Spoilers for Merlin S3 and the comics.

"One of the great things about Merlin is that it does appeal to this multi-generational audience. It's a truly family show. Now everybody who comes up to me says they love watching this show, and I especially love that I can sit down with my kids and watch it, and I see stuff that the kids don't. It's just the best. And that's the success of the show. It was something that Buffy had. And yet the WB never, never ever explored it. They only ever played it to literally a generational band. Their demographic. And they could have expanded it, but because they were tied up with what their demographic was, they blew it on a big level."

It never occurred to me that the cast might be bitter about how the show was marketed.
He's right. The show is often trivialized because it is perceived as a teen program. We all know it was much more than that.
I love how much respect he seems to show Joss, I mean that was a Merlin question and he still brought back Buffy. Well I mean they did ask him about Buffy in other ones so it was on his mind, but still, it's nice that he can speak of the shows merits in relation to his current work. I just love his interviews!!
Huh. That criticism of the Buffy marketing does make a lot of sense.

Last season, you hooked up with a troll.

They really are departing from the traditional storylines!
I've been hearing rumors about that Giles spinoff, Ripper again too. Any chance that's happening?

Not unless he comes back as a ghost. In Season 8, the comic book, Giles just died. [laughs] So I think it's R.I.P. Ripper.


Is it too much to hope for that if the rights get sorted out and Joss has time that Ripper could still be made, putting it somewhere in the timeline between Season 7 & 8? Or is that just wishful thinking at this point, since the movie reboot could be one of the main reasons that the rights were never worked out?
One of the greatest thing about Joss is that his shows break past the marketing pigeonholes thanks to the fans. While 'Buffy' originally only appealed to a mostly younger crowd, it has become much different over the years. There are so many multi-generational fans for all Joss' shows because the fans know how good they are, and they make sure to expand other people's views. 'Buffy' might still be perceived by some as a "teen program", but the fans are constantly reducing that number.
Or is that just wishful thinking at this point, since the movie reboot could be one of the main reasons that the rights were never worked out?

I don't think the people who own the rights to the original Buffy movie, and therefore the rights to the movie reboot, don't own any rights to Giles, since he was created for the TV show, which is owned by 20th Century Fox. Unless I'm just suffering from a dental work haze of confusion.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2011-01-07 04:17 ]
Out of respect for him, today I pledge to eventually become an older demographic that loves Buffy. Thus proving him right.
I don't think the people who own the rights to the original Buffy movie, and therefore the rights to the movie reboot, don't own any rights to Giles, since he was created for the TV show, which is owned by 20th Century Fox. Unless I'm just suffering from a dental work haze of confusion.


Kuzui's don't own Giles and can't do anything with him. However, it was my understanding that since the tv show was based off of the original movie, that Kuzui still needed to sign off on any spin-offs. I'm not sure if this is 100% correct, but I vaguely recall rights being an issue with Ripper.

A quick google search and this interview Joss doesn't clarify if the Kuzui were involved, but the rights were an issue with Ripper:

TVWeek: Is there anything new with "Buffy" spinoff "Ripper"? [Whedon previously announced heís trying to set up that show at the BBC.]

Whedon: There isnít anything new. It might become too problematic. The rights issue with "Ripper" becomes complicated. There are other characters in the woods. We may have to do some fancy footwork. Obviously Iím committed to ["Dollhouse"], but that does not mean Iím not doing "Ripper."

I'd rather see Ripper as a flashback series anyway - a college-age guy tampering with dark magicks in England, brand new actor, Tony Head voice-over.

I really like what he said about Buffy. It would have been nice if kids could watch more of the episodes/seasons, and there's definitely still a stigma for the older demographic.

Can I find this coffee commercial on YouTube?
@Kairos: just search for his name and coffee.

I think any Ripper series is well and truly dead now. I don't see it ever happening.

There was talk of doing something different, Ripperesque but not calling it that, if they couldn't work out the rights/issues/whatever. I'd be on board for that. I just want to see Joss and ASH working together again.
They've been talking about Ripper for years and nothing happened. I think the only BtVS/AtS continuations are going to be in comic form. I gave up on the idea of a Buffy movie or Angel movie or Xander movie or whatever movie a long time ago. I'm extremely content with S8 and S9 as the series continuations.
There were actual meetings and such at the Beeb about Ripper (with Joss) years ago - 2007? It never happened due to rights issues.

The core people at the BBC have since been promoted and moved to LA to head BBC World. The Vice Pres of that is actually one of the peeps who was working on Ripper. BBC World are the group behind "Torchwood: A New World", which is shooting in LA from Monday with some of the old Dollhouse crew, a writer and a cast member. If Joss wants to do Ripper, he needs to finish up The Avengers and head over to BBC World one day. They would look at it - I've heard directly they want to work with him.

[ edited by gossi on 2011-01-07 09:43 ]

[ edited by gossi on 2011-01-07 09:46 ]
How convoluted are the rights ? Is it like with Superman where one party might own Clark Kent, Lois and leaping tall buildings but possibly not 'Lane' or flying because that came later ? So e.g. they can use Giles specifically (cos he's from the series) but not the idea of a Watcher (which is from the film) ?

There was talk of doing something different, Ripperesque but not calling it that, if they couldn't work out the rights/issues/whatever.

They did this already (albeit Joss/ASHlessly), it was called 'Strange' ;).
At this point Superman probably owns a stake in Buffy.

Never heard of Strange. Sounds "strange" indeed. Pretty good twist of fate that the main characters last name is Strange huh, when there's strange things a happenin. ;)
Especially lucky when you consider that his mum's maiden name was "Pretty-Normal-Really" ;).

(it wasn't a bad show, allowing for BBC effects of the time and some clunky aspects in places but it only ran for a series - pilot + 6 episodes - so I wouldn't be surprised if it didn't make it outside of the UK at all)
He is right. The thing is, Warner Brothers is merely interested in generating more buzz with this vampire craze, so they don't seem to care more or less. Us fans of BtVS understand the heart and soul that Joss breath into the story and....well, it feels like it's being soiled, ruint in its true nature.
Yeah, I don't quite get it either. Since Giles and the TV characters are owned by 20th Century Fox and not the Kuzuis, why would the rights be a problem?

I wanna know why Joss didn't try to force a better contract when the movie was first made...I guess it's common for screenwriters to sell scripts to make money, but I wonder why he signed away the whole thing like he did.

I have a feeling the Kuzuis want to make as much money as they can but something should be done to make the whole thing a lot clearer.
I believe Joss sold Buffy when he was... 19? I know I did some dumb shit when I was 19.

Also, even if just Fox were involved (and I doubt it was just them - rights issues are always crazy complicated) there's the $$$$ value. BBC drama budgets are tiny. Licensing TV projects? Costly.
I guess it's common for screenwriters to sell scripts to make money

I think that is THE main way screenwriters make money. ;)


but I wonder why he signed away the whole thing like he did.

To get the film made. Studios don't like making films in which they don't own certain rights to. I betcha someone at Fox is still crying over Star Wars. It's only because Joss got to keep the tv rights (which nobody thought was worth anything at the time) was he allowed to make the show.


I believe Joss sold Buffy when he was... 19? I know I did some dumb shit when I was 19.

Except for Dr. Horrible Joss isn't an indie guy. Even now he would have to virtually give up all rights to make a movie from one of his scripts with a studio.
Joss actually sold the TV rights too, as I understand it.

[ edited by gossi on 2011-01-07 18:24 ]
I remember an interview where he said he retained them pretty much because no one even thought about the tv rights when they made the film, and then when the Kuzui's proposed the show Gail Berman went to him for his permission (or whatever the legalities were) and he said "sure, but I wanna do it."

I think that was on one of the DVD's. Of course, I could just be going senile in my old age.
Oooooh. That makes more sense! I remember him speaking about it in Edinburgh in 2005, I think is what joss said.
Ummmmm hello Dolly! What about Ms Parton?
I think sorting out the convoluted historical and current rights ownership of the franchise would be a great project for a law student.

And a cautionary tale.
Yeah, I don't quite get it either. Since Giles and the TV characters are owned by 20th Century Fox and not the Kuzuis, why would the rights be a problem?

While the Kuzui do not own Giles, they own the original Buffy movie. The tv show is a derivative of the movie, so it's my understanding that they would still be involved. Example, the Kuzui's don't own Angel, as he originated on the Buffy tv show, but the Kuzui's are still executive producers to the Angel tv show show and collected royalties. Likewise, I think Kuzui's would be executive producers on Ripper and would have to sign off on it. However, if they have a chance to make a new reboot Buffy movie, they might be thinking that it would offer them more potential money than a Ripper mini-series. They might not want to have confusion between the old Buffy and new Buffy, or even the studio who they have pitched to, might not want to compete with a Ripper mini-series.
Simon really has this most peculiar thing about Dolly Parton.
She does own like a third of Buffy.
I know. I just find it hysterical that it's always you.
It's like only I know and everyone else has had the knowledge wiped from their minds.
Wait a minute - is Dolly Parton a Slayer?

I'm so confused...
Dolly Parton's production company Sandollar Productions produced Buffy.
So... Do we suspect there may be some kind of connection between Dolly and Buffy?
Dolly is Buffy?
Or Buffy's with Dolly...
Wait, go back... so we are saying there's some sort of connection ?
Ooh, I didn't know about the Dolly-Buffy connection! Too bad I'm going to forget it momentarily...
You saying 'know' makes me wonder if maybe Dolly and Buffy know each other ?
Yeah, only Simon, being somewhat oranger than human ...stands immune.



Dolly. Buffy. She's an singer, she's a slayer... They worked together?
So is George Hamilton also immune ?
So is George Hamilton also immune ?

*Gasp!* Are Simon and George the same person? OoO
I've never seen them in the same room together so logic says yes. And why would logic lie ? Look at that face.
Well, going by George's resume on the imdb, he hasn't been too busy in the last decade and Simon is like, always here.

It's gotta be either that or that he's an Oompa-Loompa.

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