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September 14 2004

Live-action launches cartoon renaissance. "Animation artist Eric Wight has created concept drawings for the proposed animated "Buffy" series, which is being shopped around to networks but could also turn into a DVD film."

This sounds promising that we'll get our Buffy cartoon one way or the other!

I think Buffy Animated direct to DVD is a great idea, even if it's just an episode...if it sells well, then that might get the network's attention.
Whee! How cool is this? Thanks, blwessels...
I would buy the DVD the day it came out.
"Replacing her with another actress might be too jolting, but replacing her with a cartoon may be more palatable — even if a substitute performs the voice."

We already know this from the computer games. As I understand it all the original talent returned to do the voices except for SMG. Buffy's part was done by Giselle Loren. Fans of the Whedonverse really need to get over this SMG or Bust mentality. I wanna see Buffy and the gang. They don't need to be played by the same actors. Talent's interchangeable, but in one form or another, the show must go on.
Concur with ZachsMind. I believe that Joss has already paved the way to this, by substituting another actress's tresses for SMG in The Girl in Question. Subtle, but true.
Making the cartoon into a 90 minute DVD feature would probably be the best route, if it sold well then they could shop it around for a series, and if they can't make it into a series, and the DVD did do well, they could keep making more animated movies direct to DVD.
Finally, some news on the animated series. Straight to DVD will actually be cost effective in this case. And I have no problem what so ever with another actress doing Buffy's voice over. So what's the hold up? Lets get this project moving, we need our BtVS fix! Good find, blwessels.
Emm, I saw the Animated Alias on the season 3 DVD and I was not that impressed. If it's the same guy drawing Buffy Animated, then I think we're in trouble..
One minor niggly thought I have about these direct to DVD ideas is that it might only appeal to existing fans of the show. If it was shown on the telly, the cartoon might pick up new fans who then could find out about the rest of the Buffyverse. It's hard for me to see this happening if it's just sold in the stores.

But if there's no other way of it being released, then a DVD launch is a lot better than nothing.
True, Simon. But I think reruns of Buffy and Angel will do all right in catching new viewers. Word of mouth and the odd converting-friends-and-family should keep up the discovering of the Buffyverse for many years, especially now that the two series are almost completely collected on DVD.

Also, at this point I'm a selfish fan. :) I love the idea of getting new Joss material on a format where network interference will be non-existent (none of those huge flashy ads that take up a quarter of the screen...Fox was most-guilty of that). No commercials (well, maybe one or two that you're unable to fast-forward through at the very beginning of the DVD), no pre-emption. They wouldn't have to make an animated series/movie as kid-friendly either.
Again, I guess that would depend on how much they be willing to spend on advertising. BTW, does anyone know the typical cost to produce an animated episode? I seem to recall reading somewhere that an episode of 'The Simpsons' cost as much as a typical drama, but that doesn't seem right.

Kris, had to smile at your "flasy ads" statement. FX is just as bad. I was watching a heartbreaking scene from BtVS 'The Body' when a 'Lucky' slot machine ad with all the bells and whistles pop on the screen. I sat there shaking my head wondering "What are you people thinking?".
Live action would be faster and cheaper to produce. I'd strongly prefer they just reboot the Whedonverse and start with an entirely new cast. Only, don't focus on Buffy. Expand the scope of the series to include more characters. Call it "Sunnydale." A low budget straight-to-video live action series would get my money faster than BtVS the animated series.

I bought Clerks, but I only rented its animated spinoff.
Sorry ZachsMind but that is an absolutely awful idea in my opinion.

I would hate to see a recreation of the slayerverse for the sake of continuing it. The reason that these characters worked so well is because of both the writers and the actors. Sarah is Buffy, David is Angel, James is Spike and so on.

I would much rather that nothing at all further was done with the slayerverse and things ended with Not Fade Away than watch some other actors playing the roles that belong to the cast we know and love.

Thankfully i would imagine that Joss would agree with me. It is doubtful he would ever consider recasting any of the roles and certainly would never want to do a whole new version of a story he has already told. Striking gold once is hard enough but to get that perfect mix a second time? Not gonna happen.

The voice work for the animated show is a different deal of course. As long as the voice artists resemble the original cast and can capture the personality of the character then that is close enough for me.

Don't know if it occured to you ZachsMind but your idea sounded extremely similar to what they did to the Superman story for Smallville, or was that intentional? ;)
Agree with you, Senior Partner.

A Buffy Animated series is welcome, but if it will be a "remake" with or without new storys, i prefer something new.
Fray, the animated series :p
You serious ZachsMind? The Buffyverse isn't even cold in its grave yet and you're suggesting that a re-imaginging would be a worthwhile project? Are you getting your inspiration from those "Ultimate" lines that Marvel Comics has been doing with their older series? Heh, just because it works in comics...

Seriously, why? The original has few enough flaws that I doubt they could do it over again and really have it work. Especially with a lower budget. The cheese factor due to low budget effects in some episodes is bad enough that I sometimes have trouble convincing people to give it a shot and have to prepare them ahead of time. "Yeah, the first season is more than a little campy, but just watch for the great acting and the humor and have fun with it."
There's one thing that bothers me about the Buffy Animated series. When the original Buffy, set in high school, came out at the same time as Ally McBeal, for example, the general public percieved AMcB as an "Adult" show. It starred adults and it was set in a law office. Buffy starred 'kids' and was set in school therefore the vast majority of people judged it "just a kids show". They never gave it a chance and saw the great acting and writing that was easily on a par with Ally McBeal.

Will the cartoon suffer the same fate? It's a cartoon and it's set in school, ergo: kids show.

I know Joss and the team want to tell more high school stories but I'd love to see the animated series start when the bus drives away from the crater of Sunnydale. Explore the characters journey with fantastic monsters and a darker tone.
zz9, I don't know if I'd want that to happen. I still hope that there will be movies or another live-action series (prefarably Faith, with Andrew in second billing), and I'd rather it was in live action than it was animated. But we don't know if there is going to be another LvAc one, so they should take the chance when they can

I'd rather see it as an Animated Series than a Movie, because thern you have more stories, and more variety, so you have a choice of maybe 13 episodes rather than just 1. But as with my comment above, I would rather have a movie than nothing

And I really hope the Animated Series happens this time

Does anyone know exactly how much an episode costs?
"or was that intentional? ;)"

I'll never tell. Although I wouldn't be surprised if a generation from now Buffy gets a reboot, in a way where we both would probably retch, but the kids are gonna love it.

I'm looking at the realism of it. The magic that made Buffy and Angel as we know it in the past is gone. They've moved on to other things. I'm happy for them, but are y'all serious in your desire to bring them all back again? Have we learned nothing from "Return To Gilligan's Island With the Harlem Globetrotters"?

"Sarah is Buffy, David is Angel, James is Spike and so on"

No! This is precisely the attitude that needs to be re-examined among the fan base. Sarah PLAYED Buffy. David PORTRAYED Angel. James Marsters brought his own unique and impressive list of experience and ability to the role of Spike, but he is not the character. They are separate. Marsters can move on and sing in a band and play other parts in other shows or plays and he can continue to have a life after Spike.

Spike can continue to have a life after James. It's very simple. Honest.

SMG did her time in the slayer's skin. She doesn't wanna go back. That's understandable. It is selfish of us to ask her to return. Although I admire her work on the show, I've always been more a fan of the character Buffy than the actress Gellar. I think Whedon's creation deserves to be portrayed by more than two women, and make no mistake, Gellar was not the first woman to take that stake. Swanson performed the movie version. It's not a stretch to see a third or fourth woman portray the role.

The character itself is potentially as meaty to portray as Lady MacBeth or Rosalind from the works of Shakespeare. There's countless women out there, each as talented and vivacious as SMG, who would jump at the opportunity, and I'm sure it would be worth our while to witness one or more of them tackling the subtly deep and complex character. She wouldn't be the same Buffy, but it's not a role that SMG owns. It's a character that any talented and capable actress can step into.

So stop limiting the future of the BuffyVerse by insisting on the impossible. Not only can there be a reboot of the story, but there can be continuing exploits with a new cast, and there can be tales told in the BuffyVerse but not featuring any of the major character from the first two series.

I think we could see "OZ the Series" played by someone other than Seth Green (sarcasm) unless he'll aquiesce to doing tv again after becoming such a successful film actor (/sarcasm) and we could explain away the new look for Oz because in the years since we last saw him, Oz has become a polymorph. His travels and meditation and research has led him to a plateau of control over his abilities, but he's beginning to feel a loss of self-identity.

In fact, it would be kinda cool if there were several actors who could play the character, as he changes his physicality to go under cover or whatever the plot entails. However it'd be easier for a number of reasons to hire Seth Green or some other capable actor to be Oz's 'default' look.

There's a way to write around any complexity of real life. The show must go on. I really wish I had the money and time to generate a fan effort to create what would amount to a "lost episode" of Buffy that would have a quality at least matching that of the series original pilot. Have y'all ever seen Lady X Films? Great project. Lots of fun. There was even an episode made in my home town of Dallas. I think it would be great to see something like this done among the fan community, that's BuffyVerse related. I don't know how it would work, but it'd be wild I'm sure of that.

Think fan fiction but on video, and I hope to God it wouldn't include any slash, but then I'm probably in the minority there. The point is we gotta look forward, and we gotta find ways to incorporate new talent into the franchise, since the old talent is, well, old and they've moved on.

OR we can just stop coming to Whedonesque and become fans of CSI New York. Anyone up for that? Didn't think so.
For me the worst thing that could happen would be to suddenly see Buffy Summers portrayed by anyone other than Sarah Michelle Gellar. Especially if it was as a continuation of the story we have already seen. Suddenly having Buffy look and sound different whilst everyone else is exactly the same and it not being part of the story would be too jarring and completely ruin any project that happened. This goes for any of the major cast members if i'm honest.

I think you give too little credit to what the actors brought to the popularity of the show. Buffy the Vampire Slayer could have started all that time ago with a different cast but can you really say you would have enjoyed it as much? I thought Kristy Swanson played the character of Buffy dreadfully and had she been chosen to continue into the series i may not have even watched it in the first place.

Truthfully i may have taken to a totally different cast if i had never known any different admittedly but still from by point of view these actors were a very large part of what hooked me to the series.

The alternative you mentioned, about restarting the whole thing from scratch with a new cast, just seems totally pointless to me. Quite honestly we don't need it to be made a second time, the first time through was more than good enough. If that was the only option i would say not to bother. Leave it with what we have already.

Your suggestion of having a new actor play a given role because of some explainable mystical happening has occured to me before to be honest. The body swap between Buffy and Faith in season four leaves the possibility open for most of the cast to be interchangeable. However if they wanted to put Willow, for example, into a new body (or actress) it would be important to me that whoever was chosen to portray her could do so believably, capturing Willow's personality as we know it.

My personal preference however would be to leave things as they are. Continue the original slayerverse if at all possible or just let things end with what we have.

The options are still numerous to do just that. Both Sarah and David would almost certainly be able to be convinced to make Buffy/Angel movies (David has already said he would and Sarah just needs to see a good enough script). James Marsters, Amy Acker and several other ex cast members are all open to returning even for tv projects. Finally there is the option of just starting elsewhere with a whole new group of characters, maybe totally unconnected to what we have seen so far.

The current slayerverse can continue very easily even if neither Sarah or David ever return. Recasting or rebooting shouldn't be neccessary.

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