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February 06 2006

Don't wait for Willow. Alyson Hannigan suggests that a TV movie based around Willow would be a long time in coming.

I don't doubt that she's right - although personally I'd rather see a post-"Chosen" Willow story than a post-"Not Fade Away" Spike story.

I get the perspective too, since while I really like the character a lot more than Spike, there's not really as much to explore with her in the span of a TV movie that would really give it much of a reason to exist. She's a much better supporting character given her background (WASJ I'm guessingm, compared to a tortured dead vampire poet) instead of someone to build an ensemble cast around.
I'm hearing nothing positive lately about a Buffyverse... anything! Oh please, Joss, come and tell us it's all lies! Eight spinoffs lined up on the CW and a feature film post NFA. And Serenity 2 is also a go, right? (I beleive Mr. Fillion is getting sworn in as 'president' for life of Canada next week.)
Well it does seem that Joss is planning a Spike movie with Tim Minear set to write/direct and James Marsters is certainly keen, so I wouldn't rule it out entirely. I don't think Alyson is ruling it out either, she just doesn't expect it anytime soon and would prefer to work with Joss again.
No good news about the Buffyverse, jfhlbuffy? What about those official canon S8 comics Joss is working on?!

Am I the only one excited about those?!

[ edited by UnpluggedCrazy on 2006-02-06 09:59 ]
Unplugged crazy wrote:
What about those official canon S8 comics Joss is working on?!

That is exciting, in its own way. But I fell in love with actors on the screen and dialogue and music and everything that made the television series great. Yes, they will be canon. It's just not the same as seeing a TV movie or a motion picture or another season of television.
I agree with Keith G. Most fans don't find the comic books an exciting media outlet. I've tried to get into them, but they lack everything the actors bring to the parts, so a S8 canon will only appeal to the minority.

I hope that we are due some good news soon regarding the verse..
Most fans don't find the comic books an exciting media outlet.


Shame. These days I'm finding comic books to be better written and more exciting than what I generally watch on the television.
Spike old times was a excellent comic, but hey my preference is always to filmed live action, lets hope we don't wait too long, and 2006 is the year a Spike movie is filmed.

[ edited by SeanValen on 2006-02-06 12:11 ]
In fairness, I think you'll find a difference between random writer Buffy comics and Whedon Buffy comics. I suspect. As in, Whedon's Buffy comics will likely have huge story arcs where he can kill characters to piss you all off and such ('I'm burning my comic RIGHT NOW').
I for one am certainly excited about the prospect of new canon Buffy comics. I'm not sure if 'most fans' don't think comic books are an exciting media outlet, but there's bound to be a bunch of people who are not interested in one outing or the other.

Sure, there's a downside to comics as apposed to television: the actors we know and love are not present and, what's more, the amount of story in a single comic issue is less (or at least it would appear so to me) than a single episode of television, so we'll be getting our Buffy fix in smaller doses.

Still, though: comics are a lot of fun (even though I've been missing out on some good stuff lately) and new, canon, Buffy material by Joss is very, very exciting to me. So chalk me up in the 'looking forward to it' column.
Also, whilst I'm here, to some extent the sad truth is that people have to suck up what they can get - I see some posts online which seem to suggest Joss just can't be arsed doing some Buffyverse stuff. I don't think that's the case. I think the reality is, lining up actors/writers/studios/financing for 'moving images' TV or DVD stuff takes a great deal of time, effort and luck. If shooting something like BTVS, Angel or Firefly was easy, everybody would be doing it.
Exactly gossi. Obviously even a small-ish comics company like Dark Horse has hundreds of people working behind the scenes but at base for a comic you need about 4-5 people (Writer, Artist, Inker, Colourist and maybe Editor) with some of these roles possibly being filled by the same person. Compared to a TV show with large casts, roomsful of writers, all the crew, the studio people etc. it's a cake-walk.

I'm also really looking forward to the S8 comics. For some stories (e.g. epics with archetypal characters) when done right comics are like movies only better (IMO) since they're a kind of half-way point between film and books. Your mind fills in the blanks between panels (a concept called closure) but it's directed by single or multiple images which distill and condense the story into instants which can lead to a more intense experience. Much as I like 'Batman Begins' for example I just don't see any comics film matching the feeling of reading 'The Dark Knight Returns' any time soon (which is not to say I don't love movies, it's just that different media allow you tell certain types of stories better).
I see some posts online which seem to suggest Joss just can't be arsed doing some Buffyverse stuff.


Yea, I think it's more a matter of, he seriously would love to do more, but hasn't had any reasonable offers yet. He's stated on more than one occasion that he wants to do them, we're just waiting on the networks really.
It seems to me like too many people overreact to any news they read around here, as if whatever is written is somehow going to change what Joss is going to do. Today we read an article suggesting that the movies may not go ahead so the mood goes down. Tomorrow somebody will post an article that features a comment from Joss saying that he is very interested in makiing the Spike movie, everyone gets excited again.

Taking too much notice of every single comment from every single article is going to drive you nuts!!! The fact is that the person writing this Sci Fi Wire article has no better idea what Joss has planning at this moment than we do. He (or she) is merely repeating a lot of stuff that we already knew on top of a couple of Willow related comments from Alyson.

As for those comments from Alyson, i hope she will reconsider at some point because Willow is easily in my top five characters that i hope to see featured in a future project. I totally agree with her that Spike is the correct and logical next step but i'd like to see Willow back at some point too.

Finally, i'd agree in general that the majority of Buffy and Angel fans, especially those that don't read comics anyway (shame on you!), don't get as excited about the comic projects. However this new Dark Horse series is an entirely different animal to the stuff that has come before. This series will feature the facts of what happened after Chosen for Buffy and the gang. Not some random writer's professional fanfic but the actual events of the Scoobies life after they destroyed the Hellmouth, as envisioned by the Man himself!

I know i'm looking forward to season eight and i would hope that anyone who loved the show would pick this book up too because good sales of season eight could well lead to season nine and ten and so on, or better yet help to prove that there is still a lot of love for the Buffyverse and help get a new televised series on our screens.
It seems to me like too many people overreact to any news they read around here, as if whatever is written is somehow going to change what Joss is going to do. Today we read an article suggesting that the movies may not go ahead so the mood goes down. Tomorrow somebody will post an article that features a comment from Joss saying that he is very interested in makiing the Spike movie, everyone gets excited again.


But, but, isn't that why we are here? Right at this moment, there is nothing new in the Whedonverse to discuss. So we tear apart the rumours, looking for the nuggets of truth.
We've already speculated endlessly on WW's star spangled panties. On who will play WW. On the significance of Mia's name. We've looked at the DVD sales of Serenity till we are blue in the face (although I suspect a second round is upon us).
That is what we do. That is what we are.
I know, certainly, I'm here because I like JW's work (by the way, somebody should really set up minearesque.com). And although I likes me some Buffy The Vampire Slayer, that isn't the actual reason I'm here.

Of course, since there's not much publicly going on at the moment there's not much to discuss. Which is fine.
Lioness, to a certain extent, yes. Of course we are going to discuss the comments and listen to opinions. I was very interested in what Alyson had to say and her perspective on where she saw a Willow project going, or not as the case may be.

What i'm saying is that people have a tendency to overreact and make sweeping assumptions about Joss' plans overall based upon what is actually fairly irrelevant information.

Not to purposely single out jfhlbuffy's comment but that is sort of what i was talking about. Why take the contents of this article as a sign that nothing positive is being said about the movies? The truth is that, apart from what Alyson said about her own involvement, nothing that article mentioned is remotely news to us and a lot of it is totally irrelevant. I get so tired of the fate of the Buffyverse movies being connected to the WB when we all know that in actual fact what is happening to that network has little or no relevance to anything Joss is planning.

So discuss and give opinions, absolutely, after all that is why we all bother to come here. Just don't let every word you read in an article colour your views because ultimately it is most likely right here that Joss will first announce anything definite about the movies, whether that be for the good or for the bad.

And for the love of Glory, don't let anything that comes out of the mouths of anyone at the WB make the slightest difference to what you believe. ;)
I think that comics are the best medium to continue the buffyverse with, my only problem with the canon comics is that darkhorse can't use Spike. So i'm guessin that Joss can't write him in to his comics. And i personaly would have loved to see the new and improved scoobies fighting the evil in the world. The strongest slayer Buffy, the vampire with a soul Spike, the white witch Willow, the watcher Ripper and Xander.
Personally, I could stand to hear more about the star-spangled panties ;).

(BTW, who's Mia ?)

my only problem with the canon comics is that darkhorse can't use Spike


Whoa. Is that true (not casting aspersions, just shocked) ? I thought Joss wholly owned the characters, so that if he wanted to use them he can, or do IDW have some kind of exclusive licence ?

ETA: s/Dark Horse/IDW/

[ edited by Saje on 2006-02-06 16:07 ]
Sethsky, as far as i'm aware both IDW and Dark Horse are able to use Spike as the character was a part of both licensing agreements when they were made. From what i understand, just because Spike was a part of Angel at the time the IDW series were arranged doesn't alter the fact he was already licensed to Dark Horse as a Buffy series regular too.

Could be wrong but i've heard nothing to dispute that so far.
I'm enjoying the Angel comics, the second one being tonnes better than the first, and also the Spike one shots have been great. Just wish they'd sort the artwork out on them. *grumble, grumble*

Btvs comics hold little to no interest for me any longer. I might get it, I might not. It depends on what the storyline is. My love for the Scoobies received a battering in S6 and 7 and the only ones I'd want to see again in any format are Xander and Giles. I'd pass on a Willow movie too.

My focus now is on Ats characters and post-NFA stories. The slayer line just doesn't do it for me anymore. *shrugs*

Did someone mention Spangel in panties? *drool, dribble, whimper* ;0)
Chris Ryall posted on the IDW boards that IDW have the rights to Spike but that they wouldn't complain if Dark Horse were to use him in flashbacks. Not the best news.
Today we read an article suggesting that the movies may not go ahead so the mood goes down.

That's not my interpretation of the article at all. To me, the only thing the article suggests is that Alyson thinks a telemovie based on the character Willow is unlikely. The rest is the exact same information we've already known for a long time now - nothing has changed. So unless Joss or James says a Spike movie isn't going to happen, I don't have any reason for my mood to go down. In fact, I'm rather pleased she still thinks Spike is the next logical step.
Humm..
How does the "birth" of The CW Network affect the future of Buffy/Angel-verse? Especially the last year we have heard positive statements in regards to the TV-movies, still there seemed to be one peice of info missing.
Is that peice in place now?
Really, Jackal? I wonder how that has come about? I wasn't aware that Dark Horse's license for the BtVS properties had expired which would suggest they still had a claim to Spike as well, same as before.

Mind you, if the series is really meant to represent season eight of Buffy then that would be whilst Spike was at Wolfram & Hart anyway, so it probably won't matter either way.

Killinj, that was my personal take on the article too. :)
Saje, Mia is the name of the main character in Goners. Check out the site Gossi has built in anticipation.
http://gonersmovie.com/
Saje: Joss doesn't own any of the Buffy/Angel characters. 20th Century Fox owns the franchise.

But yeah, Dark Horse now owns the Buffy comics license, and IDW owns the Angel license. And Spike is now considered an Angel character, so he falls under the IDW deal, but not Dark Horse anymore. It sucks that there are now legal issues with having easy comics crossovers with the Buffy and Angel characters; even with no actors to work with, even with no networks to deal with, there's always gotta be issues...
Okay, just so that i can be 100% certain here, does anyone know for a fact if Dark Horse ever actually gave up the license for the BtVS properties? I'm obviously aware that they decided to let the Angel properties go and that IDW took them over but as far as i know they have never given up the rights to the Buffy characters they were using in the old comic book series they produced, Spike included.

Surely, unless Dark Horse did let the BtVS license drop and have only recently renewed it under new terms, they technically never gave up the rights to Spike in the first place and so both companies do still have a claim.

Not that i'm saying anyone is wrong, by the way. It just strikes me as a little strange that the rights to use Spike could be taken away from Dark Horse whilst they still held an active license for BtVS.
Dark Horse had to renew their rights last year so they may have had to do so on new terms, including no Spike. I don't think they ever dropped them though.
I sort of had a different take here. First, I read Aly's comments as effectively saying that she has moved on from Willow. Yes, she implied that if Joss were to write and direct that might be of some interest to her, but that, to me, is a bit of a hedge, a way of indicating interest when none might actually exist. After all, she has a job and a good one. And Joss will not be visiting Willow in the near future anyway. It will be Spike or it will be nothing, by all indications.

As for the S8 comic, I will be quite interested in it. I would like to see how Joss viewed an S8. However, for my own personal needs I prefer fanfic seasons, especially the ones by people like jetwolf. These are as true as anything, imho.

And off topic, I read a great possible person to play Wonder Woman: Navi Rawat of Numb3rs. This is not a bad choice at all.
I'm not waiting for a Willow movie either until the talked about Spike movie comes out. Depending on it's success both creatively and commercially will likely dictate what other Buffy-verse movies can be made. Alyson Hannigan mentions that she's unsure of Buffy-verse movies without Joss Whedon writing it directly, however, maybe a really great Tim Minear Spike movie, with I'm assuming a lot of input from Joss, might change her mind. Not to mention at that point I imagine Joss would likely have some sort of idea what the Willow movie is about to pitch to Alyson Hannigan, rather than just making a Willow movie simply because she's a popular character. Plus if the Spike movie is a commercial success, I'm sure then the deal for Alyson Hannigan will be a decent amount of $$$.
Aaah! Thanks for that, Jackal. If Dark Horse have had to renew the license recently then it is very possible they would have not been able to reclaim the rights to use Spike.

Again though, as long as Joss intends to set this new comic book series in a "season eight" time period it won't matter about Spike one way or another because he is with Angel at that time and we know for a fact that he never actually crossed paths with Buffy. It's actually more realistic to not use Spike if Joss intends to make the comics canon and not go against the events of Angel's fifth season.

Even so, does anyone else think it would be really cool for them to have a scene in a later issue of the comic series where Buffy and the Immortal are dancing in a night club and in the background you see two people in long, black coats (one with shockingly blonde hair) fighting a group of Italian heavies over the contents of a mysterious bag? It would definately bring a smile to my face! :)
Ah, thanks Lioness. And I call myself a fan ;).

That site has a nice look to it gossi. Hopefully there'll be a bit more info to stick on there soon.

Joss doesn't own any of the Buffy/Angel characters. 20th Century Fox owns the franchise.


Wow. I just assumed that Joss would have automatic copyright on his creations (or maybe it works differently under US law). Presumably he signed that over when the series went into production. Tangled webs indeed.
I'm 99% sure 20th Century Fox does indeed legally own the characters - they also own the Firefly 'verse characters. Universal's Serenity says during the end credits "Based on characters credited by Joss Whedon", whatever that means.

Ultimately, I've seen some suggestions by fans that Mr Wheldon (sorry, that joke got old about 2 years ago) should just move the characters to a ship and show with a different name. Great suggestion, if you want to get sued for 12 bajillion dollars.
I wasn't sure about Spike, that's why i said guessing.
I was also thinken more about future Buffy canon comics, i guess season 9 if it happens. Since i don't consider Spike part of Angel's team in the long run, i think he would either go solo and make his own team or a reunion between Spike and the scoobies. But if Dark horse can't use him well then.
Dark horse has never used a souled Spike in their comics, it was either pre-BTVS evil Spike or chipped Spike.
I hope that we get more info soon.
Saje,

Even if there isn't an explicit contract detailing the rights--and there most assuredly are for any major entertainment property--there's a "work for hire" issue. That is, if I pay you to create a work for me, absent other arrangements, I who paid for it own it, not you who created it. Now that's a gross oversimplification, and probably contains substantial error that an intellectual property lawyer can spot in a heartbeat. My interaction with this is as a computer programmer--when I get paid a salary to create a program, it belongs to my employer, not to me.
I have purchased and read a few of the new comics, and ordered several of the ones coming. There are two problems though.

First of all they are really hard to find. I pre-ordered from about five different companies because there wasn't a single company that had all of them available.

Secondly, and this is the big one, it takes five minutes or less to finish reading. Way less than watching a single episode. Not in the least bit satisfying. They are nice to own, I am especially looking forward to some of the art on the Spike V.S. Dracula books, but they really can't be compared to the show, a movie, or even a well-written fan fiction.

Even a Joss written comic can't possibly fill my craving for more story. It just isn't enough.
Dark Horse has never used a souled Spike in their comics, it was either pre-BTVS evil Spike or chipped Spike.


I'm not sure where you are going with that statement, sethsky. Spike is Spike, as far as legal matters are concerned. It doesn't matter if we are talking with soul, without soul or the chipped variety. A company either has the right to use him or they don't.
Isn't that a nice picture of Alyson?

(I wish it was bigger)

Also, I agree with Xane, I wish the comics were bigger too.

And they say size doesn't matter...
Thanks for that jclemens. After reading these posts I trundled off onto the web and found this which explains the major differences between US and UK copyright law. Almost all writing seems to be done on a 'work for hire' basis in the US since self-employed (i.e. freelance) writers cannot join a union (which isn't true of the UK) and as you say this basically means that you don't have automatic moral copyrights to your work. However, it does mean that writers fees are negotiated with all the bargaining power of a union and royalty rights seem to be different too so that US writers actually make more money as a result (tho' it seems they may lose with regards to control, especially of derivative works). I only skimmed the article so I don't know if it mentions programming but as far as i'm aware code is treated similarly to written works as far as copyright is concerned (IANAP or a lawyer tho' ;).
Vampire with a gun, i wasn't talking about having rights to different Spike's. It was just my personal preference, i'm glad that Spike is now at IDW becuse they write souled versions of him and also solo stories. Both of whom i didn't get with Dark Horse comics.
It seemed like they didn't want to write him evolved from his evil days. Thus i was hoping that if Joss could use Spike he would write him post-Chosen. But again it won't happen if Joss can't use him.
I can see the next fandom riot now. Spike not in new Buffy comics? I'm burning my blackcoat! Joss is dead to me!
Apologies for the misunderstanding, sethsky. The point you made about Spike having a soul, chip or not seemed to bleed straight from the discussion of legal rights and i couldn't work out what you were trying to prove with that. Makes more sense now i know that you actually weren't! :)

Gossi, i may not like the fact that Spike may not be in the new comic series but i'm damned sure nobody is burning my black leather coat! It cost me nearly 300 and i've had it a hell of a lot longer than i've been a Spike fan, lol!
Um, isn't it enough that there's going to be a Spike TV Movie? He has to be in the Buffy comics as well? Are you Spike fans never satisfied?
If Spike won't be in the new comics...well, that's unfortunate, but I can deal. As long as we've got the core Scoobies. And besides, Joss! That's what matters the most.

As great as a new television series would be...it ain't gonna happen. The Spike movie also seems like a long shot. Comics are a great, vastly underappreciated medium. A good comic book series is the equivalent of a good TV series--if not better--and we all know that Joss made a coupl'a moderately okay series. ;-)

It's sad that comics are taken seriously by the majority everywhere around the world except for in their birthplace.

Any new, OFFICIAL Buffyverse is fantastic! Remember Fray? ...And maybe it'll get that bad IDW Angel/Spike taste outta my mouth...

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