‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ movie looking for new writer

Dec. 22, 2011 | 11:40 a.m.
whit Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie looking for new writer

Screenwriter Whit Anderson (Sam Comen)

That big-screen revamp of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” has been dealt a setback — it looks as though the movie’s first-time screenwriter bit off more than she could chew.

buffystars Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie looking for new writer

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Two sources close to the project say that the script submitted this past summer by writer Whit Anderson fell far short of expectations and, in the end, was rejected completely. That’s news that will spark celebration from some longtime “Buffy” fans who were less than thrilled by the prospects of a “Buffy” revival that didn’t involve Joss Whedon. Whedon, now directing “The Avengers” for Marvel,  himself took a few shots at the reboot project — although he did so with a sly wink.

“This is a sad, sad reflection on our times,” Whedon said last November when that deal was announced, “when people must feed off the carcasses of beloved stories from their youths — just because they can’t think of an original idea of their own, like I did with my Avengers idea that I made up myself.”

As for the future of “Buffy”? A new writer is being sought but the entire endeavor may have lost some steam. There also might be some healthy fear among the producers who witnessed a spasm of fan criticism when the project was first publicized.

“If you’re going to bring it back, you have to do it right,” one key player in the project told Hero Complex. “[Anderson] came in with some great ideas and she had reinvented some of the lore and it was pretty cool but in the end there just wasn’t enough on the page.”

— Geoff Boucher


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51 Responses to ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ movie looking for new writer

  1. Mia says:

    We were ready for a Spike movie! A Faith and Spike show. A Willow or Illyria flick etc. Joss Whedon and M.E. firmly behind it. Even just in DVD format… But, they (the PTB) didn't let that happen! THEN for someone outside the verse family to take a stab – without the writers or the actors and so soon after the shows ended? WTH. Wishing Whit all the best, she's a fan, but honestly, there was very little chance that would've worked – with or without the bad blood.

  2. Shiyra says:

    I think it’s definately abad idea for someone other than Joss Whedon to make Buffy anything, film, tv show, comic… none of the fans of thbe show would support that and they would have to depend on a entirely new audience, one unfamiliar with Joss’ work, which I think is also quite unlikely to build a fanbase. If they really can’t think of an original premise, go ahead and use the Buffy universe, but make a movie about one of the new slayers that were activated at the end of season 7 with all new characters and plots. That way they can be lazy and original at the same time.

  3. Ryan says:

    If a “key player” and “sources close to the project” are going to badmouth their writer on a popular blog, they should at least have the decency to do it on the record. Cowards.

  4. Michael says:

    Yes, any Buffy movie would be good. Even direct to DVD.

  5. Mykl says:

    Hey Hollywood, get a new idea!

  6. David says:

    Um, why hasn't anyone tried to do a FRAY trilogy?

  7. Diana says:

    The only new movie movie that I would I be interested in is one that is made by and written Joss Whedon and starred the cast members from the TV series. That way it woould please everybody. I think that that would be better. I would hope that it would ignore the comic book series.

  8. Guest says:

    I'm sure you would have made the largest photo in the article that of the first-time screenwriter if it was some random guy. You also would have sourced it with unnamed people involved in the project trashing said writer, not the producers whose bad idea the reboot was in the first place. This article is nasty.

  9. chris says:

    This article isn’t nasty at all, and saying that the writer had good ideas but it just wasn’t there isn’t “badmouthing” at all. The script didn’t work. It happens. Now they’ll move on or find someone else.

  10. Mikah says:

    Hooray! It would be virtually impossible to reinvent the story of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, without Joss and the original cast! Warner Brothers need to leave this show alone…

    HOWEVER… I am also a huge fan of the mythology of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (and the Slayer lineage), and sometimes wish that there is a screen writer out there, who has the talent, the balls and the wit to reawaken this spectacular story.
    Sadly, I dont think a single screen writer can make their version of Buffy, as good if not better than the original.

  11. Colleen says:

    Maybe they should try someone who is a real writer who can write screenplays, like Harlan Ellison could. I would love to see someone with serious dialogue chops like Andrew Vachss take on the Buffyverse.

  12. Former reader says:

    Geoff I'm a fan, but you should be ashamed of yourself for printing a nasty article like this after being spoonfed from a producer trying to save face. Shame on you.

  13. Jason Remigio III says:

    How about getting someone who can write vampire screenplays, as screenwriter, Joss Whedon as producer, getting someone as executive producer. How about Len Wiseman as director and providing the story? Based on the Buffy The Vampire Slayer series, with new characters, new vision, starting back in the past with Count Dracula, setting the story in the late 1700's to the present, telling the origins, with no spoilers.

  14. Jerry Greenfield says:

    The truth is that Joss Whedon was offered the opportunity to write
    the reboot and he declined to even discuss it. It's time for him to
    man up and tell the truth. The producers have always welcomed him on
    board the project.

  15. Jay T Johnson says:

    I love Buffy so much and I'm glad that fox isn't going to make a slap dash summer crowd pleaser out of it. But I have to say if this was David S Goyer who wrote Chris Nolans Batman films, would people have the same reaction….?
    And if Steven Speilberg was director, would people still be saying only Joss Whedon can make it?

    I am Joss Whedons biggest fan, but he created Buffy doesn't mean he's the only one that can interpret it.

  16. Robert Johnson says:

    Whedon had a lot of good ideas but not everyone liked the way his storys played out. However I think the fan who suggested that it is to soon after the series ended, is right. Once again there was a Buffy story before Whedon came on the scene. It didn't do very well but it was there. When it is time for it to come back, a different approach might be the way to go.

  17. James Christie says:

    I know a way to do a new "Buffy" movie while avoiding the contractual stipulation which has crippled this attempt and possibly with original cast involvement. The stories/screenplays you will need have already been written. I myself am a soon-to-be-published author (touch wood), I have Asperger Syndrome and the tale I have to tell (available for pre-ordering from Amazon's UK site) is called "Dear MIss Landau." If you'd like further verification of this rather dramatic claim, please contact Chaplin Books (www.chaplinbooks.co.uk) or email them on: chaplinbooks@virginmedia.com.

    Dear Miss Landau will (touch wood) be published on 14th March 2012 by Chaplin Books. I think the IT industry often makes the point that there's always someone sitting in a garage somewhere working on an idea which will turn the industry upside down. In this case it wasn't a garage but a Glasgow tenement flat, but that's just what has happened.

    To quote "Rocky Balboa":

    "There's always someone out there. Always."

    James Christie

  18. James Christie says:

    This is part (probably quite a small part) of an interview I wrote for Chaplin Books which will explain everything in more depth. It can also be found in PDF format in the Our Authors section of Chaplin Books' website:

    1)How did you first get interested in Buffy the Vampire Slayer?

    “Without giving too much of Dear Miss Landau (DML) away, let’s just say that Buffy’s tales of knights, demons, redemption and quests, relocated from the green and pleasant fields of King Arthur’s England and Hammer Films’ Transylvania to the stucco and adobe-adorned small town streets of Sunnydale struck a deep and abiding chord with me. The “all for one and one for all” camaraderie of the Scoobies was a badly-needed contrast to some of the nasty sides of human nature I was seeing at the time. Buffy really was a chink of light during a very dark time, and did lead to a real-life quest.”

  19. James Christie says:

    And a bit more…

    2)What appealed to you about the character of Drusilla in particular?

    “The absolute truth about my relationship with Drusilla is reserved for DML, but I will say that despite being an insane demonic killer, underneath the mask of the vampire was a shy, sweet girl who was a lot more pleasant than the racist xenophobes myself and a black colleague had been putting up with.

    “In a word, the demon was kinder than the human, and I loved her dearly for it.

    “As people with autism are generally not that empathic, I would say that my abnormally strong emotional connection with my dear old Dru is worth some academic study.”

  20. James Christie says:


    3)You went on to write a trilogy of novellas about Drusilla. Is this when you first made contact with Juliet Landau?

    “DML will detail the stops along the way to Sunset Boulevard, but when I began to write Drusilla’s Roses, the first tale of the trilogy, I basically went on a complete creative bender. I wrote, I would say, not a story about Dru, but the story which should have been written for her at the time of Buffy but wasn’t…

  21. James Christie says:

    And again…

    “In my opinion, the character of Drusilla had not been developed as fully as the other members of her vampire family – Spike, Angel and Darla – had been. It was as if Dru herself chose me to finish the job. I know how strange that sounds, but that’s how it felt at the time. There are any number of technically proficient writers around, but she needed someone who also loved her passionately, with all his heart and soul, and would fight to the last drop of his blood to bring her back.

    “She needed her noble knight, and she found him.

    “Then, when it was all over, there was nothing else I could do except put Dru in the care of her creator. So I sent Drusilla’s Roses to Hollywood, to an actress I did not know, whose middle name was Rose…”

  22. James Christie says:

    And so on!

    4)You travelled alone across the US to meet her: what aspects of this did you, as an autistic man, find most difficult?

    “You’d think the tale behind my last answer would be extraordinary enough for one lifetime, but yes, despite being tired, damaged, middle-aged and autistic, I broke with my routines and travelled alone across America.

    “I am high functioning and I had done it before, but that had been twenty years earlier; and there’s many a man who remembers the days of his youth and dreams he may return to them, but knows deep down they’re gone for good.

    “I mentioned quests before, and every grating moment I ground through the bureaucracy, the grudging return to shared dorms in backpacker hostels, the long roads across the US and the crossing of the Mojave, the image of my lady was ahead of me.

    “Drusilla was my guide along the way, but Juliet was my muse."

  23. James Christie says:


    7)What strengths do you think Autists possess that ‘ordinary’ people don’t have?

    “It is an irony of the modern world that the greatest achievements are often only achieved after fifteen to twenty years of focused work, and often only by the minority who can achieve such focus. In general, the majority of ordinary neurologically-typical people (known as neuro-typicals) tend to be less focused and more prone to multi-tasking than the minority of people with autism. The majority of people are therefore (and I do stress that this is a huge generalisation) less likely to achieve exceptional results in a single area of study. With my “Asperger focus” (the name for the intense focus Autists can bring to bear on a single subject) helping me to develop my writing ability, it was perhaps more easy for me to reach the level I did than it would have been for a neuro-typical.”

  24. James Christie says:

    Even more!

    8)Have you always been interested in writing?

    “Writing has always been my best asset, but I’m not always interested in it. I also like girls. Especially shy vampire brunettes. The latent ability, however, was always there. I won a Daily Express short story competition in my early teens, won College Colours as a result of something interesting I did in my creative writing course, and edited the script for a film which won Glasgow University’s 1993 MacTaggart Prize. Then – after fifteen years trying to write the Great Scottish Novel – came Dru.”

  25. James Christie says:

    Yet more!

    10)What’s your next project?

    “Well, my story gets even more incredible. After I finished Drusilla’s Roses, Dru refused to allow herself to be pensioned off, so I then wrote Drusilla’s Redemption and Drusilla Revenant.

    “Roses and Redemption are in Drusilla’s section of the Buffy writers’ guild web site, Charm School version: lessons in etiquette, but Drusilla Revenant has never been seen.

    “This is because I think I found an unfinished story arc from the original TV series and, as well as incorporating Juliet Landau’s two-part Drusilla tale from Angel 24-25, Drusilla Revenant developed this arc and ends with an unbelievable twist which may well change fan perceptions of the Buffyverse."

  26. James Christie says:

    And penultimately…

    “I also gave Dru a happy ending. I thought this time I’d finally managed to pension the old girl off, but yet again she found her way back. So once DML is finished I intend to write the fourth part of the trilogy, in which Spike and Dru go back into action again…

    “There is a possibility the trilogy may be published and, at the risk of tilting recklessly at windmills, I think it (or elements from it) would be a better plot for the new Buffy movie than the current script which (due to a contractual stipulation) will probably just send the Slayer back to high school, without most of the beloved characters from the TV series."

  27. James Christie says:

    Last and ultimately:

    “On a different tack, Dear Miss Landau was first conceived as a film as I was walking down the hill from Candlewood Drive. There is plot, theme, location and spectacle galore. Imagine Rain Man meeting Notting Hill via 84 Charing Cross Road, punctuated by a poetic set of articles written while I was going across the US, running for L.A. to meet the best and most beautiful gal in all the world one Sunday morning in March, on a boulevard west of Sunset…

    “Any film producers out there listening?”

  28. James Christie says:

    Addendum: Dear Miss Landau will (touch wood) be published on 14th March 2012 by Chaplin Books. This is all really happening. I think the IT industry often makes the point that there's always someone sitting in a garage somewhere working on an idea which will turn the industry upside down. In this case it wasn't a garage but a Glasgow tenement flat, but that's just what has happened.

    To quote "Rocky Balboa":

    "There's always someone out there. Always."

  29. Shokai says:

    I want to see a Buffy who can do this: http://youtu.be/OvgJ6foD58Y

  30. Kitty says:

    Joss created Buffy, and it wouldn't be the same without him or without Sarah. Sarah's too old to play Buffy anymore and she IS Buffy. I agree with some of the posters here that some of Joss' story arcs with both Buffy and Angel were rather bad. (Season 6 of BtVS and Season 4 of Angel come to mind), but it is too soon to bring these characters back to the big screen. Maybe in 10-20 years from now when most people will say, "Buffy who?"

  31. anonymous says:

    all of you who bad mouth this did not even listen t Joss when he said that taking a new directer and writer would b ea good idea. he just handed it off and hopes for he best. you cannot expect him to stick with the genre forever i love him i love his shows but still after so may failures can you blame the guy he does not wan to let us down by making yet another failure. he did the movie alien for resurrection but they killed his ending and redid it. he tried desperately to hold on to doll house but the writers would not have it his way. so when he gets a chance to do a good movie such as the avengers and do it all his way if i where him i would let one of my fans take on the role for Buffy movie and direct the one i know won't be a let down. you need to respect him and the Buffy franchise after all whiny fans make bad news and bad press for it. hearing you bad mouth it is making me want to see it less and less because you cannot respect it for what it is a good idea done ya good woman. besides you can;t expect him to hold your hand all the time through your fantasies. but i want to see this movie and who cares if ti is a direct to DVD movie who cares if it is not as good as the original or the series i will love it none the less and i will own it because it is Buffy verse and i care about the genre more then i care about who stars in it or who directs it. yes i love Joss but i can give him up if someone else wants to try. its like telling your child not to draw hart because her older brother is better at it.. so please stop being uber fans and respect this for what it can and will be another installment,ent in the Buffy verse

  32. Darren Warren says:

    Hi guys I’m a screenwriter and at the minute I’m and making a tv series called destiny I would love the chance to write a buffy film as growing up I was a big fan of the hit tv series if you can get back to me that would be great thank you

  33. brad says:

    everyone just shhhh about whedon not producing it, it will be good its buffy for god sake, it will be fresh and new and exciting what about the movie before the tv series whedon didnt produce that so in a way he took someone elses idea!

  34. Buffylover says:

    I think they should just make a reunion movie of the original cast in one last battle and give them all a proper ending. I think it would turn out good, all the original actor are really not that old. I know I would love to see that and I think most of the btvs fans would too.

  35. Leon says:

    Buffy vs Blade…nuff said.

  36. jj14 says:

    I say get MTV to do it, they always have the pulse of the teens and you have Joss help out I think it would turn out well. Whoever produces Teen Wolf should do it

  37. wraggadon says:

    I want to see this done because the comics are just as awesome as the show. All you’d have to do is compress each big bad into one movie. Of course, you also have to compress all those hours of character development into a two hour time frame as well. The first film would definitely be the most difficult as you’d have to introduce Buffy, Willow, Xander, Giles, Cordelia, and Angel with The Master as the main antagonist. Angelus becomes the big bad for the second film while introducing Spike and Drusilla as well. Faith and the mayor for the final film in high school. I think done right the films could be the proper tribute to a mythology we all love so dear. If it wasn’t worth doing, why would this board be discussing it with such passion. A film universe would never replace the show or comics, only open them up to a younger(albeit not by too many years)generation and remind us all why we loved it so much in the first place.

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