Not only is Hollywood a creatively-challenged dead zone where good ideas go to die, the bloodied carcasses of ideas are dragged behind a woodshed and shot in the back of the head. O.K., maybe it’s not that bad, but it seems that way sometimes.
For example, there’s the upcoming reboot of the classic TV series “Buffy The Vampire Slayer”. Because Warner Brothers still owns the rights, this movie adaptation wouldn’t have the Scooby Gang or Angel or Spike. As bad ideas go, it’s worse than hiring the rhythmically-impaired Bristol Palin to star in a revival of “Cabaret” or asking Bernie Madoff to do your taxes.
When Joss Whedon was asked by the studio guys behind this proposed fiasco to do it, he wisely turned it down. Of course, Whedon being Whedon, he didn’t do it quietly:
I’m glad you asked for my thoughts on the announcement of Buffy the cinema film. This is a sad, sad reflection on our times, when people must feed off the carcasses of beloved stories from their youthsâ€”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.
Obviously I have strong, mixed emotions about something like this. My first reaction upon hearing who was writing it was, “Whit Stillman AND Wes Anderson? This is gonna be the most sardonically adorable movie EVER.” Apparently I was misinformed. Then I thought, “I’ll make a mint! This is worth more than all my Toy Story residuals combined!” Apparently I am seldom informed of anything. And possibly a little slow. But seriously, are vampires even popular any more?
I always hoped that Buffy would live on even after my death. But, you know, AFTER. I don’t love the idea of my creation in other hands, but I’m also well aware that many more hands than mine went into making that show what it was. And there is no legal grounds for doing anything other than sighing audibly. I can’t wish people who are passionate about my little myth ill. I can, however, take this time to announce that I’m making a Batman movie. Because there’s a franchise that truly needs updating. So look for The Dark Knight Rises Way Earlier Than That Other One And Also More Cheaply And In Toronto, rebooting into a theater near you.
Leave me to my pain! Sincerely, Joss Whedon.
Of course, Mr. Whedon hit the stake right on the head when he asked, “But seriously, are vampires even popular any more?” When “Buffy” premiered over fifteen years ago, the concept of a wisecracking high school student killing vampires was innovative, challenging and subversive. Now? Not so much. In a crowded pop culture landscape that’s inundated with vampires, a new “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” movie is a bad idea that needs to stay buried in the graveyard of TV reruns and DVD box sets.