In this world of pop ephemera, you never really know what’s going to stick until it does. For every unforeseen, landscape altering success, there are dozens of efforts that for one reason or another don’t have the sort of staying power they seem to in the moment. After fifteen years off the air, ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ can safely be said to have staying power with a fanbase as passionate and vital as ever. So what does that mean for the future?
Speaking at the INTV conference in Israel, Fox Television Group chairman and CEO Gary Newman (no, not that one) rattled off a list of the shows Fox has revived and/or rebooted over the last several years, including ’24’, ‘Prison Break’, and ‘The X-Files‘ before getting to what many might describe as the elephant (or Balthazar) in the room: ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’. ‘Buffy’, according to Newman, “is probably our most ripe show for a remake. It’s something we talk about frequently.”
That’s an exciting prospect to say the least, but is it actually happening? Not for the moment, at least. As Newman explains, while Fox is game to return to the Buffyverse, they do have one very important condition that has to be met before they do so: “Joss Whedon is one of the greatest creatives we’ve ever worked with. When Joss decides it’s time, we’ll do it, until Joss does, we won’t.”
That particular condition – Whedon’s involvement – should go a long way toward easing the fears of fans who remember the aborted effort by producers Fran Rubel Kuzui and Kaz Kuzui to kickstart a Whedon-less remake of the 1992 ‘Buffy’ film.
Of course, Whedon himself has since continued ‘Buffy’ in comic book form, variously writing and supervising three “seasons” for Dark Horse Comics (and a brief ‘Angel’ run for IDW) over the last decade, with a fourth set to commence this summer. A televised revival would not only bring into question the future of those comics but also their canonicity. Though they have thus far been treated as part of the official ‘Buffy’ continuity, a live-action continuation would raise the possibility of them being discarded, much like the former ‘Star Wars’ expanded universe was ahead of the release of ‘The Force Awakens in 2015.
Be sure to check back with ScienceFiction.com for more on future ‘Buffy’ productions as it becomes available!