It was just announced that the cast of ‘Angel’ would reunite for a panel at New York Comic Con this fall– possibly without lead David Boreanaz— but what no one realized that the gang had already gotten back together for a cover story on ‘Entertainment Weekly’. Luckily, Boreanaz was on hand for this gathering along with Amy Acker (Winifred “Fred” Burkle), Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia Chase), Alexis Denisof (Wesley Wyndam-Pryce), James Marsters (Spike), and J. August Richards (Charles Gunn). Also part of the reunion were series creators Joss Whedon and David Greenwalt. In the in-depth article, they all reminisced about the creation of the show, its evolution, and its eventual ending.
Greenwalt, a.k.a. “Greenie” to the cast, recalled:
“We thought, let’s do a noir thing that’s about addiction and redemption, and we’ll put them in L.A. The stories will be darker and, more important, he’ll be darker… Buffy has this wonderful purpose and fights evil, but still wants to go to the prom and get the right dress. Angel is a much darker and, in a sense, more complex character.”
As Whedon said:
“We started talking in terms of redemption. We realized, while Buffy is about the hero’s journey — that ‘becoming the person you are’ that happens in adolescence — Angel is about dealing with the person you’ve been.”
It turns out, Greenwalt and Whedon’s original take was TOO dark. In a scripted scene from the second episode, Angel lets a girl die, then licks her blood off the ground, which The WB nixed.
“They completely freaked out and they were right because in our effort to go dark, we went a little too dark. If you’re gonna go that dark, you have to earn it. So, we shut down for a few weeks, revamped some things and we were off and running.”
For her part, Carpenter remembers asking “‘If it flops, can I go back to Buffy?’”
There was no need. The rest is history! ‘Angel’ ran for five seasons, although there had been hopes that it would have lasted longer.
But Boreanaz reflects, saying:
“I’m so proud of what we all accomplished. There’s such strength in all of these characters; they struggle and they do find redemption somehow.”
As Acker stated:
“Every show should be this fun. We were so spoiled.”
The ‘Entertainment Weekly’ annual “Reunions” issue hits stands on Friday, June 21. If you want to experience an ‘Angel’ reunion live, head to New York Comic Con on October 3-6.
You can view the EW cover and an additional group photo below: