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News from the Hellmouth: Where's the Buffy Reboot?

"If the apocalypse comes, beep me."

buffy reboot
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  • Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox

Based on the 1992 cult classic movie of the same name, the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series first graced television screens in 1997. Running for seven spectacular seasons, the infinitely binge-worthy series is best known for its trope-bending, girl-power campiness. With a fiercely loyal fanbase, the story continued beyond the screen in a series of Dark Horse graphic novels. But in the summer of 2018, the Buffy franchise was given yet another breath of life with the announcement of a reboot series in the works.

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While projects in development understandably take some time to become fully realized, two and a half years is a long time to go without any definitive news. As of now, there's no expected release date for the reboot. In fact, no definitive network is attached the the project. Speculation suggests viewers might see the series on Disney+, Hulu, or The CW, given the changing of ownership for these companies.

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In the meantime, some of us are more concerned with the "who" of the reboot. Original creator Joss Whedon is still attached to the project as an executive producer, while the writer, executive producer, and showrunner is credited as Monica Owusu-Breen—best-known for her work on Midnight,Texas and Alias. While fans of the original may be nervous about this shift in control, rest-assured that, not only has Owusu-Breen collaborated with Whedon in the past, she's a self-proclaimed lover of the series herself. Strengthening connections to the original series, Gale Berman, Fran Rubel Kuzui, Kaz Kuzui, and Joe Earley are returning as executive producers.

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With so much up in the air, there haven't been any whispers of casting announcements. However, Sarah Michelle Gellar and David Boreanaz—the titular Buffy and her tragic love interest Angel—have stated that they have no plans to take part in the reboot. Gellar has stated that she supports the reboot so long as creators find a new and modern way to tell the important story of the often literal horrors of adolescence. However, she feels that the proud work she did on the original series is still so relevant today, she wonders, "Does it really need to be done again?"

 Other original series regulars like James Marsters and Anthony Stewart Head have conversely expressed interest in being involved with the project.

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The "what" of the reboot series gives viewers even less to go on at this point. Very few story details have been leaked, but fans have been assured that the reboot seeks to expand the mythology of the Buffy-verse. Early rumors also indicated that the reboot lead might be an African-American actress. As Buffy is known for tackling both larger-than-life drama and real-world issues in its content, this stride toward diversity might bring aspects of racial politics to the forefront of the plot.

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There's no telling when the Buffy reboot will ever make it to screens. Many projects sitting around in production limbo for too long get canned, though Buffy has the advantage of the nostalgia so many reboots seem to be benefitting from. While the reboot is probably at least another year or two off, maybe 2021 will bring us some good news soon.

Featured still from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" via 20th Century Fox