We have all been aglow with nostalgic feels this week with photos and videos of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer 20th Anniversary reunion photo shoot, thanks to Entertainment Weekly. Of course, seeing everyone together like that just made many of us hardcore Buffy fans wonder just what it would take to get a proper revival of the series going. (And we here at Nerdist might have even had some ideas on the subject recently.)
These days, almost every major property with a devoted fan base is coming back in some capacity, usually in the form of an “event series”—which is a fancy way of saying “slightly longer/fancier miniseries.” X-Files, Twin Peaks, Gilmore Girls, Arrested Development, all of these series have returned in some form this way. So when is it Buffy and the Scooby Gang’s turn?
At the photo shoot reunion, the inevitable question of a Buffy revival was asked of Joss Whedon and the cast, and everyone had their own answers—some silly and some serious (you can watch the cast tackle the revival question in the video above).
Sarah Michelle Gellar seemed the most opposed to the idea, as she has been for a long time, saying, “At a certain point, when things are magical, you don’t want to go back and Godfather III it—right? I’m sure the fans are incredibly disappointed to hear that answer, but I think they’d be more disappointed if we created something and it didn’t live up to the expectation because the expectation is so incredibly high.”
She has a point. The X-Files, Arrested Development, and Gilmore Girls reunions met with mixed results from the fans, and the jury is still out on the new Twin Peaks. There is a certain segment of the audience who will never be happy with whatever they come up with, simply because it can’t meet their high expectations (and the years of fan-fiction they have in their heads). But then again, most fans were happy with how The Force Awakens turned out, and everyone was happy with how George Miller handled his return to the world of Mad Max with Fury Road. So really, when it comes to revivals, there really are no rules.
And Joss Whedon doesn’t seem that opposed to the idea of some kind of revival, saying, “Everything sort of finds its way back somewhere. I’ve been trying deliberately to move forward and do something a little bit different. But yeah, the great thing is everybody looks great, and the other great thing is the show is about growing up. If we did it with these guys, they’d be the age they basically are. But yeah, you’d see somebody going through their life at a different stage. It wouldn’t be like, ‘I can’t believe we’re still in high school! I wear Depends!'”
This jibes with things that Whedon has said before about Buffy’s story ultimately being a life story, not just a high school/college story. With the Dark Horse Comics, he’s certainly proven he has more Slayer-verse stories to tell, and maybe at some point, he’ll want to put those stories before the camera. Of course, he’d have to convince a certain Slayer herself to do it, and that might be the hardest part.
Alyson Hannigan (Willow) had maybe the best solution to the Buffy revival question, saying “I think we should do the Buffy cartoon.” And Sarah Michelle Gellar actually seemed open to this idea. (Hey, if a Buffy cartoon is the only way to get a revival going, then I’m for it). The funny thing is, a Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Animated Series came this close to being produced in the early 2000s, back when the show was still on the air. An entire 3-minute presentation was done which featured the voices of the original cast (except for Sarah Michelle Gellar, who seems more amenable this go-around).
For whatever reason, Joss Whedon couldn’t get a network to bite (no pun intended) which seems insane to me. But with Buffy nostalgia at an all-time high, could things be different now? The original pitch the cartoon would have been the “untold stories” of Buffy’s first year in high school, but I might drop that angle for the new show, and take the series forward from where it left off. If only so that we could have both Angel and Spike on the show and not have to worry about explaining away aging vampires. (You can watch the entire presentation down below):
What do you think about a potential Buffy reunion? Yay or nay? Chime in down below with your thoughts on the subject.
Images: Dark Horse Comics / Twentieth Century Fox