>Can We Just Make the Remakes Stop?

>You may have heard that they’re doing a remake of “Buffy, the Vampire Slayer” for the big-screen. Normally, this news would send me into spasms of joy because I love “Buffy.”

However, I can’t get excited or behind this new project–and not because it won’t be a continuation of the series or include the lovely and talented Ms. Sarah Michelle Gellar.

No, I can’t get behind this because this proposed reboot won’t include the man behind the success of the show, Mr. Joss Whedon. Apparently when Whedon was an unknown writer and struggling to get his script for the original “Buffy” movie out there, he sold some of the rights to Kuzui Entertainment. And now, they’re looking to partner with Darkhorse Pictures to make a new, darker version of “Buffy”…without Joss Whedon.

To which I can only say, “Hope that works out for you, but I probably won’t be there.”

To me, the success of “Buffy” can be full credited to Joss Whedon. He’s the voice behind the series–you can even seen glimpses of it even after they had to “Hollywood” up the script for the orginal film.

It’s Whedon’s apparent exclusion (there’s time for them to reach out to him and bring him on board), that exemplifies everything that’s wrong with the whole “remake” or taking a television property to the big-screen these days. For the most part, it seems that Hollywood is content to take a recognizable name and just throw it up there onto the big-screen without really looking at or embracing what made the original property so well-remembered or so loved by its core fan audience. (There are exceptions to the rule like “The Fugitive,” “The Brady Bunch Movie” or the new “Star Trek.”) But I guess for every three misses, there’s going to be one hit and those odds work in the studio’s favor. Either that or they’re reaping a bunch of cash back on DVD sales or rentals. It must be something…

But do we need a “Buffy” remake right now? I’d have to argue, not so much. It’s not that I don’t love “Buffy,” but the show hasn’t been gone all that long. And heaven knows with Blu-Ray coming, they’ll work out some new way to make money off the show by releasing it on that medium at some point. “Buffy” is doing well in its season eight in the comic books (overseen by Whedon, mind you) .

My feelings on this are the same as the proposed remake of “True Grit.” One of my favorite Westerns, I’m not sure quite why we need to remake it. The Coen brothers say they’re going to be more faithful to the original novel. Here’s the thing–I read the novel after seeing the movie and the movie, as it is, is fairly faithful to the book. There’s a little more made of the potential May-December romance of Rooster and Maddy (who if you don’t know those names, you need to go and rent the movie immediately….), but overall it’s pretty much the same basic storyline we get in the film. Yes, it was made a bit more a showcase of the Rooster character for John Wayne, but the man won an Oscar for the film. Surely there must be other things to remake or…here’s an idea…look to some of the newer works being published in the field to make a new Western. As a fan of Westerns, I’d love to see a new one come out, not just a rehash of an icon of the genre.


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