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'Buffy' Movie Under Discussion

Without Joss Whedon? Movie creative team eyes silver screen reboot

If it worked for Star Trek, maybe lightning can strike twice for "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"?

Fran Rubel Kuzui and husband Kaz Kuzui, the duo behind the first "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" film in 1992, want to try and recapture that "magic" with a new movie franchise that could reinvent the Buffyverse, even if creator Joss Whedon chooses not to be involved.

Roy Lee and Doug Davison of Vertigo Entertainment want to go back to the beginning with the Kuzuis, throwing out all the Buffy of the past -- including the movie and the series that aired on The WB and UPN -- and try to see if J.J. Abrams might have something when it comes to genre reboots for the silver screen, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

"It was Roy's interest in taking Buffy into a new place that grabbed us," said Fran Kuzui. "It was based on our respect for what he does, and his particular sensitivity to Asian filmmakers, that we wanted to work with him."

Lee has more than 26 films to his name as a producer, including "The Ring" and "The Grudge," and nearly 40 other films in development, according to Internet Movie Database. Vertigo, the company he co-founded with Davison, concentrates on finding Asian films and reselling them to American studios to be remade. While the duo have had some success in the horror genre, they have had some missteps as well, including a 2008 remake of "My Sassy Girl," considered one of the most popular Korean films of all time.

The original film, made in 1992, was directed by Fran Kuzui and starred Kristy Swanson as Buffy. Whedon, at the time, was known more for his comedy work than anything else, and had yet found the following he enjoys now.

The original script Whedon wrote was completely rewritten to make the film more "light." Whedon reportedly stormed off the set during production and never returned because of how what he had planned was being put together, IMDb said.

The Kuzuis, however, retain the rights to the Buffyverse. They had their names attached to not only the Buffy series, but also its spinoff, "Angel." However, they don't plan on bringing any of these television characters into their new creation.

No studio has signed on to the project just yet, and the creative team apparently is looking for a writer. Having Whedon involved has yet to be decided, but it also hasn't been ruled out, The Hollywood Reporter said.

The original "Buffy" movie earned $16.6 million at the box office, doubling its $7 million budget.

About the Author

Michael Hinman is the founder and editor-in-chief for Airlock Alpha and the entire GenreNexus. He owns Nexus Media Group Inc., the parent corporation of the GenreNexus and is a veteran print journalist. He lives in Tampa, Fla.
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