Warner Bros. Picks Up Rights To Whedon-less <i>Buffy</i> Remake

Warner Bros. announced today it plans to remake the 1992 Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie that spawned the beloved television franchise. However, it will do so without the involvement of Joss Whedon, who's largely responsible for the TV show's popularity.

Hero Complex and Heat Vision report the studio optioned the rights from Buffy director Fran Rubel Kuzui, her husband Kaz Kuzui and Sandollar Productions at the urging of Atlas Entertainment, which will produce the reboot. Whit Anderson, an actress turned screenwriter, penned the adaptation.

The 1992 movie, which starred Kristy Swanson, Donald Sutherland and Luke Perry, was the product of creative differences between screenwriter Whedon and director Kuzui. Whedon has described Buffy's transformation from a "scary film about an empowered woman" to a broad comedy as "crushing." A few years later he was approached by a Fox executive to develop his original concept as a television series. The rest, of course, is history.

“Generally, I wouldn’t have said ‘Let’s revive this'," Hero Complex quotes Atlas Entertainment's Charles Roven as saying, "but Whit’s take is pretty compelling and a lot of fun, and it’s interesting to see all of this re-imagined. This is a completely new reboot. Tone is extremely important and you want the audience to realize what is at stake and the peril is real, but at the same time what’s going on should be fun and inviting and keep everyone engaged. It needs to be relevant to today, too, and that is what Whit has found a way to do.”

“There is an active fan base eagerly awaiting this character’s return," Roven adds, perhaps unaware that most fans are awaiting the return of Whedon's character. "While this is not your high-school Buffy, she’ll be just as witty, tough and sexy as we all remember her to be.”

No director is attached, but Roven says he hopes to see Buffy in theaters in 2012, or even as early as next year.

Update: Whedon shares his hilarious reaction to the announcement with E! Online, writing, in part:

I always hoped that Buffy would live on even after my death.  But, you know, AFTER.  I don't love the idea of my creation in other hands, but I'm also well aware that many more hands than mine went into making that show what it was. And there is no legal grounds for doing anything other than sighing audibly. I can't wish people who are passionate about my little myth ill. I can, however, take this time to announce that I'm making a Batman movie.  Because there's a franchise that truly needs updating. So look for The Dark Knight Rises Way Earlier Than That Other One And Also More Cheaply And In Toronto, rebooting into a theater near you.

Follow the link to read Whedon's full statement. Meanwhile, Bones creator Hart Hanson tweeted the following photo of himself with David Boreanaz, explaining, "I just informed DB that they are remaking Buffy."

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