Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

I'm thankful for lots of things, some important (my health, my inamorato, my brain) some less consequential (my apartment, the internet, the existence of all seven seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on DVD). Good things all.

Which brings me to the news that hit the geekier realms of the interwebs this week. Warner Brothers distributed a press release that announced that a "rebooted" (how I hate that stupid word - unless you're turning your computer on and off it makes no sense) movie version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer would be released in 2012. Hm. With no input or involvement from Joss Whedon. Sigh. With a screenwriter named Whit Anderson who has fewer writing credits on iMDB than I do (i.e. none).

Thanksgiving is the most American of holidays. It's about food, gathering with loved ones and possesses disturbing overtones of cultural imperialism. The Jane Espenson penned, Season 4 episode Pangs embraces all three of these key Thanksgiving points.

Later today, I will be heading to Chez Piper McKenzie accompanied by various Stewarts. I love food, and I like cooking, but tend to spiral into a panic when faced with anything domestic. But I'll try to leave the atrocities at home. In an interview with Ms. Anderson, the woman about to be the most viciously attacked rookie screenwriter ever, she referenced Christopher Nolan's Batman as a good path to take in superhero reimagining. Sigh. I know. Everyone loves those movies. Except me. They're painfully humorless, and among other things, Buffy was always a comedy.

Joss Whedon has been through a lot with Buffy. It's always been his dream project, and the 1992 movie version was abysmal. Needless to say, he had no control over it. In a nearly unprecedented turn, he had the opportunity, five years later, to do it right. The show lasted seven seasons, and although it wasn't perfect, it was wonderful. And only ended seven years ago. Joss Whedon is still a young(ish) man. To "reboot" his creation (one of the uglier points of the Warners' press release is that they refer to the owners of the property, as the "creators")this soon, seems like a terrible idea, and a project that absolutely nobody wants.

But Joss Whedon is a class act. He responded in kind, and here is what he had to say in its entirety:
Kristin, I'm glad you asked for my thoughts on the announcement of Buffy the cinema film. This is a sad, sad reflection on our times, when people must feed off the carcasses of beloved stories from their youths—just because they can't think of an original idea of their own, like I did with my Avengers idea that I made up myself.

Obviously I have strong, mixed emotions about something like this. My first reaction upon hearing who was writing it was, "Whit Stillman AND Wes Anderson? This is gonna be the most sardonically adorable movie EVER." Apparently I was misinformed. Then I thought, "I'll make a mint! This is worth more than all my Toy Story residuals combined!" Apparently I am seldom informed of anything. And possibly a little slow. But seriously, are vampires even popular any more?

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.

Leave me to my pain! Sincerely, Joss Whedon.
I'm making butternut squash ravioli with mushrooms and leeks in a white wine sauce. Hopefully we'll leave out the traditional fighting and also leave the less traditional syphilis at home, too.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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