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Joss Whedon's second 90s Buffy movie that never was

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But who’d give that guy money to make a movie, right? It’s not like he’s had any big blockbuster success or anything…

Joss Whedon's second 90s Buffy movie that never was

Whedonesqued, the Tumblr of Joss Whedon fansite Whedonesque, recently informed us that there was a second Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie in development back in the 90s, which didn't happen.

The post links to a Variety article from 1998 (really? They had the internet back then?), which, in addition, tells us that Joss Whedon was also developing an animated Dracula musical, and more time-travelling news-but-not-news-because-it-didn't-happen goodness.

""Dracula" will be Whedon's first original screenplay under his deal with the Fox studio, and he's expected to produce and write the songs as well."

"In addition to the "Dracula" and "Buffy" movies, Whedon is developing several other projects, most with vampire themes."

Sadly, the article didn't go on to extol the potential for TV procedurals by saying "Vampire cowboy! Vampire fireman! Oh, vampire ballerina!", but instead:

"Under terms of Whedon's deal, he can write, produce, and direct any of the projects."

""Grampire" is a feature film family comedy about "two kids who suspect their grandfather is a creature of the night," Whedon said. The idea for the script came from an episode of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," and both Whedon and the Buffy staff will write the script."

""Alienated" is a comedy about someone kidnapped by aliens who turns the tables on his captors. Whedon will supervise a writer on that project and may co-write."

"Mutant Enemy is also developing a "Buffy" spin-off for the WB netlet called "Angel," based on the character from the series played by David Boreanaz. The WB has ordered 13 episodes for fall 1999, and David Greenwalt will co-create and executive produce the series, which will be more adult, darker, and more episodic than "Buffy.""

"Whedon and his team are also developing a midseason TV pilot for Fox Broadcasting Co. called "Cheap Shots." It's an ensemble sit-com, co-written by "Buffy" writer Ty King, about people making low-budget horror films at a B-movie company."

Hilariously, they're talking about Angel as if it's something that doesn't exist yet! And weirdly, they're talking about things that don't exist as if they're going to.

So don't try and think of (pre-2002) a world where Firefly doesn't exist yet, or your mind will probably explode. And don't try and think of the episodes of Firefly that might have existed but don't, or your mind will probably explode. With sadness.

Now that Joss Whedon's The Avengers has passed $600 million domestic (yes, that's right; to paraphrase Joss, that amount of money exists), and is the third highest-grossing film worldwide ever (not adjusted for inflation), only beaten by James Cameron, Joss Whedon can now effectively make whatever he wants to. Which will probably include quirky things like his micro-budget, black-and-white adaptation of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing. But if he wanted to, Joss Whedon could make another Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie. (Subject to scheduling constraints involved in bringing the cast back, yadda yadda yadda...)

After all, what studio executive could say no to the writer-director of the third highest-grossing movie in the world, Joss Whedon? (Us Whedonites will never get tired of saying that. It's been a long time coming.)

Of course, only if they had to choose between him and the writer-director of the two highest-grossing movies in the world, James Cameron. Studio executives are like Anya: they like money. (Disclaimer: Reportedly, at least. And that doesn't mean they don't also like quality films. But mostly the money.)

Actually, a James Cameron written and directed Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie could work. And Joss would probably be okay with it, given how much of a Cameron fanboy he (rightly) is. Cameron could cast Jessica Alba as Buffy Summers, providing the Dark Angel reunion they've been hoping for.

After all, while Dark Angel isn't quite Buffy the Vampire Slayer (because "the only really real Buffy is really Buffy, and she's gone"), it is nevertheless an excellent show, inspired by (and in turn inspiring) Buffy and Angel.

So, along similar lines, Joss Whedon and James Cameron could do a franchise swap. James Cameron could write and direct a Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie, and Joss Whedon could write and direct a Terminator movie, like he's previously bid for.

Okay, I know rights don't work like that, but do I deconstruct your geeky, franchise-swapping segues? Huh?

Incidentally, maybe Hawkeye's very brief conversation with Black Widow in The Avengers about being "unmade" wasn't simply a thematic parallel to Dollhouse, but also a meta-textual comment on projects that never saw the harsh light of day*. Because Joss has a lot of them.

More recently, there was development on a Buffy the Vampire Slayer reboot without Joss Whedon, and without any of the original cast or supporting characters. Needless to say, almost all right-minded Buffy fans instantly realised this was a terrible idea and clamoured for the project to be brought to a halt. Which it since has been. (Numfar! Do the Dance of Relief!)

The ones who didn't were probably just being polite by wanting to give the film a chance. Which is reasonable, since arguably every film should be given a chance. But on the other hand, Joss Whedon's writing is integral to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Making an 'official' version of it without him (or at the very least, without his close collaborators who he's imprinted trained to know exactly what they're doing) is essentially un-making Buffy.

But for a while there, the phrase "Buffy reboot without Joss" was about as popular with Whedonites as "Fox" and "cancellation".

* Or 'The Harsh Light of Day', for that matter. In which case, they missed out, because it's a great Jane Espenson episode. Poor unproduced projects. Like toys abandoned in the attic in Toy Story.

See also:

Top 23 things that Joss Whedon should do post-Avengers

Andrew Garfield wants to play Spider-Man in The Avengers 2

First clip from Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing

Joss Whedon almost became a theatre director


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