Over the past few weeks, thousands of students have graduated from college. It’s a time to look toward the future, to hope and dream of what lies beyond. The world may suck now, many graduates think, but soon, things will be different. Things will be better.
Alas, as a pathological cynic, I cannot share their optimism. It’s not only the broken economy, the faltering environment, and the continual abridgment of civil rights in America and around the world that put me in an apocalyptic mood. It’s that, last week, Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian was the number one movie on the planet.
This is not to say that pop culture is circling the drain. In the past month alone, I’ve cheered at the new Star Trek film, cried at the awesome, awesome last episodes of HBO’s In Treatment, and thanked America for having the wherewithal to vote the insufferable Danny Gokey off American Idol in favor of Kris Allen and Adam Lambert. As soon as possible, I’m going to see Pixar’s latest, Up, and I’m sure I’m going to adore it as much as I adore Wall-E, Ratatouille, and Finding Nemo. Oh, and soon in theaters there’s going to be a little movie called Harry Potter coming to a theater near me. Sweet.
So why am I so despondent about the state of popular culture? I assure you, Night at the Museum alone did not break my spirit. It wasn’t news of the racist casting of the live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender movie that did it, either. The new “Karate” Kid set in China with Jackie Chan was almost enough to destroy me, but only almost. The rash of board-game films didn’t help, either.
And then, last week, the final straw was gently placed upon the camel’s back. And that straw was Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Without Willow. Without Angel. And without fricking Joss Whedon.
Thanks, Hollywood. You have finally thought of the Worst Idea of All Time. No, scratch that. You did think of making Bazooka Joe into a movie, didn’t you? I’m positive there are even worse ideas in that collective head of yours…
The year is 2013. The entire Western seaboard of the United States is underwater due to the melting of the polar ice caps. Barack Obama has been kicked out of office in preference of President Bill O’Reilly.
And from the producers of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer remake without Joss Whedon comes:
Director McG has this to say:
We really wanted to start from scratch on this one. Take what made the original West Wing so special and fill it out with hot young actors. At first, fans were upset that Aaron Sorkin wasn’t consulted about any part of the film, but they came around when they saw how awesome this film could be without boring walk-and-talks and with more 24-style suspense. I don’t want to give anything away, but there is at least one explosion in this one. Tell me when Aaron Sorkin ever did that, kids.
Aunt Jemima for the win!
You do realize that Buffy wasn’t a Whedon production in the first place, and that the movie is going to be a sequel to the original movie, which had nothing to do with the television show at all.
Joss may have made it a household name but he didn’t start it.
Joss Whedon wrote the script to the Kristy Swanson Buffy movie. He did start it – he came up with the character himself, and had been working on the character for a long time before the first movie was made.
He didn’t have absolute creative control of the first project. Screenwriters generally don’t – even directors and producers usually have to answer to somebody. He just wasn’t as successful getting his vision accross in the first movie as he did later, when he had additional roles.
I don’t know where you’re getting the idea that anybody other than Joss Whedon came up with Buffy. She’s not Josie and the Pussycats – there’s no preexisting source material.
By the way, on Google, “queen latifah” “aunt jemima” gets more than 1500 hits.
Not nearly as many as “batman schopenhauer” (35,000+), but enough to know that it’s out there in the collective unconscious.
Mlwaski: You’re the Muses’ Muse.
Fenzel: Y’all are permeating. It’s not scary, it’s fantastic. Spread, spread, I say!
Since Mr. Whedon will not be busy with Buffy, perhaps he can be persuaded to work on new ideas for Firefly? Or X-men?
Joss Whedon and X-Men? Is there an Internet rumor I’m missing out on?
@Gab – Whedon’s written a bunch of comic books, including a whole stack of X-Mens. If you’re curious, you can pick up a trade paperback:
Oh my goodness. I thought it was a reference to him maybe having something to do with the Magneto movie. I knew he wrote some of the _Firefly_ comics, but I had no idea about other characters/universes. That’s pretty cool.
I was crushed by the idea of a new Buffy movie, too. The thing that makes even less sense to me — the finale of the television show leaves an entire universe of movies to be made following the show’s canon.
Like — Willow made every girl with Slayer potential in to a Slayer. No one has thought that they could make a Bond-esque “Slayer” franchise where we follow various Slayers for a few movies? And then just change out Slayers like they change out Bonds ever few movies?
@Tom – Do not be troubled. I give this new Buffy movie only a 10% chance of ever happening. This announcement feels like a trial balloon to me – something designed to test the buzz, and try to wrangle funding. The universally negative reaction will kill the idea flat. Nobody wants this movie.
Look at it this way: if Joss Whedon can’t get a budget to do a big screen Buffy movie, why the hell would these producers be able to get a Buffy movie made that is guaranteed to enrage every Buffy fan on earth? Hollywood is risk averse, and this is an obviously dumb idea.
But what the hell do I know?
“Film also stars Megan Fox and the Olsen Twins as a lesbian threesome” YEAH BABY YEAH!!!!