Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, may not be Disney Princess material, but now that Disney owns the IP, we may see the popular vampire slayer brought back from beyond the grave. It wouldn’t even be a stretch to say that it’s inevitable – after all, a show like Buffy the Vampire Slayer can only be ignored for so long before Disney recognizes the potential.
In fact, it was recently confirmed that a brand-new YA novel set in the ‘Buffyverse’ would be published later this year by Disney Hyperion, titled In Every Generation – which is positive news for fans, provided they want to see Buffy return. So, is the show destined to enjoy a peaceful afterlife on Disney+, or does the House of Mouse have its eyes set on the Chosen One?
First, let’s look at some clues that this might be happening and how it could even work…
6. Why is Buffy the Vampire Slayer on Disney+?
After purchasing Fox, Disney acquired many IPs, including Buffy the Vampire Slayer and spinoff series Angel. To allow consumers to stream all the extra material, whether TV shows or movies, earlier this year, Disney+ launched ‘STAR,’ a sort of streaming service within a streaming service. STAR is the home to all the material inherited from Fox, by way of keeping it separate from all the Disney content – which makes sense, given that some of it are R-rated. However, the fact that Buffy is on STAR doesn’t mean Disney has their eyes on it, but that they now own the property is the first step to rebooting it.
5. Will the New Novel Be the First of Many?
The upcoming new YA novel by author Kendra Blake will be purchased on January 4th, 2022, the show’s 25th anniversary. It will follow a character named Frankie, a powerful witch and the daughter of Willow Rosenberg. After starting at Sunnydale High, she learns that the annual ‘Slayer convention’ has been the target of a supernatural attack. It sounds like a legacy sequel of sorts, although the last time we saw Sunnydale High – and the whole of Sunnydale, for that matter – it was one great big crater! Nevertheless, In Every Generation marks the beginning of a new era for the Buffyverse, as it will be the first of three novels in a brand-new trilogy.
4. Is There Any Other Ongoing Media?
As Buffy ended in 2003 and Angel in 2004, many fans assume that this was the final nail in the coffin for both shows – but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Aside from the recently announced YA novel, there have been many graphic novels in the years since, originally overseen by the show’s creator Joss Whedon himself, which are even considered canon, having focused on the aftermath of each show’s finale. Earlier years saw Dark Horse Comics and IDW Publishing run the graphic novels, and in more recent years, Boom! Studios took on the IP. Needless to say, there’s plenty of material out there for Disney to scour through if they’re running low on ideas for a reboot show.
3. Previous Attempts at Bringing Buffy Back
While many fans don’t want a reboot of the beloved show – and who can blame them, seeing as most reboots don’t turn out all that well – it still surprises us that one has never actually happened, especially when you look at any other franchise from the ‘90s, whether in television or film. However, that doesn’t mean that attempts haven’t been made to bring Buffy back to life. In July 2018, 20th Century Fox Television put a reboot show into development, which would have focused on a brand-new slayer while also serving as a sequel to the original hit show. As we now know, for whatever reason, it seems the resurrection spell didn’t quite work.
2. Live-Action or Animation?
We need to consider how Buffy can be resurrected, and the best way we think Disney can achieve this is through animation. But before you suddenly imagine a family-friendly, Pixar-style affair, don’t forget that animated show The Clone Wars is by far the ‘edgiest’ of all things Star Wars. Despite its surface-level-family appeal, it is actually quite dark and rather bleak at times. The truth is you can get away with more in animation than you can in live-action, and we all know that Buffy is no stranger to violence and horror – something that would need watering down significantly. Either way, it’s possible Buffy can work using a similar model to The Clone Wars.
1. Sequel or Reboot?
So, should the show be a sequel or a reboot? Well, bringing it back in CG would serve either scenario well. Having a sequel show in CG, when the original is live-action, might be quite jarring, but don’t forget that The Clone Wars is set between two live-action films, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith – yet feels completely seamless. With that said, perhaps a reboot show would work better, as it would give the creators the freedom to take things back to basics, while a live-action show would be better focused on a new set of characters, whether sequel or reboot. A CG reboot is our preferred choice, as it would allow for the return of all our favorite characters.
If a Buffy the Vampire Slayer reboot is on the cards – whether a follow-up or a complete wiping of the slate – it’s more than likely it will be released under the Fox banner anyway, but never say never. A CG reboot would also make for some appealing Disney Park aesthetics, along with some strong merchandising potential. And perhaps we’d also get to revisit two very ‘Disney’ episodes from each of the two shows – Buffy’s musical “Once More With Feeling” and Angel’s puppet-themed “Smile Time”!