Things haven’t been going too well for Joss Whedon recently, as increasing behind-the-scenes stories and criticism have reportedly led to him being blacklisted in Hollywood. The release of Zack Snyder’s Justice League edit has only highlighted the strained on-set relationships of the theatrical cut, too, while the writer-director left upcoming series The Nevers before post-production had been completed. Now, insider Daniel Richtman is claiming that Whedon will not be involved in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer reboot, either.
The new version of Buffy was tentatively announced in 2018, with Monica Owusu-Breen as the showrunner, and there was talk of an African-American Slayer taking center stage. At that time, Whedon was part of the team pitching the project to networks, but there’s been very little news since then, other than a decreasing chance that Sarah Michelle Gellar would want to come back in some form.
It’s been nearly 18 years since Buffy wrapped up its seventh and final season, with spinoff Angel continuing into 2004. The critical praise for the series often focused on Whedon’s creative strengths, which garnered him a following that was extended across Firefly and Dollhouse, as well as his involvement in the MCU and other genre productions. However, the allegations about his abusive behavior have soured some of these memories, and it’s plausible that he would choose to step away to prevent problems for his co-producers.
As a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan, I’m still keen to see an updated take on its mythology, especially with contemporary special effects and additional content freedoms. Not having Joss Whedon on board would have previously seemed a mistake, but now appears to make sense given the bad publicity over his name. And considering the latest reports about the 56-year-old’s reputation within the entertainment industry, including that he’s no longer being considered by Marvel for the next X-Men pic, it may be a while before he’s handed a high-profile property to work on.