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Buffy Animated

When Is Buffy Really Buffy ? Buffy Animated Hoax or Not ?

By Scott Nance

Monday 7 June 2004, by Webmaster

Perhaps this really isn’t just another cruel hoax after all. Maybe - just maybe -the Buffyverse actually will continue on, after all.

Meanwhile, my suspicion and skepticism on this point are entirely justified, I’m sure you’ll agree.

"Trust us, there ain’t gonna be no BUFFY ANIMATED without Joss getting ink and paint all over his hands..." You see, with the end of ANGEL still fresh, we fans of all things BUFFY remain in mourning and are vulnerable to having our hopes raised by even faint glimmers of hope it would live on, only to see them dashed as unfounded gossip. We’ve had to be suspicious to be strong, to not just have our hearts broken yet again. And, certainly, it was well more than a year ago now that Joss Whedon first floated the BUFFY ANIMATED SERIES, only for it-and his other highly touted proposed spin-off, RIPPER, featuring Anthony Stewart Head-to go absolutely nowhere. Not a word more was said about either ... until now.

We fans have been in a half-desperate clamor for some future for BUFFY ever since the WB announced in February that it was killing ANGEL. For Joss not to mention he still had the animated series up his sleeve is just darn odd.

But, apparently, he still does.

Like the 17-year cicadas coming out here in Washington, DC, reports of the re-emergence of a new, animated BUFFY at first just seemed to come out of nowhere, only to build to a buzz you simply cannot ignore. The news has now begun appearing in more-than-just-vaguely-reputable media, like the BBC. And it quotes familiar, well-plugged-in names seeming to confirm that, indeed, Joss is working to resurrect our favorite Slayer in full-color pen-and-ink.

Jeph Loeb, currently a producer on SMALLVILLE, was tapped earlier to run BUFFY ANIMATED before it stalled. He’s now apparently working on this new incarnation, too. "We think that Fox became aware of this wonderful treasure and wanted to move forward again," Loeb told the BBC website. "As to where and when it will arrive ... that part we’re holding as a secret for now."

This new BUFFY isn’t going to be some cheesy knock off, Loeb assures us. As with everything else in the Buffyverse, this new show will be full of Jossy goodness.

This new series is said to be set back in Buffy’s sophomore year in high school, which would be the same time period the original BUFFY series began in. However, the timeline in the animated series apparently will be the one as adjusted by the monks who created The Key in human form, so as to allow Dawn Summers to play a part in this new show.

It keeps getting better: Buffyverse veteran Jane Espenson took a detour on her way to executive produce TRU CALLING to pen three new BUFFY scripts. And Alyson Hannigan, Tony Head, and Nick Brendon have all signed on to give life (or at least voice) to Willow, Giles, and Xander once more.

This new BUFFY is starting to feel downright like a Sunnydale Homecoming all around. The old gang’s all back together, right?

Not quite.

We’re faced with at least two obvious, large absences: Sarah Michelle Gellar and David Boreanaz. Neither one is said to be coming back to provide the voices of Buffy or Angel. (There’s no word, for that matter, as to whether Michelle Trachtenberg has an interest in coming back as Dawn, either.) Which is a shame, really. Boreanaz just finished his run on ANGEL, and aside from a role in the romantic comedy MR. FIX-IT which begins filming in this month, isn’t publicly attached to any other series project. And would it really be impossible for SMG to fit this into her schedule somewhere, just for old times’ sake?

Gellar has said that all of the physical work of the original BUFFY is a large part of what eventually tired her of the role. In a cartoon series, she could provide her voice and avoid all of the strenuous stunts - and collect a regular paycheck in the process. To me, it would seem like one of those perfect "win/win" situations we always hear about.

But it’s their decisions to make, and it seems as if they’re already made. Sadly, but clearly, Boreanaz and Gellar will have to be replaced. I can’t see how even Joss could come up with a BUFFY series with no Buffy. There’s no word on who would take the Angel role, but reports indicate an actress named Giselle Loren has been tapped to portray the Slayer.

That begs the question, though: Will BUFFY ever really be BUFFY again without the actress who gave her life for seven years?

Loren has already voiced the Chosen One in videogames based on the TV series, so she probably would have some built-in credibility. Even so, could the fans be expected to accept a new actress in such a pivotal role for the series?

I say, "Why not?"

First of all, this new series will be animated, which means the character will still look at least loosely look like what we’ve come to expect from her. But there’s an even bigger reason at work here, and that is that Gellar simply doesn’t own the role. Why should she? I don’t mean to take a single thing away from her. While I may have complaints about an episode here or there, she delivered the goods year in, year out. The original series would not be what it was without her. That doesn’t mean another actress can’t play the part, and play it well.

Gellar herself only came to the character second-hand, herself. Kristy Swanson had already played the role in the BUFFY movie. Admittedly, Swanson-pardon the pun-sucked, and sucked badly, and Gellar took what was essentially a badly done, broken character and turned her into an icon for a generation.

However, that doesn’t mean Giselle Loren or some other actress couldn’t do as well. Perhaps Loren has it within her to take Buffy to a place even SMG never could.

This whole identification of a given role with a single actor or actress is a construct only of our TV age. Over the centuries, for instance, hundreds, if not thousands, of actors have played Romeo and Juliet, MacBeth, and Hamlet. Some have been great, some mediocre, and others just stank. But each brought their own unique contribution and their own experience to the roles. Why can’t the same by true of a television show?

It’s an old adage to say, "If it’s not on the page, it’s not on the stage." That’s as true for a Joss Whedon series as it is for a Shakespeare production. Shakespearean actors come and go. In the end, the star of the show is always the Bard himself. As hard as it might be to imagine the show without Sarah Michelle Gellar, can you even conceive of it without Joss Whedon?

Maybe in the end, that’s because the real star of BUFFY is Joss himself.

14 Forum messages

  • Bravo!! I agree with you 100%, thank you for helping me to see things clearly!!
  • Beautifully written. No matter how much someone may love SMG, it is impossible to argue with anything you’ve said. Truer words have never been spoken.
  • All very good points. But one more point that you neglected: Cordelia. She was definitely around during the Scooby Gang’s sophomore year. Are they going to sign her too? I hope so. Charisma Carpenter, as Cordy, is almost always overlooked.
  • Sorry, for me there is no Buffy without Sarah!! Joss Whedon plays a important role, but we must face that Sarah is essential!!
  • perfictly stated. If this actualy happens I’ll deffinately be sitting in frount of my TV watching.
  • I’m not scared of Giselle Loren as buffy (her work on the videogame was award winning) and she has the buffy tone and pitch perfect. Angel and cordy, i hope they get the real actor’s to play them or at least very good sound-alike, but cordy wasn’t in the first season too much, she had one good line per episode and that’s about it and if they where able to get Alyson Hannigan i’d be shock if they couldn’t get David Boreanaz and Charisma Carpenter to do a voice tap from wherever they are right know. It’s hard to turn down 2 grand for 2 hour’s of work and most actor’s go to the soundbooth unbathed in the morning cause they can. So it may not be public yet but they’ll most likely get as many actor’s as they can.

    Side Note: Charisma Carpenter and David Boreanaz both did there own voice’s in the videogame.

  • i want the real thing........A Spike spinoff or movie!
  • It won’t be the same!! Sarah rules!! I want her back!! I think it will be really Buffy only with her!!
  • id except a new buffy voice, i mean i own the game(the recent one) and GL does a good job. If SMG wont do it then my second choice would be GL. also i only have the second game, which does not feature Angel, but was he in the first game? if some what actor did his voice? DB?
  • id except a new buffy voice, i mean i own the game(the recent one) and GL does a good job. If SMG wont do it then my second choice would be GL. also i only have the second game, which does not feature Angel, but was he in the first game? if some what actor did his voice? DB?

    See online : When Is Buffy Really Buffy ? Buffy Animated Hoax or Not ?

  • hmmm...i don’t really know if Buffy : the Animated Series will be quite the same without Sarah Michelle Gellar being the voice of Buffy...but...then again...many animated series don’t have the actress of the main character be the voice for the character, like ’Sabrina the Teenage Witch’. I kinda hope that they don’t have have Dawn in the series if its set in season 3. I mean, no offense, but if the series is set in season 3, and you have Dawn, it wouldn’t seem like season 3. Just my opinion. But, i hope they get replacements for Sarah and David, or they just voice for Buffy and Angel.
  • i’m excited. i really hope since it’s back in high school we might get to see oz again. i really miss the little wolf guy.
  • I hope Spike is in this series too and hope james marsters does the voice of spike.
  • in sabrina the teenage witch, the aunts are actually voiced by melissa joan hart (on screen sabrina) and cartoon sabrina is voiced by the acress who played on sceen Amanda (sabrina’s cousin). turns out theyre sisters in real life. Buffy animated is going to be cool. firstly because it’s buffy secondly beacuse joss is involved, and thirdly, anything buffy related is awesome so this WILL be great!