Buffy the Vampire Slayer

For those of you flipping out because of the announcement of a new Whedon-less Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie--after you Buffy-fans have gotten a hold of a paper bag and used it to stop hyperventilating--I want you to consider something. The blame for this becoming a possibility--and if it helps you breathe, this may never hit cinemas in its present Whedon-less form or hit cinemas at all--can be laid at the feet of Star Trek.

I know that sounds mental, but trust me: Hollywood operates in mentalsville. And I must admit that I didn't see this consequence of the Trek reboot's success. Other reboots, sure. Hollywood can easily see--based on this, Batman Begins and Casino Royale--that it is possible to successfully relaunch a franchise if the right people are involved. But what Trek has done has confused the issue--and Hollywood execs are easily confused.

Trek has repackaged the franchise into something that looks--to execs--as an even hipper and trendier film than it actually was. They now understand--wrongly--that you can take pretty much any franchise, smack some younger actors into it, make it darker and heavier, and hey, box office gold! I know you're thinking: wait, that doesn't make any sense. What about the good script? What about the actors and director and FX and such? As I said dismissively when I was a young kid trying to film a movie and was told I had no camera, "Details, details!"

So you can expect a few more of these to happen: potentially ill-advised reboots of existing franchises. Hell, if you consider that the first movie was a disaster (sorry, but it was: Swanson was hot, Perry was pretty good and Paul Reubens was fantastic--but otherwise...) maybe this can spawn something else entirely. And frankly, some franchises could really use somebody else besides the creator to do something with them (*coughChrisCartercough*).

But anyway, the bottom line is this: don't freak out just yet. Films sink in and out of development hell all the time. Stay tuned and I'll tell you when to panic.