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.
[ad#longpost]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.