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A Whedon-less 'Buffy' to the Big Screen?

Is the Hellmouth ready to open again, spitting forth demons, monsters and assorted miscreants from the farthest-flung regions of the underworld to prey on mortal flesh?

Translated for those unschooled in Buffyverse: Will Joss Whedon’s iconic vampire slayer finally be resurrected on the big screen?

The simple answer is yes… and no. While fans of TV’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer have openly pined for a cinematic continuation of the series, which met its demise after a seven-season run in 2003, they probably never imagined this: a reboot without a single member of the show’s original cast, and without any input from Whedon, the creative visionary behind its success.

Instead, longtime executive producers Fran Rubel Kuzui (who directed the 1992 movie starring Kristy Swanson and owns the rights to the Buffy brand) and her husband, Kaz Kazui, are planning a theatrical relaunch with an all-new and as yet unknown cast, replacing popular stars like Sarah Michelle Gellar, now 32, and David Boreanaz, 40.

As for Whedon, who’s busy shooting an upcoming horror film (The Cabin in the Woods) with fellow Buffy alumnus Drew Goddard and hastily preparing the second season of Dollhouse for Fox? He’s taking the high road – for now – telling Entertainment Weekly only that he hopes the new Buffy movie will be “cool.”

Others have been less diplomatic, and rightfully so. Marc Bernardin of EW calls it the “worst idea ever.” Jarett Wieselman of the New York Post decries it as “a stake to fans’ hearts.” But perhaps the most significant reaction to the news has come from the fans themselves, who are already talking boycotts and online protests. Stay tuned…