Buffy the Vampire Slayer to be remade 21 years after first episode

Black actor to step into Sarah Michelle Gellar star role in the ‘contemporary’ adaptation

Sarah Michelle Gellar played vampire-battling high school student Buffy in the original show. Photograph: 20th Century Fox

Sarah Michelle Gellar played vampire-battling high school student Buffy in the original show. Photograph: 20th Century Fox

 

Cult TV favourite Buffy The Vampire Slayer is being remade — more than 20 years after the first episode. The supernatural drama ran from 1997 to 2003 and starred Sarah Michelle Gellar in the lead role.

The show was created by Joss Whedon and dubbed a feminist parable.

According to entertainment industry journal the Hollywood Reporter, which revealed the reboot, an unnamed black actress will step into the star role, previously held by Gellar, in the “contemporary” adaptation.

Whedon will executive produce the series, penned by Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D writer Monica Owusu-Breen, and a network is yet to be confirmed.

The dram won devoted followers around the world, following in the supernatural wake of the teenage vampire film The Lost Boys, a cinematic hit with young audiences a decade earlier in 1987.

When Buffy finished battling the undead in 2003, the Twilight series of films based on the books of Stephanie Meyer took up the ghostly reins.

However, not everyone has welcomed the reboot.

Writer Michael Patterson tweeted: “I’m sorry but literally nobody asked for a Buffy reboot. A revival … yes. But not a reboot. The original TV series told a perfect story and did everything it set out to do (revolutionising television in the process). Why would you mess with such greatness?”

Author Lilliam Rivera tweeted: “I loved Buffy. But you know what else I love? When Hollywood looks at new stories by people of color instead of rebooting old ones and changing the casting.”

Gellar, who played vampire-battling high school student Buffy, recently marked 21 years since the first episode of the show by sharing snaps from behind the scenes. She told Entertainment Weekly: “It’s the ultimate metaphor: horrors of adolescence manifesting through these actual monsters. It’s the hardest time of life.”

Buffy also starred British actor Anthony Head, who has landed a role as a smooth-talker in Radio 4 soap The Archers, playing Rupert Giles.

The new series will have a least one new competitor when it arrives. Sky has already released a trailer for the fantasy drama A Discovery of Witches, a series based on Deborah Harkness’s All Souls trilogy of novels.

Scholarly witch Diana Bishop is to be played by Teresa Palmer, while Matthew Goode takes the role of the enigmatic vampire Matthew Clairmont, her romantic interest. – PA, Guardian, agencies