Joss Whedon Developing ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ Series Reboot With Black Female Lead
Holy TV news, Comic-Con! Joss Whedon is returning to TV in a big, big way. In addition to having a new sci-fi series picked up at HBO, Whedon is developing a series reboot of Buffy the Vampire Slayer — and that’s not all. This new, modern Buffy series will feature a black female lead, but before you arch that eyebrow, hear this: Whedon has set Midnight, Texas creator Monica Owusu-Breen as the executive producer, writer and showrunner of the new Buffy.
Per Deadline, the hiring of Owusu-Breen — a black woman — reflects the rebooted Buffy’s commitment to diversity and the awesome decision to reimagine the character as black. (It would also seem that Whedon himself has learned some lessons about being a better ally.) In addition to Midnight, Texas (based on the novels by True Blood author Charlaine Harris), Owusu-Breen has worked with J.J. Abrams on shows like LOST, Alias and Fringe, so she knows quite a bit about genre television as well as running a show.
Whedon’s original Buffy the Vampire Slayer series was based on the 1992 film (also scripted by Whedon) and centered on California teen Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar), who discovers that she is one in a long line of “slayers” — women chosen to fight demons, vampires and all manner of supernatural evils. The series ran for seven seasons on the WB, followed by UPN. The reboot is being developed at its home studio of Fox 21 TV Studios, the cable and streaming division of 20th Century Fox Television.
Although the project is still in its early stages and few plot details are in place, the hope is that the Buffy reboot will be more contemporary, and explore how some of the horrors the eponymous hero encounters could be metaphors for current social and political issues. The series will be shopped around to various networks and streaming services over the summer, so hopefully we’ll learn more in the coming weeks.