'Buffy: The Vampire Slayer' |  Meet the Movie that Gave Birth to the Dear Series and is turning 30 in 2022

Buffy: The Vampire Slayera cult series that still holds a special place in the hearts of fans and made the young Sarah Michelle Gellar a TV star in the 90s, is completing 25 years of its launch in 2022 – having premiered on March 10, 1997. The series is complete, with its seven seasons, available on Star Plus – the streaming platform of disney with productions from the Fox collection and its content, let’s say, more adult. Undoubtedly, it is a full plate for all fans and those nostalgic for the products of the beloved 1990s. But what perhaps not everyone knows is that the program created by Joss Whedon had won the screen five years earlier. And not on TV, but in a $7 million theatrical production funded by the same Fox. It is about this film version, obscure for many, also present in the collection of Star Pluswhich we will talk about in this matter.

Buffy: The Vampire Slayer premiered on July 1, 1992 in US theaters and would arrive at the end of the month in the rest of the country. In much of the world, due to the failure of the feature in its country of origin, the film would reach the video market directly. The idea was born from the mind of the Joss Whedonstill an unknown name in Hollywood at the time, having made his screenwriting debut on sitcoms such as Roseanne (1989-1990) and parenthood (1990-1991). The motto here was a mixture of genres, as a kind of The Patricinhas of Beverly Hills finds the lost boys. In other words, a smarter approach, full of references, jokes and a lot of fun to the vampire horror genre. Whedon created a plot where a high-profile preppy, a young woman named Buffy, extremely vain, whose life goal was to travel to Europe, marry Christian Slater and then dying (as quoted by her) would have a dramatic arc where she would discover the savior of the world and eventually grow as a person.

Before being immortalized in the form of Sarah Michelle Gellar in the series, Buffy was played by Kristy Swanson in the movies.

Buffy is chosen to fight the vampires in her small town – who are very real and are among us, ready to turn the young people of the place into the undead. Overnight, the empty-headed young woman discovers the threat and receives the news that she, and she alone, is humanity’s line of defense. long before Kevin Williamson blend humor and horror so seamlessly in the teen slashers of the late 1990s, starting with Panic, Joss Whedon had this proposal in his narrative – but unfortunately things would not go as planned by the director. For starters, its original script was completely rewritten in order to deliver a lighter and more enjoyable film for teenagers. In the end, for example, in a maneuver worthy of Carrie, Buffy ends the prom by burning down the school in an effort to destroy the vampires. Such changes left screenwriter Whedon so frustrated and upset – as he was completely straying from his vision – that the creator decided to drop out of production, leaving the set and never returning. Despite this, the film still bears his credit as the work’s sole screenwriter.

Interestingly, the aforementioned fact of the school fire caused by Buffy is mentioned a few times in the series. According to Whedon, the show is a derivative of his original script and not the film. The screenwriter believes that the film production of buffy should be seen as its own work, without any connection with the TV show – such is the disaffection for the feature. According to him, everything about the movie shouldn’t be considered canon for the series – quite separating the two. In fact, Whedon’s original script even became a comic book, entitled “Inception” – this one considered by him as a precursor to the emblematic 1990s series.

Kristy Swanson as Buffy opposite the late Luke Perry and Rutger Hauer in the 1992 film version.

One of the main abandoned differences in the series from the movie was Buffy’s infamous “sensory” cramps. We don’t know exactly if the idea came from Joss Whedon or it is already among the countless changes that the script has undergone, but the fact is: in the movie Buffy had a power, let’s say, at least curious (not to say clueless) that later disappeared in the television version (thankfully). Imagine the Spider-Man hero’s spider-sense, which warns him of the dangers around him. Now think of a pseudo-cute version that tries to subvert a teenage girl’s feminine universe. In short: Buffy has cramps whenever a vampire is around – which she defines as something very similar to menstrual cramps. Er… well…

For the leading role of the heroine, the brunette Alyssa Milano she was the first choice, and they say she was ready to take the role. Milano he was successful as a teenager in the comic series Who is the boss (1984-1992) and in cinema she was the daughter of Arnold Schwarzenegger in command to kill (1985). The actress was still on the air with her sitcom when she almost got the role of Buffy, and at the time she was 20 years old. She didn’t stay with the character, but the year after the series premiered buffywould debut his own hit series along the same lines with Charmed – Young Witches (1998-2006). For the leading role in the Fox film, then came the very blonde Kristy Swansonfamous for the cult guilty pleasure of Wes Craven, Samantha’s Curse (1986). four years after buffySwanson would participate in the only adaptation (to date) of the comic book hero The ghost (1996). To be fair, the blonde Swanson is well on paper and really gives herself to the project. The film’s problem, including the poor result, has nothing to do with its protagonist.

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Among the faces in the cast of Buffy are early roles for the likes of Hilary Swank, Ben Affleck and David Arquette.

In addition to Kristy Swanson, Buffy: The Vampire Slayer would also mark people’s first roles as the two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank, Ben Affleck, Thomas Jane and David Arquette. the late Luke Perryat the height of its popularity due to the series Barred at the Ball (Beverly Hills 90210) – which premiered two years earlier – lives the heroine’s love interest: the rebellious Pike – a kind of good-hearted bad boy, in some ways similar to Dylan’s role in the show. The big names in the cast, however, were the veterans Donald Sutherland and Rutger Hauer. The first plays Merrick, the one responsible for tracking down the huntress and training her to save the world, and the second plays Lothos, the evil vampire from the film. According to Whedon, Sutherland was not easy to work with. The actor constantly rewrote his dialogues at will, without even consulting the screenwriter.

However, there is another actor in the movie. buffy which attracted extremely negative attention at the time. the comedian Paul Reubens is not well known here in Brazil, but he is responsible for the creation of the children’s character Pee Wee Hermanwhich saw its heyday in the 1980s, having its own children’s TV show, as well as starring in two films (in 1985 and 1988 – the first even marking the first production directed by Tim Burton). Reubens’ personal life was another story, and while the comedian was associated with youthful innocence, he was also a major pervert. Reubens was arrested in the early 1990s while publicly masturbating inside a movie theater showing porn. At the time, this was a real scandal, and the actor was put on the fridge for a while. His first role after that was here in buffywhere the second vampire in power, Amilyn, lives – in a role that was originally planned for the actress Joan Chen (in Twin Peaks). figures like David Bowie and Mick Jagger would also make appearances as vampires, but in the end the production ended up with no money to get the musicians, even in small parts.

Swanson embraced the playfulness with a lot of charm in Buffy. While Paul Reubens was still the subject of controversy at the time.

Buffy: The Vampire Slayer got into a big dog fight, scheduling its premiere for July 1992, the time of the biggest releases of the year, as it was the kids’ school holidays. Thus, the film opened in fifth position in the box office ranking, with US$4.5 million in the first weekend – the very next week, falling to the tenth position. buffy would end its stint on the big screen with a little more than double its budget of $16.6 million, thus avoiding becoming a resounding failure. At least financially, as the film’s reviews would not be at all favorable.

Joss Whedon on the other hand, he didn’t give up on the idea of ​​his killer mother-in-law and this universe of vampires, horror, teenagers, humor, pop references and smart-ass dialogues. After the movie explosion Panic (1996), Whedon thought it was worth trying again, after all the demand for products of this genre had increased considerably, and took his premise again to Fox, this time to its television segment. With a new cast headed by Sarah Michelle Gellarnew characters, and many participations by young actors of the moment (at the time), Buffy: The Vampire Slayer would finally achieve the popularity it deserved. The show would run for seven seasons. And if you’re one of those who think it’s time for Buffy to rehearse a comeback in the form of a reboot, know that the creator himself agrees with you. Whedon has been trying to get a reboot off the ground and came close to getting it in 2019. The current problem, as it was 30 years ago, is certain accusations of workplace misconduct by the creator – which should make things difficult. for your apple of the eye… It’s the creature paying for its creator’s sins.

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