Thanks, but no thanks. That pretty much sums up Sarah Michelle Gellar’s thought concerning her return as the ultimate vampire slayer in the potential Buffy the Vampire Slayer reboot.
Sarah Michelle Gellar appeared on the On With Mario Lopez podcast to discuss her time as Buffy and if she’d be interested, if asked, to come back to the series that brought her fame. Gellar was quite candid with her answer as Lopez posed the question. At 43-years-old Michelle Gellar said she was a bit “long in the tooth” to once again pick up a stake. While her age may say so, Gellar certainly does not look any bit of 43. Nevertheless, the ex-Slayer feels the role needs to be filled by a teenager.
Sarah Michelle Gellar continued on after claiming she was a bit too old to get back into the titular role she noted that the monsters Buffy dealt with “were a metaphor for the horrors of adolescence.” She added via Deadline, “I do think that story lends itself, it’d be interesting to see how a chosen one would deal with that. I don’t think it’s me, I don’t think I should be the one doing it.” She also wanted to point out that at her age she’s “way too tired and cranky to put in that work again.”
“That work” as Sarah Michelle Gellar puts it, covered seven years and 145 episodes of ass-kicking, vampire-slaying fun. Initially, Gellar wasn’t in the running to play the teenage hero but instead, she auditioned for the part of Cordelia Chase, a role that eventually went to Charisma Carpenter. Those in the running for Buffy included Katie Holmes, Selma Blair, Julie Benz, Elizabeth Anne Allen, Julia Lee, and Mercedes McNab. Even Charisma Carpenter auditioned for Buffy before being cast as Chase.
But Joss Whedon asked Sarah Michelle Gellar to return after he saw her audition and when she did, he knew he had found his Buffy. But that was back in 2003 and things revolving around series creator Joss Whedon are much different now, with the director mired in controversy around his time on the show.
It was in 2018 when it was announced that the reboot of Buffy was happening and Joss Whedon was on board to executive produce with Monica Owusu-Breen hired to write the series. As the announcement came down, there was immediate backlash over the proposed new version of the series. While some were thinking the reboot was going to introduce a new actor to play Buffy replacing Sarah Michelle Gellar, Owusu-Breen took to Twitter to assure Buffy’s legion that there is only one Buffy, she can’t be replaced. But there can be other Slayers. “There is only one Buffy,” she wrote on Twitter. “But here we are, twenty years later… And the world seems a lot scarier. So maybe, it could be time to meet a new Slayer.” Check out her entire tweet.
Since the time of her tweet, not much concerning the new series has been said. Sarah Michelle Gellar never let on she was returning in any way. And most news surrounding Whedon has been nothing short of horrific. He has been under immense fire for his treatment of stars onset, with many of them taking to social media to lob grenades in Whedon’s direction. Ray Fisher began tearing away at Whedon when he tweeted out, “Joss [Whedon’s] on-set treatment of the cast and crew of Justice League was gross, abusive, unprofessional, and completely unacceptable. He was enabled, in many ways, by Geoff Johns and Jon Berg. Accountability>Entertainment.”
As Fisher started firing away, Charisma Carpenter joined in by describing how Whedon treated her on set once he found out she was pregnant. “I think Joss was, honestly, mad. I think he was mad at me and I say that in a loving way, which is — it’s a very complicated dynamic working for somebody so many years, and expectations, and also being on a show for eight years, you gotta live your life. And sometimes living your life gets in the way of maybe the creator’s vision for the future. And that becomes a conflict, and that was my experience.”
She then went into explicit detail as to how Whedon concluded their relationship as he eventually fired her from the show.
Another Buffy star, Michelle Trachtenberg, who was 15 years old when Whedon hired her, backed Carpenter’s stories, as did many other cast members. Sarah Michelle Gellar finally addressed the Whedon accusations by posting a statement on her Instagram, concluding with: “While I am proud to have my name associated with Buffy Summers, I don’t want to be forever associated with the name Joss Whedon.”
Trachtenberg took note of Sarah Michelle Gellar’s post, thanking her former co-star for stepping up. She also spoke briefly of her own issues with Whedon, hinting at some horrible happenings by concluding there was even a “rule” when it came to hers and Whedon’s proximity. “The last. Comment I will make on this. Was. There was a rule. Saying. He’s not allowed in a room alone with Michelle again,” she wrote on her Instagram.
With all the troubles now following Whedon, the question mark now is whether a Buffy reboot will happen or not. One thing we can be sure of, Sarah Michelle Gellar will not be back as Buffy. According to her, her age and temperament just won’t allow for it to happen. But as that old adage in Hollywood says, “Money talks.” There’s always a chance with a new story and direction she could return. But for now, that’s not on the table.