Six Actresses Who Could Play Buffy The Vampire Slayer
So it’s looking pretty inevitable, isn’t it? When the Kazui’s first touted the possibility of rebooting Buffy the Vampire Slayer – not the universally acclaimed television series but the critically panned original movie – we scoffed “that’ll never happen” and, for a time, it didn’t. Then unknown variable Whit Anderson entered the equation with a script that was alledgedly loved by Warner Bros. But at that stage it was still only in the early development stages, surely, plenty of time for The Powers That Be to step in and save the day. However, if spin-off Angel has taught us anything, it’s that those Powers are about as reliable as Michael Fish.
With the news that Glee‘s Heather Morris is in the running for the titular role, we here at Best for Film thought it was about time for some damage control. While we await our miracle intervention, it might be more productive to draw together a list of the least blasphemous contenders for the role. Knowing Hollywood, the same old names will be banded about with fan-baiting results. Rather than even humouring the thought of ‘Hayden Panettiere the Vampire Slayer’, paying lip-service to ‘Gemma Arterton the Vampire Slayer’ or tempting fate with ‘Kristen Stewart the Vampire Slayer’, we have put together a list of six actresses who could potentially wield Mr. Pointy without the world ending.
A controversial first choice, High School Musical‘s lead brunette would certainly be a decent first step in distancing Warner Bros.’ new cash-cow from the once iconic heroine. Unassumingly versatile, Hudgens’ turn in Bandslam showed that she wasn’t just Disney-lite. Throw in a hidden depth, a dancer’s suppleness and the training that must have been required for her role in Zach Snyder’s Sucker Punch and you have a slayer in training who could convince as a school girl and handle the musical numbers should the burgeoning movie franchise ever make it to Buffy the Vampire Slayer 12: Once More With Feeling.
Agron may seem a little vanilla, then again anyone is going to wind up on the bland side of dull when acting across from charisma geyser Lea Michele, but that hasn’t stopped her making a mark beyond McKinley High. With Hannah Morris already in the running, it is clear Warner Bros. are well aware of the Glee phenomenon. While Morris is a fine choice for inverting the blonde cheerleader trope (again), Agron seems better suited to the physical demands of the role. Given the semblance of a character arc Agron enjoyed on Glee, and her upcoming samurai-sword-wielding turn in I Am Number 4, Agron is both better known and a safer choice for the role of Buffy.
Yes she’s already set to play Lisbeth Salander in David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but that needn’t stop her kicking an altogether less living variety of ass. Chris Evans is both The Human Torch and Captain America, Sam Worthington is Perseus and Jake Sully and Sylvester Stallone is both Rocky Balboa and Rambo; there is nothing stopping Mara from stepping up to both plates. The two characters couldn’t be more different after all, Salander stoical where Summers is quippy. Assuming, of course, that Warner Bros. wish for a heroine with any personality.
Forever Julia Roberts’ niece, Roberts needs a role to lose herself in, a character with which to carve a new identity. Buffy Anne Summers has this to offer, inextricably tied to someone else, Roberts could do this with our favourite vampire slayer. An ex-wild child who is scheduled to follow Gellar to Woodsboro, Roberts has recently shown some kick-ass attitude in Noel Clark’s 188.8.131.52.
We have seen Buffy navigate the tribulations of high school twice now, once on the big screen and once off. When we last left her she was approximately 23 years old, a well rounded character. In her relatively few years, she had worked at the Doublemeat Palace, lost her mother, attended college, raised her sister and secured herself a duty-free future. If Buffy is to continue as a character and continue to cover new territory, why not cast a slightly older actress? Kristen Bell’s turn in Veronic Mars was praised by Whedon, demonstrated her diversity and targetted a similar fanbase to Buffy’s. Further, her pint-sized figure and all-American attitude make her a perfect candidate to continue the good work done by Gellar while leaving her enough room to reimagine the role for newcomers and stalwarts alike.
Sarah Michelle Gellar
Let’s face it, who better to bring Buffy to the big screen than the woman who brought her to life on the small screen. Over seven seasons Sarah Michelle Gellar transformed Buffy from the goof-ball caricature played by Kristy Swanson in the original movie into a three dimensional icon in her own image, turning genre conventions on their heads and playing off an ever-growing supporting cast of slayerettes. Already rebooted once, it is unlikely that the character can survive another metamorphasis with any integrity left intact. For seven years the character learnt how much better she was for having friends, how her Scooby Gang had kept her grounded and alive where her solitary slayer ancestors had suffered substantially shorter lifespans. For Warner Bros. to reboot the character without her support network – their rights are held elsewhere – will inevitably fumble the essence of what it is to be Buffy. Hollywood doesn’t need just another action hero – we have Angelina Jolie for that – what Hollywood needs is a Chosen One: a devoted sister, a beloved friend (…too much?).
Should you have made it past Venessa Hudgens you will most likely have opinions of your own. Agree or disagree, feel free to leave your gut reactions below.