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‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ Reboot: Joss Whedon Reinventing Show, With African-American Lead

Joss Whedon is developing the new version with Monica Owusu-Breen ("Fringe," "Lost," "Alias").

"Buffy The Vampire Slayer"

“Buffy The Vampire Slayer”

Fox Television/REX/Shutterstock

The hellmouth is opening again. 20th Century Fox has confirmed that a “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” reboot is being developed. Original creator Joss Whedon is working with Monica Owusu-Breen (“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”) on a brand new story.

This “Buffy” won’t be a continuation of the original series starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, but will feature a brand-new Buffy, who will be African-American. There’s no network attached as of yet.

Besides Whedon, original executive producers Gail Berman, Fran Kazui and Kaz Kazui are also behind the revival (and Berman’s The Jackal Group partner Joe Earley is also attached). Fox 21 TV Studios is expected to pitch the new show to cable and streaming outlets this summer.

This would be the third version of “Buffy,” following the 1992 film with Kristy Swanson in the title role, and then the series, which first debuted on The WB in 1997. “Buffy” centered on Buffy Summers, a high school teenager who discovers she’s a “Slayer,” someone tasked with protecting the world from vampires and demons — and learns that her town is built over a hellmouth, where evil supernatural activity thrives.

“Buffy” was reinvented for the small screen, and quickly developed critical raves and a rabid following with stars Gellar, David Boreanaz, Alyson Hannigan, Charisma Carpenter, Nicholas Brendon, James Marsters and Anthony Stewart Head, among others. It also spawned the spinoff “Angel.” The show later moved to UPN, and ended its run after 144 episodes in 2003.

There’s no word yet on a story for the new “Buffy.” The news isn’t a complete surprise, as 20th Century Fox TV chairman Gary Newman hinted at a reboot in an interview with Variety this spring. It’s something “we talk about frequently,” he said.

Owusu-Breen’s credits also include “Midnight, Texas,” “Revolution,” “Fringe,” “Lost,” “Alias,” and “Charmed.”

Coincidentally, “Charmed” was also a series from The WB that is currently undergoing the reboot treatment — and also with a brand-new, diverse cast. The new version of “Charmed” airs on The CW next season.

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