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Joss Whedon will revive his beloved series, along with Monica Owusu-Breen as showrunner and head writer.

It’s been 21 years since Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer first arrived on the scene with its seminal mix of urban fantasy, teen angst, and clever worldbuilding and wordplay. Now, Whedon has announced that he will revive his beloved series for a new generation of Slayers — with one major twist.

Working with 20th Century Fox TV through its cable and streaming development arm, Fox 21 TV Studios, Whedon will produce an “inclusive” reboot of Buffy starring a black woman in the iconic title role originally played by Sarah Michelle Gellar.

Whedon will be an executive producer on the project, and Monica Owusu-Breen, who worked with Whedon on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., will serve as showrunner and head writer. Breen is a television veteran whose previous writing and producing credits include Charmed, Fringe, and Midnight, Texas. According to Deadline, Fox, which also recently rebooted The X-Files under its Fox 21 shingle, intends to pitch the reboot to cable and streaming networks this summer.

This is all great news for Buffy fans. However, the original series already had multiple characters of color who could factor into an “inclusive” reboot — including the Black slayer Kendra and the “First Slayer,” as well as other characters. As a result, some fans reacting to news of the reboot online have expressed confusion as to why a reboot has to racebend Buffy, when it could simply focus on a different character. Some fans have even questioned the need for a reboot of Buffy at all, over another vampire fable written by a woman of color.

Still, speaking to the Hollywood Reporter last year, Whedon stated that in order to revive Buffy, he would have to overcome his fear of producing “creaky” storytelling. Putting Owusu-Breen in charge seems to be his way of giving fans the best of both worlds, by creating a diverse new show that nonetheless features a storyline and a universe they already know and love.

Author: Aja Romano
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