Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Buffy spinoff or movie possible

By John Kiesewetter
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Buffy and the Scooby Gang may return some day - but not soon.

Creator Joss Whedon says he was too exhausted wrapping up the seventh season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer to consider sequels, spinoffs or feature films.

"We all need to take a break," Whedon told TV critics recently.

"There could be spinoffs at some time, but nothing now," he said. "Some people even live (in the finale), so there is an open door for more TV or movies."

Whedon instead will devote his energy next season to Angel, the Buffy spinoff entering its fifth season. James Marsters' Spike has joined that cast full time, and other Buffy characters will pop up on the WB show.

Whedon, 38, says he knew more than a year ago that Buffy would end this month, as Sarah Michelle Gellar's contract expired.

"I've known since last year exactly what I wanted to do for the last episode," he says.

Buffy was the first TV series created by Whedon, whose father and grandfather also wrote for TV (Leave It To Beaver, Donna Reed). It was based on his 1992 Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie starring Kristy Swanson.

"It was my first show. I didn't know what I was doing," said Whedon, who also wrote the hit animated movie Toy Story.

Buffy, it turns out, was full of surprises for Whedon, as well as its fans.

"I didn't know how good my actors would be, or how they'd grow and change," Whedon said. "Buffy was designed to be a pop culture icon, and she became that."

Plans for an animated Buffy series, discussed two years ago when the series switched from WB to UPN, also are on hold. "Everything is pretty much in limbo right now," Whedon said.

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