Sarah Michelle Gellar Has No Plans To Ever Return As Vampire Slayer Buffy Summers

Although it seems like everything is getting a revival these days, that likely won't be the case for "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," the beloved coming-of-age supernatural series that ran from 1997 to 2003. Whereas "Community" is getting its six seasons and a movie, "Buffy" got the movie first, then seven seasons, then nothing. 

That's not to say that a revival isn't possible at some point down the line, it's just that it's going to be hard to pull something like that off when the lead actress isn't interested. When Sarah Michelle Gellar was asked by SFX if she'd want to play Buffy again, she gave a definitive answer: "I'm not." 

At first glance, this might seem like a response to the many allegations of workplace misconduct and abuse revealed about "Buffy" creator Joss Whedon, with Gellar herself recently describing the show as having had an "extremely toxic" behind-the-scenes environment. While that certainly doesn't help, Gellar's main reservation comes down to a fundamental quality of the show itself, one that might be undermined by her returning to take over as an adult reaching into middle age.

"I am very proud of the show that we created and [a revival] doesn't need to be done," Gellar explained. "I am all for them continuing the story, because there's the story of female empowerment. I love the way the show was left: 'Every girl who has the power can have the power.' It's set up perfectly for someone else to have the power."

'The horrors of adolescence'

In a way, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" is a little like the "Scream" movies that also started off in the late '90s. Although the first "Scream" started off with teenage Sidney, in the 2020s the franchise has moved away from fully-grown Sidney to focus on a new group of young adult survivors. There's been a lot of controversy around how "Scream 6" doesn't seem to include Sidney at all, even though it's probably for the best that the franchise moves away from the pattern of upending Sidney's life over and over again.

Just because "Scream 6" doesn't include Sidney doesn't mean it's going to be a bad film, but it does make the film a harder sell to fans who see the character as the heart and soul of the series. "Buffy" without Gellar would also be a hard sell. Having another teenage girl take up the mantle could put the new actress in an impossible position, being constantly compared to such an iconic character. It would be difficult, but it would be the smarter choice for the series as a whole, as Gellar herself explained: "The metaphors of 'Buffy' were the horrors of adolescence. I think I look young, but I am not an adolescent." 

As much as we all love Buffy Summers, underneath all the supernatural elements the series was always about young people struggling to figure out their place in the world. Maybe there will be a successful revival one day, but Sarah Michelle Gellar will never be the center of it.