The Long-Gestating Buffy The Vampire Slayer Reboot Is 'On Pause'

It's a bittersweet day for "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" fans, as the reboot series that was set to star a Black woman as the new Slayer has been put "on pause," according to executive producer Gail Berman. The news was shared on The Hollywood Reporter's TV's Top 5 Podcast (reported via TVLine).

The vision for a new "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" was first shared in 2018, when "Lost" and "Fringe" producer Monica Owusu-Breen was brought on board as showrunner and executive producer. While initial announcements using the word "reboot" made the series sound like a reimagining of the Buffy Summers-led story that carried the seven-season original series, Owusu-Breen quickly clarified on Twitter that "there is only one Buffy," but that "maybe, it could be time to meet a new Slayer."

Will we ever see a new Slayer?

The Joss Whedon-created series has had a long afterlife already, continuing with "seasons" worth of official Dark Horse comics as well as a recent Boom! Studios comic arc that turned the tables on the story fans know by creating an alternate canon. A continuation of the beloved series, especially one that could expand its groundbreaking feminism to more diverse perspectives, seemed like a no-brainer in 2018.

Of course, Whedon's reputation has since diminished as he has been accused of workplace misconduct and abuse on the set of "Justice League," which then led to the unearthing of several other controversies involving the series' creator. While Whedon was on board the untitled reboot as an executive producer, Owusu-Breen herself alluded to other reasons it may have been stalled on the Slayerfest '98 podcast earlier this year. She said:

"In the before-times, I was hired to reboot 'Buffy.' I had a character I loved and I loved the world of vampires and I wanted to put a new girl up with vampires. But Hollywood being Hollywood and IP complications being what they are and a global pandemic, and whatnot...So the project is in the ether, I don't know if anything will happen with it, but I love the story that's in my head."

While it makes sense that the Buffy reboot may not be the safest bet right now, and it's clear that any future project shouldn't involve Whedon, I personally hope we get to see Owusu-Breen's vision realized sooner or later. The Buffyverse is among the best fictional worlds ever created for the small screen, and it's been nearly 20 years since fans last got to see Sunnydale and its Slayers, vampires, Watchers, monsters and, of course, loyal supporting cast of Scoobies.