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Cult Spy: The 'Buffy' Spin Off Legacy

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Cult Spy: The 'Buffy' Spin Off Legacy
This week’s tabloid report that a Buffy The Vampire Slayer spin-off entitled Ripper - revolving around Giles - is near to entering production leads Cult Spy to look at the various other spin-offs that were mooted.

The Angel spin off lasted for five seasons, but the other proposed ventures for characters from the Buffyverse have yet to come to fruition, despite plenty of speculation…

Spike

As the ageless vampire Spike, James Marsters will soon need to be sucking up some Botox rather than blood if he is to wait much longer before reprising his iconic role.

In September 2005 Angel actress Amy Acker confirmed that she may be reprising her Angel role of Illyria opposite Marsters in a spin-off TV movie entitled Spike. Acker told E! Online: "I talked to (Joss Whedon) a couple of weeks ago and said that I had heard that Tim Minear was gonna write and direct the Spike movie, the Spike-Illyria movie."

That same month, Whedon explained the situation to TV Guide: "We don't have a paradigm set up yet. We don't have anything solid to announce… I'm just making sure that the creative people I need are in place before I set up a whole deal.

“I don't have time to do it all myself; I need one of my peeps. And there's no greater peep for something like this than Mr. [Tim] Minear. I'm optimistic that I will actually have something to say in the near future, but at this point it's still me and my buddies going, 'Wouldn't it be cool?'"

The following year, Warner Bros' president of entertainment David Janollari explained during a press tour that the network would “love to do a Spike movie with Joss Whedon. [But] Joss Whedon is busy, fast becoming a kind of a big feature filmmaker. He's currently working on an adaptation of Wonder Woman for Warner Brothers. He's simply not available to us. But he knows, and you guys all know, the door is open any time that he wants to do that, for us to do that movie."

Let’s hope the door is still ajar, but at least cult fans will soon be getting a fix of Marsters as he will be appearing in the second season of Torchwood.

Faith

The anti-hero slayer Faith was very popular with viewers, with her sexy and dangerous attitude. Played by Eliza Dushku, Faith returned for the final episodes of Buffy as one of the good guys, setting things up nicely for a spin-off. However, despite a wave of interest for Faith The Vampire Slayer, Dushku opted to make the flop series Tru Calling instead.

"There was some talk... but she chose something else, and the talk stopped," Joss Whedon admitted to TV Guide Online.

The man intended to oversee the project, Tim Minear, later told IGN about the proposed premise: “The show was basically going to be Faith meets Kung Fu. It would have been Faith, probably on a motorcycle, crossing the earth, trying to find her place in the world. I'm sure it would get an arc at some point, but the idea of her rooted somewhere seemed wrong to me. The idea of her constantly on the move seemed right to be. And she broke out of prison (on Angel) so there would have been some people after her.”

Willow

A series starring Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg, entitled Slayer School, was mooted back in 2003. The premise supposedly featured the red-haired Wiccan presiding over a Hogwarts stlye academy for the young girls trained up as potential Slayers in the latter part of Buffy’s seventh season. Well, at least those who survived the blood-stained finale.

Writer Jane Espenson, responsible for penning 22 Buffy episodes, confirmed that talks had taken place regarding Slayer School. “I think Marti talked with Joss about Slayer School, I assume there was some back-and-forth pitching," she told Aint It Cool News back in 2003. However, there has since been no hard evidence that the show ever came close to being commissioned.

Joss Whedon later expressed a desire to use Willow in the proposed Spike movie, telling TV Guide in 2005: "If I get a chance to use Alyson, I'll use Alyson. That's a given. There's no maybe about that. The maybe is, does she have time?"

However, 2006 saw Hannigan pour cold water on the spin-off suggestions, as she told Sci Fi Wire that without Whedon being very hands-on, she wouldn’t be involved any more in the Buffyverse. “I think I would just be too scared to sort of go back and possibly tarnish it in any way. Joss is too busy. He's not going to write it. He's not going to direct it, you know?

"I'm sure he would get great people, but there's nothing like the Joss touch. I think by all means they should absolutely do the Spike movie. I think that's the logical next step, but... I don't think Willow is the next step."

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