1. Buffy the Vampire Slayer came out at an interesting time in the horror genre. Joss Whedon stated that he wrote Buffy as a response to the helpless damsels in distress characters he saw in typical horror films, as he felt women needed better screen idols to look up to. Buffy debuted just a year after Scream, a film that heavily commented on the sexist representations of women in horror cinema. Sarah Michelle Gellar would appear in Scream 2 and I Know What You Did Last Summer. Both were penned by 90’s screenwriting wunderkind Kevin Williamson, who was also behindDawson’s Creek.
2. Before accepting the role of Buffy, Sarah Michelle Gellar was also up for the part of Sabrina Spellman in Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. In landing Buffy Summers, she beat out Selma Blair and Katie Holmes, who both ended up on other WB shows — Dawson’s Creek and Zoe, Duncan, Jack and Jane. (Blair also got to be the voice on the phone when Gellar is murdered in Scream 2, which is a consolation prize, I think.) Gellar initially auditioned for Cordelia, but Whedon and company felt she would make a better Buffy. Good choice.
3. One of the things that prompted Joss Whedon to make a TV version ofBuffy was his feeling that the movie version was bungled, as too much of the original script was rewritten. (Donald Sutherland improvised a lot of his scenes, which Whedon felt made the dialogue lack coherence. Joss now refers to Donald Sutherland as a “dick.”) In the movie version, Buffy states that her four life goals are to “graduate, go to Europe, marry Christian Slater and die,” and through the TV version, she achieves three of those four things. (Slater unfortunately starred in Interview with the Vampire instead of cavorting with Buffy Summers. Jerk.)
4. Although Whedon states that the film version should not be treated as canon, there are a number of interesting connections with the movie version. Kristine Sutherland, who plays Mrs. Summers (#neverforget), created her stage name as a tribute to Donald Sutherland, the “dick” who plays the original watcher. Seth Green and Ben Affleck both appear in the original film, although Green’s part was cut down to that of a glorified extra. Affleck officially entered the Buffyverse in a Season Three episode of Angelin an uncredited role. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was future two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank’s first film role, but she has yet to come back to Whedon. I guess she’s all booked up with dat New Year’s Eve and P.S. I Love You. Busy, busy.
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