The ultimate guide to Joss Whedon, entitled Joss Whedon: The Complete Companion: The TV Series, the Movies, the Comic Books and More, was released May 1. Read an excerpt now!

The almost 500-page-long book is a collection of essays on all aspects of Joss Whedon’s work (including the recently premiered The Avengers), and features contributions by Jane Espenson and Tim Minear. Hypable has received a copy of this book, and you can expect a full review soon.

For now, read the excerpt released by Movies.com, from one of the essays talking about Buffy the Vampire Slayer:

Joss Whedon 101: Buffy The Vampire Slayer (The Movie)

Laura Berger

The 1997 television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer is often cited as an “unlikely” critical darling. The title didn’t exactly inspire confidence, nor did the fact that the cast was led by former soap star Sarah Michelle Gellar. Perhaps most damning was the show’s affiliation with a poorly received film released five years prior—a film of the same name and premise.

The earliest incarnation of Buffy is something that many fans would like to forget; indeed, even Joss Whedon, screenwriter of the film and creator behind the series, is adamant about the fact that the film should not be considered part of the Buffy canon. Whedon has (repeatedly and publicly) voiced his disappointment with the film, which was not representative of his original screenplay. Viewers agree. The film has a score of 32 percent at Rotten Tomatoes; 11 “fresh” reviews are eclipsed by the 23 “rotten” ones (“Buffy”).

For most fans of the show, the movie is embarrassing. Diehard fans of the series have more success convincing people who haven’t seen the movie to watch the show because they don’t have preconceived notions (except the silly title, its affiliation with the WB, a teen-oriented network, the fact that it is science fiction and fantasy… etc.). In any case, introductions to Buffy are met with less resistance when the person in question hasn’t seen the film.

Many hardcore fans of the show do not rewatch the movie often—or at all. These same fans cringe whenever it’s mentioned, but interestingly, the details of the film are unfamiliar to them. They unceasingly criticize the film, but when they do watch it, they discover they still can’t summarize details of the storylines or comment on the characters. Merrick, Pike, Lothos—the characters that comprise the movie’s cast of characters are decidedly less memorable than the indelible Giles, Spike, and Angel.

The film begins with a flashback to Europe sometime in “The Dark Ages” (characterization is not the only area in which the film lacks specificity). A voiceover sets the stage: “Since the dawn of time, the vampires have walked among us, killing, feeding. The only one with the strength or skill to stop their heinous evil is the Slayer. She who bears the birthmark, the mark of the coven.” The Slayer is trained by the Watcher, and when one Slayer dies, the next is chosen. We are then introduced to Buffy, a blonde high school student, a cheerleader by day who will soon become—albeit reluctantly—a vampire Slayer by night. The fate of the world rests on Buffy’s (Kristy Swanson) shoulders. She’s passionate about shopping and gossiping and seems like an entirely unlikely candidate for superpowers.

The movie chronicles Buffy’s transformation from an unlikeable airhead into a powerful hero. By the film’s conclusion, we are cheering for Buffy; that being said, there is nothing remarkable about her besides her birthright. We want her to succeed, but we don’t feel particularly connected to her. Swanson’s Buffy lacks Sarah Michelle Gellar’s vulnerability and seriousness—her depth. Gellar is an anchor in the series; whether she’s facing witches, prom dogs, or ghosts, she manages to keep the show grounded. Imprisoned by her calling and negotiating the warzones of adolescence and the Hellmouth, Gellar’s Buffy is a Slayer and a person, whereas Swanson comes across as somewhat of a caricature.

This seems less the fault of Swanson than of the project itself. The film doesn’t bask in its silliness (except for one memorably amusing death scene) or dare to take its subject matter seriously, so it’s rarely funny or moving. It lacks any semblance of conviction; it doesn’t know what it is or even what it’s striving to be. There is a main villain—Lothos—but we don’t really know what he wants (other than to kill Buffy).

Some of the movie is unintentionally hilarious. Hilary Swank makes her first appearance on film as Buffy’s frenemy Kimberly. Swank is clad in cut-off vests and wears scunchies (unironically!); nothing in her performance suggests that she would go on to become a two-time Oscar winner. David Arquette “acts” as an immature and asinine sidekick, and Luke Perry plays a teenager—not at all convincingly. Perry was in his 30s when the film was released. We’re also supposed to believe that Buffy’s popular friends find Luke Perry’s character (Pike) unappealing and inappropriate boyfriend material for Buffy (as if superficial teenage girls would reject Luke Perry—Luke Perry in the ‘90s with a leather jacket, no less).

Donald Sutherland’s performance as Buffy’s Watcher Merrick is deeply unsettling; he seems less like a mentor and more like a predator. When Merrick first approaches Buffy and tells her that she is the Slayer and demands that she come with him to a graveyard, Buffy accuses him of being “a skanky old [man] who attacks little girls and stuff.” Merrick never loses the skanky old man aura. There is nothing paternal about Sutherland’s portrayal, and he seems ready to open his trench coat at any moment. Skanky indeed.

The film is sort of like an embarrassing picture from your adolescence that you want to hide. Burning it would be bad luck and a mite too dramatic. The portrait means something, in its own painfully awkward way. But there are traces—however faint—of what Buffy would go on to become: a rare example of a strong female character, an iconic hero. The movie is Buffy in braces. Buffy as raw cookie dough.

Works Cited

Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Writ. Joss Whedon. Dir. Fran Rubel Kuzui. Perf. Kristy Swanson, Donald Sutherland, Paul Reubens, and Luke Perry. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, 2001. DVD.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992).” Rotten Tomatoes Web. 20 Oct. 2011.

The Powers That Be have spoken, and they’re saying Guillermo del Toro will not be making a third Hellboy installment.

Fans across the globe are shedding tears as we learn that director/writer del Toro will not be helming another Hellboy movie. It’s time to punch something, smoke a cigar, and then find a kitten before you settle in for the bad news.

In mid-January, del Toro asked fans to vote in a 24-hour poll to show support for making Hellboy III. He promised that if it got 100,000 votes within the time frame, he’d take it to the studio and have a talk with them about making the film.

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The Powers That Be have spoken, and they’re saying Guillermo del Toro will not be making a third Hellboy installment.

Fans across the globe are shedding tears as we learn that director/writer del Toro will not be helming another Hellboy movie. It’s time to punch something, smoke a cigar, and then find a kitten before you settle in for the bad news.

In mid-January, del Toro asked fans to vote in a 24-hour poll to show support for making Hellboy III. He promised that if it got 100,000 votes within the time frame, he’d take it to the studio and have a talk with them about making the film.

Unfortunately, del Toro did not get the answer we were hoping for.

However, there is hope for fans of the comics, as artist and creator Mike Mignola reminded us that just because del Toro isn’t going to be involved anymore, it doesn’t mean there won’t be future Hellboy movies. There’s always hope.

This is good news for those who perhaps didn’t like del Toro’s take on the character. It hints at a possible reboot of the franchise, but if that were to happen, don’t expect Ron Perlman to reprise his role.

For those who fell in love with Perlman’s interpretation of the titular character, this is certainly a blow. However, del Toro does wish the franchise luck, and it’s not like he’s hurting for work (he’s got Netflix’s Trollhunters, Pacific Rim 2, and The Shape of Water, to just name a few).

This tweet is certainly interesting, as it hints that he wanted to take Hellboy in a new direction, but his vision did not match the vision of the studio. Does this mean they’ve got another idea in mind already, and if so, will it be Hellboy III, or a Hellboy for a new generation?

With Ron Perlman out of the picture, it’s likely the studio may try to do a reboot, rather than replace the actor for a potential sequel. If there is a reboot, there could be resistance from fans, but with updated technology and someone else’s vision, we could be looking at an interesting new set of superhero movies that will still feel different from the blockbusters currently taking over cinemas.

Are you interested in a new ‘Hellboy’ franchise?

The movie adaptation of Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is progressing nicely as Jennifer Garner is in talks to join the cast.

Back in December we relayed news that Nick Robinson (Jurassic World) was cast as the titular character in Simon, which would be directed by Arrow-verse helmer Greg Berlanti.

According to Deadline, Jennifer Garner is currently negotiating a deal with the film to star as Simon’s mother. She’ll be joining Robinson, Katherine Langford (Leah Burke), Alexandra Shipp (Abby Suso), and Logan Miller (Martin Addison).

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The movie adaptation of Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is progressing nicely as Jennifer Garner is in talks to join the cast.

Back in December we relayed news that Nick Robinson (Jurassic World) was cast as the titular character in Simon, which would be directed by Arrow-verse helmer Greg Berlanti.

According to Deadline, Jennifer Garner is currently negotiating a deal with the film to star as Simon’s mother. She’ll be joining Robinson, Katherine Langford (Leah Burke), Alexandra Shipp (Abby Suso), and Logan Miller (Martin Addison).

The synopsis for Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda reads, “Simon Spier is sixteen and in love. Sure, he has never met the mysterious ‘Blue’ in person, but he’s falling hard and fast for their email love letters. There’s only one problem: Blue is a boy, Simon is gay, and he hasn’t told anyone else.”

The novel made the world (and Hypable) fall in love with the story, and the current cast and creative team have fans excited for this adaptation. With Wyck Godfrey’s Temple Hill Entertainment (The Maze Runner series, The Twilight Saga, and the upcoming Power Rangers) behind the scenes, it’s bound to be a big production.

How excited are you for ‘Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda’?

Iwan Rheon has been cast as Maximus in Marvel’s upcoming ABC series, Inhumans.

Iwan Rheon will star as Maximus, an integral member of the Inhuman royal family. As the brother of the Inhuman king Black Bolt, Maximus holds considerable power in the alien city of Attilan. Charming and clever, he is exceptionally loyal to his people.

But unsurprisingly to those familiar with Rheon’s body of work, Maximus also hides darker ambitions — including taking the throne from Black Bolt.

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Iwan Rheon has been cast as Maximus in Marvel’s upcoming ABC series, Inhumans.

Iwan Rheon will star as Maximus, an integral member of the Inhuman royal family. As the brother of the Inhuman king Black Bolt, Maximus holds considerable power in the alien city of Attilan. Charming and clever, he is exceptionally loyal to his people.

But unsurprisingly to those familiar with Rheon’s body of work, Maximus also hides darker ambitions — including taking the throne from Black Bolt.

Iwan Rheon is best known for his terrifying turn as Ramsay Bolton in HBO’s Game of Thrones. He has starred in the British series Misfits and Vicious, and may never play a hero again in his life.

Marvel’s head of television Jeph Loeb, who also serves as an executive producer on Inhumans, suggests that those villainous skills will be well-deployed in the role of Maximus.

“Iwan’s ability to be charming, roguish, and still completely unexpectedly dangerous were all the different sides we needed to bring the character to life,” Loeb says. “We’re thrilled to have him on board.”

Showrunner Scott Buck agrees.

“Maximus is a complex character. Likable, charming, tragic and villainous all in the same moment,” he says, “And I’m very excited to have someone of Iwan’s considerable talent.”

Marvel’s Inhumans will be produced in partnership with IMAX. The first two episodes will screen in IMAX theaters before the show’s network debut in mid September. Spanning the course of eight episodes, the series will tell the story of the Inhuman royal family, with the associated drama that just happens when you’re a family of aliens with magical powers trying to rule a secret city.

A leaked cast list for Inhumans hinted at a complex lineup of characters, including Black Bolt’s wife Medusa and her sister Crystal. Karnak, as well as the three-legged horse Gorgon and amphibious Triton round out the eclectic cast. And with Iwan Rheon in place as Maximus, it seems like just a matter of time before the rest of the family falls into line.

What do you think of Iwan Rheon as Maximus in Marvel’s ‘Inhumans’?

Tags: inhumans, Marvel