‘Buffy’ Reboot Reveals New Slayer, Sarah Michelle Gellar Replaced

in Movies & TV

Sarah Michelle Gellar in 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer'

Credit: 20th Century Studios

The Buffy reboot has unveiled its brand-new Vampire Slayer.

In the last 20 years since Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997 — 2003) ended, fans have been expecting the show to get the reboot treatment. But while there has been a lot of back and forth on the matter over the years, nothing has ever seen the light of day.

This is pretty unusual when you consider how many IPs have gone under the knife in that time, even more so when you single out supernatural teen-centric franchises from the ’90s that have been rebooted, such as Sabrina the Teenage Witch and The Craft, to name a few.

It’s even stranger that Disney now owns the Buffy IP after acquiring Fox, and they’ve already remade everything you could imagine.

Buffy looking sad in Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Credit: 20th Century Studios

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What is it about Buffy the Vampire Slayer that has for so long rendered it immune to the Hollywood knife? After all, the show has all the right ingredients for a modern retelling, yet it seems to have escaped a trend that’s been going on for as long as we can remember.

The franchise hasn’t been without any new material, though. Since the seventh and final season aired in 2003, the spinoff series Angel (1999 — 2004) would continue for another year, ending with its fifth and final season in 2004.

Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Credit: 20th Century Studios

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Both shows would then find new life in the form of comic books that are still ongoing and are widely considered canon with their on-screen counterparts. Last year, we even got a sequel in the form of the novel In Every Generation (2022) from YA author Kendare Blake.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer has amassed an enormous cult following, and while it’s been two decades since it ended, its popularity in modern pop culture can’t be overstated. Unfortunately, it’s been a talking point over the past few years for all the wrong reasons.

Sarah Michelle Gellar in Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Credit: 20th Century Studios

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After being accused of bullying on the set of Justice League (2017) by actor Ray Fisher, director and Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon went from hero to zero almost overnight. And subsequent accusations would come from Buffy cast members.

Actors such as Charisma Carpenter and Amber Benson, who played Cordelia Chase and Tara Maclay, respectively, in the hit ’90s horror-drama series, publicly outed Joss Whedon for inappropriate behavior on the set of the show and for creating a toxic work environment.

Sarah Michelle Gellar crying in Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Credit: 20th Century Studios

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Even the show’s star, Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers), has gone on record to disassociate herself from Whedon. While Gellar talked fondly about her on-screen persona, she would later reveal that she has no plans to return for the Buffy reboot.

And the actress certainly wasn’t keeping a surprise announcement close to her chest, because now a Buffy reboot is happening, and sadly, the beloved icon is not involved, which has left the doors open for a brand new actor to take up the Slayer mantle.

Buffy holding a stake in the 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' intro
Credit: 20th Century Studios

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The brand-new Buffy reboot comes in the form of Slayers: A Buffyverse Story (2023). This exclusive Audible book sees the return of several Buffy the Vampire Slayer cast members as they reprise their iconic roles.

The audiobook was announced in September, much to the fans’ surprise. And not only are several actors from Buffy returning, along with writer Christopher Golden, but it’s also written by Amber Benson, who portrayed the powerful witch Tara in the show.

Benson also directs alongside Golden and Kc Wayland.

Slayers: A Buffyverse Story Synopsis

What’s the Buffy reboot about?

If you’re wondering how characters like Tara can return, considering they were killed off in the show, the new audiobook is set in a reality where Buffy Summers does not exist.

Per Audible, here’s the publisher’s summary for Slayers: A Buffyverse Story:

Original cast members from the beloved TV series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, reunite for an all-new adventure about connections that never die—even if you bury them.

A decade has passed since the epic final battle that concluded Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV). The game-changing spell that gave power to all potential Slayers persists. With new Slayers constantly emerging, things are looking grim for the bad guys.

Rebellious vampire Spike (James Marsters) is working undercover in Los Angeles with his old pal Clem (James Charles Leary) when he meets feisty, rookie Slayer, Indira (Laya DeLeon Hayes), who wants Spike to be her mentor. Stakes intensify as Cordelia Chase (Charisma Carpenter) emerges from an alternate reality where she alone is the Slayer, and Buffy Summers doesn’t exist.

Cordelia enlists Spike’s help with a classic big bad terrorizing her world… his ex, Drusilla (Juliet Landau). Giles (Anthony Head), Anya (Emma Caulfield Ford), Jonathan (Danny Strong), and Tara (Amber Benson) also return, but through the years and the vastness of the multiverse, not everyone is who they used to be…

Slayers: A Buffyverse Story is written and directed by Amber Benson and Chris Golden, and co-directed by Kc Wayland.

Anya smiling in the 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' intro
Credit: 20th Century Studios

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Slayers: A Buffyverse Story Trailer

Is there a trailer for the Buffy reboot?

Audible has now released behind-the-scenes footage of the Buffy actors who have returned to lend their vocal talents to the audiobook, which reveals that a brand-new actor has finally replaced Sarah Michelle Gellar as Sunnydale’s Vampire Slayer.

Check out the tweet shared by Audible below:

From the world of the TV series ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ comes an all-new Audible Original adventure about connections that never die—even if you bury them. Listen to ‘Slayers: A Buffyverse Story’ on October 12: adbl.co/slayers#SlayersxAudible

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Newcomer Laya DeLeon Hayes, who plays Indira Nunnally in the audiobook, can be seen in the recording studio saying, “Nobody needs to be responsible for me — I’m a Slayer.”

But Indira isn’t the only new Slayer in the new story. In the final episode of Buffy, “Chosen,” it’s revealed that every girl on the planet has the potential to become a Vampire Slayer, which has opened up a world of possibilities for the franchise.

And as revealed in the synopsis, “The game-changing spell that gave power to all potential Slayers persists. With new Slayers constantly emerging, things are looking grim for the bad guys.” It’s also revealed that Cordelia Chase (Charisma Carpenter) is now a Slayer, too.

Now, let’s take a look at all the returning cast members, as well as the stake-wielding newcomer.

Slayers: A Buffyverse Story Cast

Who’s in the Buffy reboot?

Amber Benson as Tara Maclay

As well as co-directing and co-writing, Amber Benson reprises her role as the powerful witch Tara Maclay, first introduced in the iconic Buffy Season 4 episode “Hush.” Tara was shot dead in Season 6’s “Seeing Red.”

Charisma Carpenter as Cordelia Chase

Charisma Carpenter reprises her role as former Sunnydale High cheerleader Cordelia Chase, who also became a lead character in Angel, in which she was given psychic powers. Cordelia was revealed to have died off-screen in the Angel Season 5 episode “You’re Welcome.”

Emma Caulfield Ford as Anya Jenkins and Anyanka

Last seen in WandaVision (2021), Emma Caulfield Ford now returns to the world of Sunnydale and the Hellmouth, bringing Vengeance demon Anya Jenkins/Anyanka back to life. In the Buffy Season 7 finale “Chosen,” Anya was killed in battle.

Anthony Head as Rupert Giles

Anthony Head reprises his role as former Sunnydale High librarian and Watcher of the Slayer Council Rupert Giles, who trains Vampire Slayers to fulfill their destiny and protect others at all costs. Giles was not killed off in the show.

James Marsters as Spike

James Marsters is back as Spike (known in his previous human life as “William the Bloody”). The fan-favorite vampire underwent many changes in Buffy and Angel, and despite being killed off in the Buffy finale, Spike returned in the spinoff series.

Spike on a motorbike with Dawn in the 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' intro
Credit: 20th Century Studios

Juliet Landau as Drusilla “Dru”

Spike’s former partner in crime, Drusilla/Dru, is also back, with Juliet Landau reprising her role. Drusilla is easily one of the most terrifying vampires in Sunnydale, although she never meets the wrong end of a sharp wooden stake, despite appearing in both shows.

Danny Strong as Jonathan Levinson

Danny Strong is also back in the fold. His character, Jonathan Levinson, went from high school nerd to comic book-inspired supervillain. Ultimately, he was sacrificed to the First Evil in the Season 7 episode “Conversations With Dead People.”

James Charles Leary as Clement “Clem”

The loose-skinned demon known as Clement/Clem (James Charles Leary) might not be as well known as the other returning characters, but fans will remember him as Spike’s poker friend who occasionally looked after Buffy’s sister Dawn Summers (Michelle Trachtenberg).

Laya DeLeon Hayes as Indira Nunnally

In the new footage shared by Audible, Laya DeLeon Hayes is revealed to be playing a character called Indira Nunnally, a Vampire Slayer who’s described in the synopsis as being a “feisty, rookie Slayer” who “wants Spike to be her mentor.”

Notable absences are Sarah Michelle Gellar, Nicholas Brendon, and Alyson Hannigan, who played Buffy Summers, Xander Harris, and Willow Rosenberg in the show (the Harry, Ron, and Hermione of the ’90s if you will).

The gang screaming in the 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' intro
Credit: 20th Century Studios

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Slayers: A Buffyverse Story Release Date

When is the Buffy reboot out?

Slayers: A Buffyverse Story releases on Audible on October 12.

As per Disney+, here’s the official synopsis for the Buffy the Vampire Slayer television series:

Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a comedy-action series that chronicles the adventures of Buffy Summers, a teenage girl who is gifted with the strength and skill to hunt vampires.

Buffy and Spike in Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Credit: 20th Century Studios

Buffy the Vampire Slayer the series stars Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers), Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia Chase), David Boreanaz (Angel), Anthony Head (Rupert Giles), Nicholas Brendon (Xander Harris), Seth Green (Oz), Alyson Hannigan (Willow Rosenberg), Eliza Dushku (Faith), and James Marsters (Spike).

Are you excited for Slayers: A Buffyverse Story? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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