‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’: Vanessa Hudgens Passed on a Reboot Role

The fever may have broken a bit by now, but back in 2010 the entire world was obsessed with vampires. It was a legit craze, not the least of reasons being that it was the height of people’s obsession with the Twilight franchise. 

Of course, this wasn’t totally new because by the time Twilight came around, Buffy the Vampire Slayer had already been around one of the most popular vampire narratives ever created for more than a decade.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer was the show that made a superstar out of Sarah Michelle Gellar, made Joss Whedon a household name, and paved the way for all manner of supernatural teen action-dramas that came after it.

The show still has a ravenous fandom that eats up any content they can get from the Buffy-verse, so it’s no surprise that Hollywood has thought about recreating the magic once or twice.

Vanessa Hudgens on the red carpet
Vanessa Hudgens | Jemal Countess/FilmMagic

There has been a lot of talk about Buffy spinoffs over the years

The show was such a success that execs were naturally dying to expand the franchise. Angel with David Boreanaz was a successful spinoff that aired from 1999 to 2004, but there were many others that never really got off the ground.

For instance, writers tossed around ideas for a spinoff about a school for young slayers starring Allyson Hannigan’s character Willow, but it never got beyond the idea phase. There was also talk of spinoffs based on the characters Spike (James Marsters) and Faith (Eliza Dushku). A Buffy animated series got past the drawing board stage but ultimately was nixed when execs decided the themes might be too adult for kids.

A 2010 revival was reportedly supposed to star Vanessa Hudgens

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One of the most compelling reboots-that-never-was, though, is the revival that was supposedly going to star Vanessa Hudgens. Given the vampire craze of the Twilight era, it’s no surprise that execs were hoping to capitalize on Buffy’s former success.

In the process of conceiving it, they floated the name of megastar High School Musical alum Vanessa Hudgens as a potential new slayer, likely starring alongside Sarah Michelle Gellar in some kind of movie or theatrical reboot.

Though the movie never came to be, Hudgens had actually turned down the role when it was offered to her anyway. She explained that while Twilight was still the biggest thing going in Hollywood, it wouldn’t be the right time to join a competing vampire franchise.

On top of that, Buffy fans weren’t super stoked on the idea of a reboot so soon after the original series had ended in 2003, so Hudgens may very well have predicted correctly.

The 2010 reboot didn’t happen — but there’s one coming

In any event, the reboot project got shelved, so our chance to see HSM‘s Gabriella Montez kick some serious vampire booty sadly never came to pass. Luckily, it didn’t seem to hurt Hudgens’ career too badly — she recently filmed Bad Boys For Life with Will Smith and Martin Lawrence and has also been making super cute videos for her YouTube channel while social distancing with her mom.

Though the 2010 movie never ended up being a thing, there is another Buffy reboot in the works. It was announced way back in July 2018, but we still don’t have a release date or know much about it. We do know that Whedon will not write but will be an executive producer and that a lot of the original cast has expressed interest in appearing. It also will reportedly follow a different slayer than Buffy, with many suspecting they are hoping to cast an actress of color in the role this time around.