It’s nice to know that despite his ascension to the realm of big time director/producer (The Avengers and The Cabin in the Woods) Joss Whedon hasn’t forgotten the lost projects of yesteryear, and he still seems ready and willing to revisit prime cut ideas from the past.
To wit, Whedon, while out doing a round of press for The Avengers, is talking about the long gestating, possible spin-off to his original hit, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, called “Ripper.” “Ripper” would be a BBC-produced series following the solo adventures of Rupert Giles, Buffy’s mentor the first five seasons of the show who had a seedy past as an occult bad boy, thus earning him the nickname “Ripper.”
Here’s what Whedon had to say about “Ripper“:
“No, the thing about Ripper—the essence of it—is that the BBC came to me at one point like, ‘It doesn’t have to be Ripper. It can just be [Anthony Stewart Head], and there’s magic, and he’s Tony, cuz he’s awesome.’ And that’s the thing: For some reason, he keeps getting sexier every year. That’s not happening to me! I’m like, ‘What are you doing?’ And that story was always about a mature guy who’s lived, and about the choices he’s made. So you could make that now, or you could make it 10 years from now. And I’ve tortured Tony more than any other living human with, ‘We’re definitely gonna do this!’ Because I thought we were. He’s working so much, though, I’d feel too guilty. But that’s the thing with Ripper: It doesn’t go away in my head because he’s still right for it, and he could still bring it.”
There’s no doubt that Head can still “bring it,” as Whedon says, but the real question is if the filmmaker himself can just find the time to “bring it.” Right now, Whedon’s got his adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing, a sci-fi comedy in the works, his Buffy comic series, a Dr. Horrible sequel and the inevitable follow-up to The Avengers on his plate. At this rate, “Ripper” is going to look like The Dark Knight Returns by the time it gets made.