Nearly four years ago, Twentieth Century Fox Television announced a developing reboot of Buffy the Vampire Slayer that would cast an actress of color in the title role. We still haven’t seen that project materialize, but if and when we do, Sarah Michelle Gellar knows who she’d like to see wielding the stake.
In an interview for the new book Into Every Generation a Slayer is Born: How Buffy Staked Our Hearts, Gellar told author Evan Ross Katz (via Insider) exactly who she’d picked to succeed her in leading the next incarnation of Buffy.
“I vote Zendaya,” the actress said, cutting right to her recommendation. Buffy and Angel co-star Julie Benz, who played the vampire Darla in both series, agreed with the casting, calling the choice “amazing.”
Writer Monica Owusu-Breen (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) was tapped way back in the summer of 2018 to lead a new incarnation of Buffy, which was announced as an “inclusive” new take on the story that would feature an actress of color in the leading role. Though initial reports dubbed the series a “reboot” of the original concept — itself a reboot of a more comedic feature film starring Kristy Swanson as Buffy — Owusu-Breen eventually shifted that narrative, noting she could never “replace” the original characters. Instead, she suggested it might be time “to meet a new Slayer.”
Of course, at this point it’s not clear when or if we’ll ever meet this new Slayer, let alone who might play her. A lot of things have changed since that initial Buffy revival announcement. Twentieth Century Fox Television has now been folded into the Disney TV landscape and goes by “20th Television,” Buffy creator Joss Whedon (who was set as an executive producer on the revival) has withdrawn from much of his public creative life amid various allegations stemming from his work on everything from Buffy to Justice League, and Owusu-Breen has joined other projects, including Disney’s upcoming Percy Jackson and the Olympians series.
So, whether it’s Zendaya or someone else, it might be a while before we see any movement on the Buffy front.
Zendaya herself has yet to weigh in on whether she could fit playing the Slayer in between Spider-Man, Dune, and her HBO series Euphoria — but Gellar’s choice is still interesting.