Joss Whedon is rebooting Buffy the Vampire Slayer, bringing his breakout series back to the small screen. Although this isn't the first time someone has tried to bring Buffy back, the likelihood of this particular rehash actually coming into being feels all the more likely, considering that Whedon has already hand-picked a showrunner (Monica Owusu-Breen of Midnight, Texas and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) and the show is already looking to cast a lead.
The word is that the desired star should be African-American, and the rest of the cast should be more representative of the diverse, multi-cultural world we live in. The only information provided about the show, which is still in the early stages of development, is that it intends to expand upon the mythology put in place by the original version. It's safe to assume that the reboot will feature updated versions of fan-favorite characters and fans can now begin the fun process of dreaming up ideal actors for the rebooted cast.
With that in mind, who should populate Hemery High School this time around. We've got some ideas.
Buffy - Alisha Boe
Fresh off an impressive dramatic turn on Netflix's controversial 13 Reasons Why, Alisha Boe might be young, but that doesn't mean she's without acting chops. She's been acting professionally since she was a child, appearing in everything from Paranormal Activity 4 to Teen Wolf; two roles that prove she has the requisite experience with teen angst in paranormal settings. More recently, the Norwegian-Somalian actress gave an impressive portrayal of sexual assault survivor Jessica in 13 Reasons Why; her ability as an actress to handle bleak yet serious subject matter would be invaluable for a show like Buffy, which has never shied away from real-life, hot-button topics.
Naturally, Buffy as a person has her dramatic moments, but part of the enduring appeal of the character (and the original show) is the perfect blend of comedy and drama that star Sarah Michelle Gellar was able to execute so effectively. If there's one cause for hesitation when considering Boe for the role, it's that 13 Reasons Why wasn't the best showcase for comedic ability (it's a programme which does not contain overly-hilarious subject matter).
That said, it's plain to see Boe's personality in her PR appearances, and it's not too much of a stretch to imagine her pulling off Buffy's patented blend of joyous and pain-induced tears.
Angel - Jordan Connor
Having already proved he looks good in a black leather jacket on Riverdale, it's not too much of a leap to take Jordan Connor's salty attitude and brooding handsomeness as Sweet Pea and transplant it onto the Vampire-with-a-soul.
If all goes well with the Buffy reboot, we could also be looking at another version of the subsequent Angel spinoff; Whedon and Owusu-Breen are sure to be looking for a leading man who can shoulder the responsibility of living up to original Angel David Boreanaz' intensity and chemistry with his Buffy. Even without a potential second show, Angel is a key character to cast, and Jordan Connor can carry the weight, and is primed and ready to go big time.
Spike - Robert Sheehan
Robert Sheehan broke out in the British ASBO-superheroes show Misfits back in 2009, and always seemed primed to expand his stardom thanks to his natural charisma and comedic delivery. Unfortunately, it's yet to really happen for the young Irishman, as he's mostly continued to pop up in side roles. That may change with his upcoming roles in Peter Jackson's Mortal Engines and after that, Netflix's Umbrella Academy adaptation, but casting him as fan-favorite bad boy Spike would be a great use of his talents.
Sheehan has enough smoldering sex appeal and the capability to spout cheeky one-liners that he'd be an appropriate choice for the role; he even has fantastic cheekbones, much like original star James Marsters. Dye his hair blonde, throw a leather duster on him, give him a first season debut as a Big Bad and you're onto a winner.
Giles - Jerome Flynn
The impulse for Owusu-Breen might be to lean towards a younger casting of Buffy's mentor, the initially stuck-up Watcher Rupert Giles, but this would be a mistake. It's doubtful that anybody would want to see an over-sexed, pretty-boy version of their favorite librarian, and original fans would most likely gag at the thought of this new version of Giles being (god forbid) a love interest for Buffy.
It's much better for the show if they stick with the tried-and-true relationship between Buffy and Giles, that of Slayer and Watcher, and surrogate father/daughter relationship. Anthony Stewart Head was fantastic in the role, and over time was able to show off the character's true badass nature (and even remove the stick from his butt, once he retired).
What's needed to fill his shoes is an actor able to suit up in tweed and kick ass simultaneously; an English accent is also a must. Jerome Flynn fits the bill, as anyone who has seen him in Victorian police procedural Ripper Street can attest. His abilities with a sword are also well-documented in Game of Thrones, and it wouldn't hurt if he brought some of sellsword Bronn's blunt, pragmatic attitude to the role of Rupert Giles to further distance this new iteration from Head's.
Merrick - Pedro Pascal
The showrunners might even want to save Rupert Giles for a later season, considering that technically he was Buffy's second Watcher. As diehard fans will remember, Buffy's first Watcher was a man named Merrick. Before Buffy relocated to Sunnydale, she was a young, perky cheerleader living in L.A., when her life was uprooted by frowny-faced Merrick Jameson-Smythe (seen in flashback played by Richard Riehle, and before this by Donald Sutherland in the original 1992 Kirsty Sutherland movie).
In their efforts to diversify the cast, the showrunners could do a lot worse than Pedro Pascal. His star has been on the rise ever since breaking out as Oberyn Martell on Game of Thrones, and since then has impressed in Narcos and Kingsman: The Golden Circle. A one-season appearance as Merrick before being mercilessly killed off and paving the way for Giles would be a solid way of building tension and drama in the new show.
Even if he only appeared for the Pilot episode and killed off, it would be a nice tip of the hat to Eric Balfour's two-episode appearance as brief Scooby Gang member Jesse back in 1998. Pascal also has veritable Buffy cred, as he appeared as homesick college kid/vampire victim Eddie in season 4.