Sci-Fi Summit Report: James Marsters on ‘Spike’ Movie and ‘Buffy’ Reunion
[EDITOR’S NOTE: You’re about to read our special ComicMix report on the James Marsters panel and Q&A session at this year’s Grand Slam: Sci-Fi Summit in Burbank, CA. If you’d like to know more about the convention, we also have a general roundup of the Sci-Fi Summit and a special report on the Star Trek panel and Q&A session, featuring "A Tale of Two Spocks." -RM]
Saturday at last weekend’s Sci-Fi Summit featured an appearance by popular Buffy the Vampire Slayer actor James Marsters (Spike), who also appears as Braniac on the television series Smallville, and is featured in a recurring role on the hit series Torchwood. Marsters will also be playing the role of villain Piccolo in the upcoming live-action adaptation of the anime classic Dragonball.
The actor began the panel by talking about his disappointment over the recent Buffy reunion at the
“From my side, it was kind of a letdown, really. There were a lot of smart people on that show and really good questions being asked by the audience, but I felt like nobody really talked about anything interesting," said Marsters. "We didn’t say anything or bring anything nearly dangerous. I felt like we weren’t trying to prove something anymore, but trying to protect something — and I thought that was total bull. I left the stage thinking, ‘We didn’t get it, we didn’t give it to them. The audience was ready and we weren’t.’”
When asked about the possibility of a Spike film, he described his pitch for the film. It involved Spike falling in love with a woman but never telling her about his vampire origins for fear of her leaving him.
“She discovers he’s a vampire, is disgusted by it and kicks him out forever,” the actor explained. He went on to explain that later a monster would appear, and thinking that he could win her back by being the hero, Spike hunts the monster. However, once he gets into the fight, the monster grows to six times its original size and Spike runs away in fear.
Spike would then come across an old antique shop that he remembered from 150 years earlier. Spike had helped some people rob a bank and hid the money in the store.
“So he spends the rest of the movie trying to figure out how to get the money from the couple that own the store without hurting them, because he’s supposed to be a good guy now,” Marsters continued.
The movie starts off with Spike wearing the same shoes that he wore at the beginning of the Buffy series. The shoes are worn down and he can hardly fight in them any more, but he notices a perfect pair of boots in the store. Since he feels that he can no longer steal because he’s trying to be “the good guy,” he decides to show the old couple where the money is, hoping that they will share the money with him as a reward. Instead, they thank him and show him the door. Just when Spike is feeling rejected and like being a “good guy” doesn’t pay, the old man gives him the boots as a reward.
“So he loses the girl, gets his butt kicked by a monster and gets a new pair of shoes,” the actor said, summing up his idea.
Marsters stated that he was unhappy about the way Warner Bros. handled his move from Buffy to Angel, saying that leaking his move to the press before the airing of the Buffy series finale “cheapened” the sacrifice his character made on the show. He also stated that if it had been up to him, the Spike character never would have appeared on Angel and would have died at the end of Buffy.
When asked if he has read Angel: After The Fall or the Buffy: Season 8 comic books, he answered, “No, but I am very afraid of these comics.”
Marsters mentioned that at the
Finally, the actor spoke briefly about playing the role of Piccolo in the Dragonball live-action film. He expressed his idea for the character being old, ugly and decrepit and having to convince the producers that Piccolo would not look “beautiful” as they had wanted.
He stated that he would rather be fired for not doing what the producers wanted than not do justice to the character.
When asked how faithful the film is to the anime, Marsters said, “We changed a few things, but I think we did it right”. He also expressed that, due to the large amount of VFX shots in the film, a lot of the quality of the movie rides on how much money Fox gives post-production for the special effects.
For more on the convention, see our Grand Slam: Sci-Fi Summit XVI Report here on ComicMix.