I think that, in order to work, a Buffy reboot needs to ditch the humor and go in a straight horror direction. It should go darker than the original (think the Battlestar Galactica reboot compared to the 70s series), and preferably be a hard-R with language, ultraviolence, and sexuality/nudity. Think True Blood or Westworld.
If it’s too close to the original – teeny bopper hijinks, jokey tone, soapy melodrama, then it’s going to be too much of a knock-off of the original.
I don’t have high expectations for a Buffy reboot, assuming it even makes it to production. If they were going to do another vampire slayer show I would have preferred they try something like Fray. It lets you continue without be bogged down much by mythology. I get wanting a clean slate, but Buffy always lent itself to a sequel series. Setting it far enough in the future would have cut ties so that fans aren’t hoping for past cast appearances and would give it a different enough feel that it wouldn’t feel like a rehash of the original.
Best of luck to those involved, I hope they manage to make a quality show but I’ll probably be too tied to the original to be able to get into it.
Where ditching the humour is concerned, I don’t know about Westworld, but True Blood was hilarious, actually.
If Whedon wasn’t involved, I’d be afraid of exactly that - that they’d try to make a new show all dark and edgy instead of thinking about what made the original work and doing that. I’d rather they keep the general style of the original, have some interesting ideas for the characters and setting, and ramp up the action. That’s all you need, really.
That’s what I’m thinking, as well, really. Especially if it’s an actual remake and not a sequel of sorts - I have my Buffy, and I can’t really see myself getting into a different one.
At this point, it’s hard to find TV writers/showrunners who don’t have some influence from Whedon. And someone who wants to reboot Buffy certainly must be a fan. That and Monica Owusu-Breen wrote for Agents for Shield for a few seasons, so the other Whedon’s style (which isn’t too far from Joss’s) I’m sure rubbed off a bit.