The rumors aren't as much recent as they are growing. I came across an article almost a year ago about an alleged Buffy spinoff in the form of either a miniseries or a made-for-television movie. The main focus of this new story line; Rupert Giles.
I know what you all must be thinking. Giles? But we know what's happening with Giles. He's teamed up with Faith the Vampire Slayer and gone all reformative Watcher (ca. BtVS Season Eight). Supposedly, this spinoff will focus on Giles before the Watchers' Council, back in his demon-worshipping, magic-tampering days as Rupert "Ripper" Giles.
I will admit, I was pleasantly surprised to hear these details, as small as they were. I am an avid Whedon fan, and anything Whedon-related starts my engine (if y'get my drift). But the problem with these rumors is that they are simply rumors as of right now. Here's approximately everything I've read on the subject of Ripper:
-the televised airings would be broadcast by BBC, which means America = not so much.
-it would be in the form of either A) a made-for-TV movie, or B) a miniseries with no more than 12 episodes.
-Joss Whedon apparently stated sometime last month (when rumors of the new Buffy movie began circulating big time) that after Dollhouse ended he would focus his attention on creating web-based shows/specials, much like Dr. Horrible, exclusively. So, unless headway on Ripper is made SOON, Whedon probably won't be in the picture.
-public interest is a big issue for this project as well. The BBC ran (or is running) Buffy on air, so the show has been seen, but aside from the cult following, producers may not feel Ripper would have what it takes to make it on its own; another reason why it may only be presented as a movie/miniseries if presented at all.
I'd love to see this project turned into something amazing. It could be done, but it sounds to me like a big stretch. If it does happen, however, we can probably expect some great story lines and familiar faces (i.e. Ethan Rayne, Eyghon, etc). Let's hope nothing detrimental to the Whedon fanbase happens with this. I'd hate to see a worthy project get the same kind of reception as the new Buffy film.
-Here's what Anthony Head had to say about the project and his views on "Ripper", Rupert Giles' former self. . .
Thanks, all. . . and please, tell me what you think as well.