Photo: Jim Bennett (Getty Images for Museum Of Pop Culture)

There were many cries of excitement across the internet last month when it was announced that Joss Whedon would be rebooting Buffy The Vampire Slayer, with a black actor as the Slayer and his Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. producer Monica Owusu-Breen taking over as showrunner. (There were also people with some issues regarding the question of diversity in reboots.) One of the many people who expressed optimism about the new iteration of the series is James Marsters, who played Spike during the original run of the show:

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Not only that, but like seemingly everyone who’s ever been on one of Whedon’s shows, the idea of coming back to play in the sandbox of that universe is one to which Marsters’ basic reply is, “Never say never”: “Joss’ mind is always surprising. I’m open to playing Spike if Joss is involved,” he says.

The discussion came after a set visit for Marsters’ current superhero series Runaways, during this years’ Television Critics Association summer press tour. Surrounded by a group of reporters, the man who portrayed Buffy’s onetime nemesis and eventual ally (and more) said he would definitely be down to return to the world of Sunnydale (or wherever), as long as Whedon was involved. “I am open to whatever Joss has in mind, whether that’s Spike or something else,” Marsters said, emphasizing the valuable nature of the series, especially given current events: “I think the world very much needs a new Slayer right now.”

He also expressed support for showrunner Owusu-Breen’s vague but meant-to-be-reassuring plans for the new series, and specifically that it won’t be a rehash of the original, saying he thought her vision was “a great way to go,” and that he’s “very excited” to see what she comes up with. Of course, given it’s been roughly 15 years since the show was off the air, he did express a little concern about the challenge a visit from Spike might pose. “I think that we’d have to get some really good lighting together to sell Spike,” he said with a laugh. “What would be great is if he comes back and he’s like [Adopts Spike accent.] ‘Buffy, you look terrible. I still love you, of course.’”

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