It's hard to believe that Hollywood ever doubted Joss Whedon, what with 'The Avengers' still raking in the dough, and his glorious impending return to TV with ABC's subsequent 'S.H.I.E.L.D.' TV series, yet only a few years ago the acclaimed director had trouble getting several TV series off the ground. Whedon's breakout success 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' enjoyed an acclaimed run, but what does the director most strongly regret Hollywood never afforded him the chance to do with the show?

Throwing money at Joss Whedon to do whatever he likes seems to be a no-brainer for any studio out there these days, but it wasn't always the case. Prior to the production struggles of 'Angel,' 'Firefly,' and 'Dollhouse,' the upcoming 'Avengers 2' director had one major project that never saw the light of day.

In a recent interview with Assignment X, Whedon spoke out on the unproduced 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' animated series, lamenting that no network would touch the series even with the live-action success:

We got to do almost everything we wanted to do. The only thing we didn't get to do is an animated version, which was a delight for us because the writers themselves were working on it.

We wrote seven scripts ... it was 'what could we not do [on the regular series].' They were really fun to write. We could not sell the show. We could not sell an animated Buffy, which I still find incomprehensible.

The series itself was to feature the involvement of both Whedon and several 'Buffy' writers, likely with the cast of the live-action series reprising their roles where possible. A concept reel has circulated in recent years, featuring the voices of Giselle Loren (replacing Sarah Michelle Gellar), Alyson Hannigan, Nicholas Brendon, and Anthony Steward Head, reprising their characters to chronicle more of Buffy's high-school adventures.

The ship long seems to have sailed, especially after continued 'Buffy' adventures turned to comics, but what say you? Are you disappointed a 'Buffy' animated series never saw the light of day? What of the proposed 'Firefly' animated series? Check out the concept reel below, and tell us what you think!

(Via Blastr)