Avengers director Joss Whedon has said that Buffy was inspired by both his mother and being mugged when he was young.

Speaking to RTÉ TEN’s Taragh Loughrey-Grant Whedon, who was raised by his mother Lee Stearns following his parents divorce when he was nine-years-old, said: “My mother was a very strong feminist.

"I’d always had this longing to see in particular a strong woman and particularly in the horror genre where they were just getting diced and sliced all over the place.

"I just thought ‘Wouldn’t it be wonderful if one of them walked into an alley and kicked some monsters ass!’

He added: “This has a lot of course to do with my own self being a very little [guy growing up]. I got mugged several times and so I wanted to replay that story only my avatar was a high-school girl!”

Whedon’s new film Much Ado About Nothing is released this Friday, June 14.