FIREFLY: Would FOX or NBC Be Willing To Bring It Back?

While speaking with some people over the last few weeks there has been a lot of chatter about FIREFLY.  There are those who think FIREFLY is the only reason DOLLHOUSE was renewed (not true, but everyone is entitled to their opinion) because FOX didn’t want another FIREFLY disaster (basically the DVD set selling in outrageously large numbers that proved the series was canceled prematurely, and treated horribly).  I kept saying “If that was the only reason, they’d just bring FIREFLY back, and pull a FAMILY GUY.”

Is that realistic?  Well lets first consider the fact that DOLLHOUSE was renewed for multiple reasons and FIREFLY was likely in the back of their minds.  However Eliza Dushku & Joss along with the rest of the cast and crew provided a lot of good reasons for renewing the show during the 2nd half of season one.  DOLLHOUSE was renewed for a lot of reasons and FIREFLY wasn’t a big part of it.  However that doesn’t mean that FOX wouldn’t like to bring it back.

Would they?  Yes.  I think from my talks with the people running FOX that they would bring it back under the right circumstances.  However, you must understand that right now Nathan Fillion, Adam Baldwin, Morena Baccarin, and Alan Tudyk (plus he was killed in SERENITY)  all have gigs for the foreseeable future.  However don’t underestimate the power of a movie.  FOX could likely be easily talked into a Movie or two for next season.  They could air after an NFL game or playoff game.  The movies would easily sell on DVD.

The question now falls into rights, but the guys at FOX wouldn’t be alone.  If Universal is now in possession of future rights to projects, NBC or USA wouldn’t mind getting in on the cash opportunity either.  A couple movies shot and made for TV and then released on DVD would be profitable for anyone involved.  At the same time the cast would still be able to keep doing their normal gigs.  Just shoot the movie around their schedules.

A Movie made for TV does a few things.  One it reminds fans of why they love the Brand.  For another it brings new viewer possibilities to the Brand.  A movie could spike the original series DVD and Blu-Ray sales as well as SERENITY sales.  For the network that runs it they find out how viable a Brand it can be.  Is it worthy of bringing back?  The ratings will make the point for them.  I’m betting it would pull a 3.0+ with ease.  Bring in $150k to $220k a spot and for a 2 hour film that is nothing to sneeze at.  Set a budget of $4M for the movie and you’re looking at serious profit before DVD sales ever enter the equation.

Mutant Enemy should try selling it.  One movie’s success could easily spell 2 movies in 2010-2011 season, and may in fact mean a whole new series if CASTLE can’t quite make it.  UNIVERSAL MCA once made a big splash on TV by making movies just for TV and it was a success that lasted years and died out in the 80s.  I still think it’s a viable business option for TV if done right.  FIREFLY is just the right property.  Mutant Enemy should approach them because if they’re waiting for a TV executive to come up with that kind of good idea, they’ll be waiting forever.  NBC would easily kill for anything that could pull over a 3.0 right now and FOX wouldn’t mind pulling that for a Sunday evening either.

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61 responses to “FIREFLY: Would FOX or NBC Be Willing To Bring It Back?

  1. Siri Atiragram Lleof

    What are the chances that any of this will actually happen though?

  2. I doubt they would be interested.

    And i wonder if whedon hasn’t forgotten how to do funny, and started down the artsy fartsy hole Lars von Trier started digging a decade ago.

  3. Siri, if it was pitched, I’d say it would likely be picked up. They’d have to pitch it, have a good story, be able to work the logistics of shooting around the schedule of the cast, etc.

    Does Joss want to? If he does I think it could happen. I definitely know some producers who’d love to help make it happen (and would be able to).

  4. RickyG, who is they? Joss Whedon? The networks definitely would be interested. The DVD sales of FIREFLY and SERENITY alone would get either studio excited, and the network wouldn’t mind a one night event.

    Although you’re right that DOGVILLE is no EUROPA.

  5. Never heard of this show when it was on the air – know absolutely nothing about it – but looking at the posted picture I recognize several familiar faces. One of them looks like an actress who played a nemesis of Sydney Bristow on ALIAS (although I could be mistaken). Anyway, I’d be willing to give it a view.

  6. Rick Holy, if you have a Blu-Ray player grab it on Blu-Ray, it’s a visually stunning show as well as being a fun show. You might recognize Adam Baldwin on there. Jayne is easily his best role ever.

    The writers they had on the show were amazing. Ben Edlund wrote one of my favorites (he is currently doing the same amazing work over on SUPERNATURAL).

  7. As a firefly fan this makes me very excited, but I do worry that it be done well. I would hate to see it done without a compelling storyline or mess up the potential of the franchise by putting it into a corner.

  8. Shreve, I doubt Joss wouldn’t have something good planned if it happened. I’m sure he’d take full advantage of the medium.

  9. Rick Holy, the entire series is on Hulu to watch for free if you’re interested:

    http://www.hulu.com/firefly

    And you’re right, one of the actresses involved was Gina Torres who was indeed on a few episodes of Alias playing Sydney’s rival Anna Espinosa.

  10. Does FOX still has the rights for TV or did Universal bought it with the movie rights?

  11. buffywrestlinmg

    You give good speculation. The only problem is that you are two years too late.

    There will be no progress. The non-Buffy has a better chance.

  12. buffywrestlinmg, it’s based on talking to people at FOX who could make it happen. So if that is 2 years too late I think you’re wrong.

    If it was packaged right it would sell, today.

  13. Daniel Rogers

    Coming from a browncoater who watched the original run (even though the time slot kept shifting), I’d almost prefer not to see it. It’s like just getting over the love of your life, only to have her move next door to you.

  14. Daniel Rogers, that’s a very interesting analogy to use in this case and I would say, a very fitting one. Most of the problem is that fans hear buzz like this and get their hopes up only to have absolutely nothing come of it in the end, which is why too many of us are now too cynical to believe it anymore.

  15. Why can’t we see the commnets at tvbythenumbers.com? Did it get nasty there just like it did at Whedonesque?

  16. Thanks, everybody for the suggestions re: Firefly!

  17. chucksmom, I can see the comments just fine. There must be something wrong with your browser.

    Rick Holy, you’re welcome, and definitely check out the show if you can.

  18. Hard to tell from the piece what portion of it is speculation and what it is that you’re specifically hearing.

    For example, I can tell that you’re hearing Firefly rumors, but I can’t tell if those rumors actually involve the TV Movies or if that portion is simply a plan you’re coming up with that would make sense. So, is that something that you’re specifically hearing?

  19. Beer, I’ve specifically heard TV Movie or Mini-Series.

    chucksmom, I have no problem at TVBTN, the Whedonesque people have banned me. They seem to think it’s ok for people to be rude to me, but I can’t rebute their rudeness. Interestingly the crazy person I was arguing about can still post.

    I did receive a lovely email from someone at Mutant Enemy though. They liked the piece even if people at Whedonesque did not.

    I’m not sure fans that rude deserve any favors in the future.

  20. Nick, I wouldn’t take the Whedonesque folks’ behavior too personally. Like I said at TBTN, I had a feeling some Firefly fans would be put off by your post because they take this type of thing so seriously.

    Hey, if you ever want to speculate that Pushing Daisies is coming back, feel free! I’m watching one of the final episodes on ABC right now and feeling disgusted by its cancellation all over again. 😦

  21. Shelly, PD never should have aired on broadcast tv, it always should have been a cable show. There was no way that show was going to sit with the masses. It’s way too eclectic of a taste.

    It’s also amusing that the person bitching over at Whedonesque the most made some silly claims. If there is a rights issue that means someone holds the rights, that someone would be interested in the payday if FOX or NBC can’t or if 20Th Century Fox isn’t the rights holder for production anymore then Universal would be interested. It’s arguing over semantics.

    Mutant Enemy definitely knows whom holds the rights for what.

  22. Nick-
    Sorry about the rude poster over at Whedonesque. Myself and a few others were VERY surprised that that person was still able to post. Please know that not all Joss fans & Browncoats are rude.

    Just another reason why I don’t post there anymore.

    Please sure to share the letter from Mutant Enemy when you can! 🙂

  23. Actually, Pushing Daisies was doing okay when it premiered but it was the writer’s strike and being off for so many months that really killed it. But oh well.

    Btw, apparently Gina Torres (Zoe from Firefly) is going to be in next week’s episode of Pushing Daisies. Always good to see the cast working.

  24. chucksmom, well I’m sure I didn’t help any. I was however polite at the end, so I was confused why I was “banned,” when I was being polite.

    I’m going to be interviewing some of the writers for DOLLHOUSE next month.

    shelly, it premiered extremely well, but it was dead before the 1st season ended. It was losing viewers like a sieve if anything the strike saved it for a 2nd season. Too eclectic for network tv, but it’s good to know a smart marketing campaign and good press can give an eclectic show a large launch like that. It’s a shame some more deserving shows (just in the sense the shows were more likely to catch on with masses) didn’t receive that kind of treatment.

    I hope Bryan Fuller uses his time at HEROES to come up with something unique and fun for his next show (because HEROES is dead).

  25. Chucks, I can’t read the comments to this post at TVBTN either. It’s the only post over there where the comments are inaccessible, so I really don’t think the problem is my browser–esp. as I tried to access the comments on three different devices including a computer at the public library, and two of my home computers.

    I can’t see Firefly getting a 3.0+. I would be absolutely shocked if it got that sort of number. It doesn’t have a broad fanbase, it has a smallish and very devoted one.

  26. You guys need to email Robert and Bill over at TVBTN and try and figure out why that is. I see comments (and there are over 100 replies) there just fine.

    jane, exactly. It has a devoted fanbase. They aren’t small however. They’re estimated in the millions. Say it’s only 2 million, that still leaves millions who are casual fans. The number of DVDs (whether FIREFLY or SERENITY), plus HULU viewings just leads people to believe this series did better after cancellation.

    Something sparked this conversation at FOX before the renewal of DOLLHOUSE I know a few who were discussing it around March. There is a reason this is being talked about, it wouldn’t be a big hit, but it could pull solid demo numbers for a TV Movie. Place it after an NFL game and I guarantee a 3.0. Place it after a playoff game and you’ve got a 4.0.

  27. I think a Firefly TV movie, or a couple TV movies, would do well. The devoted fans would flock, and how the network positioned the show, as Nick said, would pull in a lot of casual viewers. So then not only do you get a TV event that has numbers, but also positive buzz online (so long as you had the entire cast) well before it airs.

    In fact even though a lot of people felt Serenity was inferior to the series, I think even a continuation of that story would do okay, maybe as part of a trilogy of TV movies.

  28. The Observer

    Whedonesque links to your articles, and the members treat you like shit. You try to stick up for yourself and they ban you. Wow that is so lame.

    Don’t worry about them – keep up the good work, NickC!

  29. I honestly can’t agree with Frank’s comment that a movie would pull in casual fans. It could, but they’re not going to understand what’s going on. I think the biggest reason Serenity didn’t do well at the box office is because people who hadn’t seen Firefly were either not interested at all or didn’t understand what was going on in the movie because they’d never seen the show and didn’t know and understand the story and characters well enough to know what was going on. I watched the show first and even I had some trouble understanding some things in the movie. Firefly is one of those shows where there’s too much going on in it and if you don’t watch from the start, it’ll be nonsensical and boring. I know Joss tried very hard to give enough exposition and backstory in Serenity for people who hadn’t seen the show but there’s just too much in the Firefly world to fit it all into a 2-hour-ish movie. And I think the same problems will follow if any other live action movie or mini-series is made.

  30. Not to add “one more to the list,” but I was having trouble getting the comments to come up. I tried repeatidly and only the article came up but not the comments. Not sure what’z up with that, but usually I have NO problems at all with either your site or tvbythenumbers – but I did have a problem with the Firefly comments not appearing. Other than that little glitch – YOU ROCK!!

  31. Clarification – I meant I was having trouble getting the comments to come up on tvbythenumbers (not here)!!

    And I WILL check it out on Hulu. Again, if it has Summer Glau, the guy sitting on the chair in the picture that I’ve seen SOMEWHERE before, the actress (Gina Torres?) who played Anna Espinosa on ALIAS, and Adam Baldwin as a character named Jayne?? (is he metrosexual or something????), then it’s got to be worth the watch!!

    I just don’t want to get too wound up in it knowing that all of the sudden it will end – and probalby like most shows that get axed, without a real “ending.”

  32. Shelly, the number of casual fans will be directly related to whatever the lead-in show can supply. If its football that lead-in number will be huge. A good percentage of the young crowd will stick around if the promos are done right and the show kicks off with something spectacular.

    As for Serenity being confusing, I disagree. I had never seen Firefly before watching the film. Had no problem with it. I also convinced friends to go along, who had never seen Firefly either, and they had no problem following it. In fact they rather liked it. The plot was fine, I think there were other factors that contributed to the poor box office.

  33. Nick, thanks for this hopeful article. Please don’t be dissuaded by those who don’t get it. Maybe it’ll happen, maybe it won’t, but it is still a great idea.

    “Firefly” was a great series. Those who want to nay say the prospects for successful future outings are forgetting not only “Family Guy” but “Star Trek.”

    On another note, Summer Glau joining the cast might actually convince me to give DH another look.

  34. shelly, I have to disagree. I read somewhere a long time ago that there was a large number of audience that saw SERENITY and had never seen FIREFLY and they got it, and enjoyed it. DVD sales immediately after the release of the movie seem to justify that memory as the show immediately jumped back in the top 20 of sales the week after it was released. It would jump back in the top 20 again when the movie was released on DVD.

    I even know people who love the movie and have never watched the show! The movie was so poorly marketed (no trailers attached to the big summer movies, etc) that it’s a shock it did what it did. It could have and likely would have been bigger with better marketing.

    That is the whole problem with the argument of “if it really would have caught on with a broader audience, the movie should have done better!” Because that is a solid argument to anyone who doesn’t know that Universal tried a stupid viral marketing campaign rather than a normal marketing campaign. Universal dropped the ball but no where as badly as FOX did with the show.

    DVD sales however stay strong week after week of it being on the top 200 and it has been since it was released.

    Air it after a football game or make it a mini-series and air it after AMERICAN IDOL as counter programming to the Winter Olympics. There are definitely slots where it would make sense.

  35. Nick, do try to remember that part of the spiraling heat on the WHEDONesque thread was because we had two parties who each apparently had information from somewhere inside (positioned in such a way that neither person would, or could, explain their sources publicly), but their respective information almost completely conflicted.

    But you’d become very, very insistent about your sources, to the point that you seemed to take it personally (or, came across this way) that not everyone would simply take your word for it.

    But it isn’t the fandom’s job to just trust people who make claims. We’ve been through that before (for example, with Ace Underhill and his bogus Firefly Season 2 debacle), and so we really do insist that people show their work, not simply say “trust me, I have connections”.

    That said, I pose a speculative query over here that couldn’t get answered over there because the thread got locked:

    Is it possible that 20th owns the TV rights, and Uni owns the movie rights, but some peculiar artifact of the contracts involved puts the idea of TV movies into a sort of rights limbo?

  36. b!x, I believe Universal has movie rights and DTV rights, FOX likely no longer owns the TV rights. When you cancel a show, you cancel your rights to that show. That is how a show can jump from say NBC to ABC or NBC to CBS like has happened in the last couple of years.

    I think what that person may be alluding to is that 20TH Century doesn’t have the rights to produce something, which very well may be true. That wouldn’t stop Mutant Enemy from doing it or the Studio with the rights (if it’s Universal for instance). If it’s shared rights you may get some politicking but nothing that would stop it.

    The question I was asked and I truthfully answered is would FOX or NBC be willing to bring it back? That answer is a yes. If there are production rights issues that wasn’t the question or even a problem. Whomever has those rights could be persuaded.

    TV Movie Rights are quite possibly not in the hands of anyone as you allude, but that just makes it easier for Mutant Enemy to approach the project.

    I’ll put out some emails next week and see if I can get to the bottom of production rights. The question I was asked was “would a network be willing,” and I’ve answered that: they would.

  37. It would seem to me that the production rights is the issue. I mean, isn’t the “a network would air it” pretty much irrelevant until and unless we understand the actual production rights situation?

    That was basically the thrust of my completely speculative query about whether or not 20th could own series rights, Uni own movie rights, and TV movie rights be in limbo. It doesn’t matter if FOX or NBC would be willing to air a TV movie if no one is currently actually permitted to make one.

    (Again, I think that was part of the growing tension on W’esque. A lot of people were reading this as it was “so why hasn’t it happened, if they’re so willing” — and that’s a question completely unanswered by this post, the W’esque thread, or anywhere else, because no one was focusing on the actual important part of the equation: The actual TV movie production rights.)

  38. b!x, I’m not sure the Networks were willing say 3 years ago. Today is a different day, and it looks inviting to a Network. However we’re talking Network programming, and that means someone has to pitch them. Without a pitch it’s never going to happen.

    Mutant Enemy knows who has the rights and I doubt there are any rights issues. 20th may not own them, but that’s not a problem.

    I’ll look into it and see if there is even any spark over there for a project.

  39. Got a response quicker than I thought I would. 20th Century has exclusive rights to TV productions of all Mutant Enemy works.

    Universal owns rights to sequels to SERENITY.

    So that means if it’s a sequel to SERENITY then Universal would want a piece. If it’s not a sequel to SERENITY there should be no problem, unless Universal wanted to make a problem (and I doubt they would).

    So if FOX wants to, I’m told it’s possible, the issues could be ironed out and they’re not a big deal.

  40. Wow! How interesting. Too bad the thread got locked down over at Whedonesque because this could continue to an even more interesting discussion.

    Thanks B!x for coming over and helping us clarify.

  41. The Observer

    Whedonesque looks really bad right now.

  42. Warning: this may turn into a very long comment. Nick, if this annoys you, feel free to delete but I’d rather post this here than at TBTN.

    Just off the top of my head, here are a random list of concerns that will need to be addressed before/for any type of Firefly tv project to take place:

    1. essential producers, writers, cast will have to agree to do it:
    a. in my mind, essential means Whedon, Fillion, Torres, Glu, Staite, Baccarin, and Maher
    b. it doesn’t include Glass, Baldwin, or Tudyk merely because either Serenity and/or other reasons mean they either can’t or won’t come back, and unlike the cast in point a, I believe there is a feasible way to write these characters out of the show and still have it work, even if it’s not preferable (but Firefly without Mal would obviously not work)

    2. writer(s) and cast availability:
    a. as of now, Fillion, Baldwin, Tudyk, and Baccarin all have day jobs (I don’t know about the rest of the cast)…which means either find a time when they all aren’t working on something else, or leave them out (see point #1 above)
    b. the more important concern to me is Whedon’s availability – if at all the stars align, it doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll have the time/desire to do it anymore; he’s already committed to Dollhouse, at least for the forseeable future and being that the other Firefly writers moved on long ago, he’ll probably fly solo on this one which means if he either can’t/won’t, then that’s the end for me – and I don’t know whether he wants to do it or not, I’m only making this point because I’ve read elsewhere that he’s said he’s not going to do any more live action Firefly/Serenity projects

    3. funding and production problems:
    a. I’m not going to get into the rights thing because I don’t understand all that and other people here seem to have it well covered
    b. to me, the bigger issue anyway is what network will support the show and the logistics of how that’ll work out; I used to wonder why Whedon ever sold Firefly to Fox at all given how trigger-happy they are – the WB or UPN or Scifi channel would’ve made far more sense and they’d have been much more patient with such low numbers, but then it occurred to me that maybe those smaller networks couldn’t afford Firefly’s production price tag…point of this all being that wherever they’re aiming to put this project, this’ll be a huge issue to contend with, especially now that all networks are trying so hard to cut back costs
    i. part of the network support thing, Fox was very unsupportive of Joss when the show was on (making him redo the perfectly-fine Serenity pilot and put on the confusing Train Job ep as the pilot, constantly screwing with the show’s scheduling and episode order, etc.); if at all the show is on Fox again, who’s to say Joss won’t be worried about the creative freedom thing again, if it’s a miniseries or more than one movie?
    ii. the time and timing factors – part of the availability thing but also how to coordinate everyone and make them available to do this aside at the same time:
    -Fillion on ABC on Castle for the fall, 10 episodes
    -Baldwin on NBC for Chuck for midseason, 13 episodes?
    -Baccarin on V on ABC, not sure of the episode order or when it’ll be on
    -Tudyk on V/Dollhouse (I’ve seen him listed on both), Glau possibly on Dollhouse
    -unsure of what everyone else is doing but if they’re all on different networks or places, this gets harder to do…how much leniency will the actors who’ve signed onto other tv shows get if they want to do this?
    -the other option is to wait till all the actors are free agents, a la, their respective shows are, well, cancelled..IMO Dollhouse and Castle are probably not long for this world anyway, as for Chuck and V I’ve no idea

    4. creative and canon problems:
    a. I don’t want to spoil any endings for the show or Serenity but any future live action project will have to be reconciled with the Firefly original show canon, Serenity, and any comic books and non-live action projects Joss has done in the same ‘verse (otherwise it’ll just piss off the core fans and we don’t want that)
    b. I figure they can either continue with Firefly as though it wasn’t cancelled (in the tv movie or miniseries form) and have it take place after the show ended but before Serenity, or omit some actors and have it continued after Serenity ended the way they would’ve if Universal had greenlit the Firefly sequels; I don’t know any other way they could do it without disrupting the canon already created

    5. getting started – who approaches who?
    a. Nick mentioned that this may not have been possible a few years ago because either Joss or Fox weren’t willing to consider the option of resurrecting this project; well, without some party approaching the other with a pitch to do it and methods of execution that’ll be practical, this will never happen no matter if they have the money and players to do it
    b. from Nick’s post and comments, I get the impression that if at all anyone is interested in making the first move, as of this point it is Fox (correct me if I’m wrong, Nick); if that’s the case, then point #2b above applies, Whedon’s availability and desire to deal with a network that’s done nothing but screw him around

    I’m sure I’ve left some things out but you all were probably waiting for this post to end sometime yesterday so I’ll quit for now. Nick, forgive me for going on this long about it; if you want to delete, I have it saved and will put it up on my own blog if I ever get around to getting one.

  43. shelly, if it’s done it will be done by Whedon but not necessarily directed by him or written by him. He could hire out to Minear or Edlund or any of the FIREFLY writers who want to write something. It doesn’t have to be written or directed by him. It just needs to be produced by him and story ideas by him.

    I think they may have to ignore the movie entirely, and Joss stated somewhere that comics aren’t canon or somesuch about one title in the past. I think comics are comics. They tell the stories in an alt reality to the show’s reality. Same with books, etc.

    I’ve heard Joss both say he’d love to do another project and he doesn’t want to. I don’t think he wants his hopes crushed again.

    The logistics isn’t a problem if the people want to do it, they’ll find a way to do it.

  44. Rick Holy, and others with problems seeing comments at TVBTN Robert is working on it! It’s fixed, you may need to hit CTRL-R to refresh your browser, but it should be working now.

  45. I’m very sorry you had to go through all that junk at Whedonesque. Welcome to my (and a few other’s) world. We’ve put up with Tamara for years. She works for Fox, in marketing. I have no idea just how much she does know, but she’s always been a ‘wet blanket’ to anyone who even suggests the possibility of anything going forward, even when Joss himself said if some offered him the chance, he’d go for it. I used to tip toe around her, try to explain to people that she is disillusioned, but, you know what? I’m tired of it. YOU should not have been banned…she should have. She and a few others ruined the OB (original Firefly board on Fox), and now it seems she won’t be happy till she ruins hopes for everyone. Maybe I’ve just had a rough day, but I’m not playing those games anymore. True fans of the show would love to see more. If it’s possible, ‘huzzah’….if it’s something that can never happen, so be it. But I have no idea why she thinks she is the end all and be all of everything going on at Fox. I know for a fact that I had some ‘inside info’ before she did on Dollhouse….so right then, it became very clear that most of her ‘insight’ is in her own head. I hate that I’ve been driven to bad mouth someone who used to be considered a friend, but she brought this all on herself. Don’t let her get you down….and I have no idea why Whedonesque allowed her to continue that way. She’s very good at badgering and then when you just try to take up for yourself, suddenly you are the bad guy. I’ve just seen this same stuff for going on 7 years now, and I am tired. She successfully chased off nearly every ‘newbie’ we got on the OB in the last 4 years. Sad person. Keep up the good work.
    I’m sure this will cause a new firestorm for me, but I’m at the point I really don’t care. She let her true feelings for me and others who always treated her kindly come out full force last summer…and I guess I’m just too old and tired to keep up the game. Even if more Firefly is just a pipe dream, who is she to nay say it? She’s bitter, lonely and not as informed as she tries to pretend she is. Unless she got a new position at Fox that I’m unaware of, she’s blowing smoke.

    Now, to sit back and watch the crap fly for me opening my mouth. heh.

  46. Nick, maybe it’s just my preference that Joss be not only the one with the ideas, but also the one to write it. His episodes were always the strongest, IMO, on Buffy and Angel and Firefly. I know Edlund is busy with Supernatural, but what is Minear doing? Is he one of Dollhouse’s writers?

    I agree that the comics and books can be ignored but I think it’ll be harder to do that with Serenity. Just like Terminator fans were told to ignore the existence of Terminator 3 when watching Sarah Connor Chronicles, but they couldn’t help comparing storylines to that anyway and wondering if T3 characters would come up in TSCC. Which is not to say it can’t be done, but I wonder if they’d just have to make it set after Serenity and exclude some characters.

    I think you’re right about Joss wanting to do it but not wanting to get his hopes up again. Which is why really the only way this could ever be more than a pipe dream is if he’s seriously approached to do it by someone.

  47. “Out of Gas” is my very favorite Firefly episode, and it was written by Tim Minear and directed by David Solomon. Joss has gathered an amazing wealth of talent in his ranks and I’m sure his work would be well served by them. Joss always needs to be the main guiding force, but if his work schedule is too full, he can certainly trust the writing and/or directing to one of his crew.

    Even before the movie Serenity was released, Joss had said that if there were to be a second movie then most likely it would be directed by Tim Minear. So if Joss is tied up with Dollhouse, or other projects, then a Firefly revival does not have to wait… at least in terms of whether Joss is available for full writing and director duties.

    As with so many things, ‘where there’s a will, there’s a way’, or perhaps from an entertainment business point of view ‘where’s there’s money to be made, there’s a way’. Contracts can be worked out when people want them to be, deals can be made when people realize that they’ll benefit from doing so. It’s not magic, it’s business and can be worked out when the parties are willing. Get the business and money parts in line, and there’s an amazing group of talented folk who can step in and do what they do best…

    … and then we’ll finally get more Firefly gorramit!

  48. Going back to the number of fans. I seem to remember at the time Firefly was ranked very high in tivo and dvr recordings. I can understand the networks not wanting to count those numbers. What I think they consistently underestimate is that shows like Firefly and Dollhouse that air on Friday nights are frequently watched by groups of fans together. I personally know of multiple groups of fans that record/ed the show (Dollhouse/ Firefly) to re-watch at home but go to a friend’s house to watch the show live (that friend also records the show to re-watch later.) After all, it is/was on Friday night.

  49. Nick, Joss never quite said “comics aren’t canon”. In particular, you’re likely thinking about Buffy: Season 8, which is considered canon but which Joss has suggested he might ignore, if necessary, in the unlikely event he were ever making a Buffy reunion movie.

    It’s indisputable that he can, at any point, decide to ignore one thing in favor of doing something else. But, for the moment, the comics he himself has involvement in he considers canon. He’s never said they aren’t.

  50. Something just occurred to me: do Fox and Universal still own the tv and movie rights, respectively? Because I don’t know much about entertainment law but I think I remember from law school that certain intellectual property ownership rights will eventually expire if nothing is done to renew them. Fox cancelled the show and Universal didn’t greenlight the Serenity sequel – is it possible neither of them hold the rights anymore?

  51. Would it help or hurt the cause to ask Joss about this if we get the chance to do so?

  52. Just a thought, does any one know the numbers for the Futurama direct-to-video movies? Sales and viewers when Comedy Centrals broadcast? It seems to me that would be the model to follow – how well did they do?

    Also, regarding getting Tudyk and Glass into the project – would it be heretical to consider the movie to be non-canon? Or maybe set ‘season 2’ before the movie in the continuity? Heck, the series was shown out of sequence, we’d just be keeping up the tradition!

  53. AniMatsuri, I don’t know what you’d ask or he’d say that would give us any more info than what we know already. You could ask if he’d be willing to do it, and Nick seems to think the answer’s yes if the logistics could be worked out. You could ask if he’s heard from anyone about doing it, which he probably hasn’t, otherwise he’d have said something at Whedonesque. It’s like I keep saying, unless someone actually makes a move on this in the official capacity, the possibility of this project isn’t moving forward so unless Joss has been officially approached, I don’t think anything has changed.

  54. Why does Joss have to be so passive if he’s interested in doing more Firefly? He should know the right people to talk to and start pitching to them if he’s aware there is a window of opportunity.

  55. AniMatsuri, it’s not passivity that’s the problem here. It’s more complex than that, but simply put, it’s more a matter of a) Joss has moved on to other projects and they’re his first priority now and more likely b) he’s not in the mood to pour heart and soul into Firefly yet again only to be stomped on by the networks and other suits.

    Joss has always had huge problems with networks and studios interfering with his projects, not letting him do the project he wants the way he wants it and then screwing around once the project makes it to the air (the same thing happened with Buffy the movie where the studio made him butcher his script, same thing happened with Fox and Firefly where they made him redo the pilot, then aired episodes out of order, and then constantly pre-empted them or tried to kill the show some other way, then pulling the plug way too soon). Can you really blame him for not wanting to get his hopes up or wanting to move on to other things?

    One of the major reasons this topic was brought up in the first place is because some believe that Fox is now trying to make amends with Joss, letting him have another chance with Dollhouse when the consensus was that it would *not* get another season. Which has led some to speculate that Firefly somehow fits into all this, or at least that it was at the back of Fox’s mind when they renewed Dollhouse. But again, speculation alone is not enough to get anyone to get the ball rolling and make pitches. Now, if the people Nick has been talking to change their minds and actually approach Joss, however, I would be the first one to do the Numfar dance of joy.

  56. Excerpt from February 18, 2009 TV Guide interview with Joss Whedon by Matt Mitovich.

    Matt: When can we expect a Serenity 2 movie; and if never, can you tell us what Inara’s secret was?

    Joss: I’m not giving up Inara’s secret – although I believe Morena has at conventions. Thanks, darling. But nobody has ever approached me about doing a movie, except fans. When somebody in a suit does, then I’ll know that the landscape has changed. Basically, I’m at the ready. The moment they say “Go!” I’ll start gathering the troops again; but nobody has.

    —————————————————

    So far it always seems that Joss’ comments regarding a Serenity/Firefly revival have centered around him still being very interested, with the only hinderance being that the folks in charge who can make it happen haven’t made a move… yet.

  57. I probably should’ve added the preamble that my theories of why Joss isn’t moving on this is speculation, too. Sorry about that (although I wouldn’t be surprised if his priorities are different now, or if he feels trepidation at getting into bed with Fox again where Firefly is concerned).

    Not to go too off-topic, but what’s this about Inara having a secret? Someone clue me in please? I watched the show and Serenity and have no idea what they’re talking about.

  58. I do not want to start a firestorm here, but it seems to me that Joss just isn’t into such a project 100% anymore. Maybe he’s just had his hand snapped at too many times to try and make the first step towards the network; maybe the message he wanted to deliver through the show got its place in the movie and there just isn’t any narrative pressure anymore; maybe he wants to concentrate on another show and move on.
    Comparing to the stance other show creators had to their “darling babies” (say, Farscape or even Babylon 5), pushing the networks for something when fan response got loud enough, I just see this as too passive.
    He’s answer is more or less along the line: “well, if the network really wants this, I might try and find the time to throw something together”. Besides, I don’t believe any show creator would just dump his show publicly, especially considering the large fan base; I just think he doesn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings on the matter.
    I do not really know how the innards of the show business work in the US, but if the network is waiting for Joss to make the pitch and Joss is waiting for an apologetic network to beg for a Firefly return, then NOTHING is most likely to happen.
    Please don’t flame me for my opinion, but I do believe that unless Joss picks it up and tries to get it back together, the network will probably never make the first step. And I just don’t see Joss doing any crusading on behalf of Firefly anymore…

  59. Not understanding your latest tweet Nick, tweeted a response but I don’t know if you got it.

  60. I’ d like to it ‘ll be continued

  61. All I have to say is that as a “late comer” into the Firefly/Serenity fandom, I would LOVE to see something more done with the story. Movie, resumption of series – whatever. I doubt the likelihood of it happening, but I would flip if it did.

    Right now I am still waiting for the second half of season 4 of B.G. to arrive on DVD so I can see how it concluded. One thing I found very appealing (as if it wouldn’t be obvious by my vocation), is the “God” references that both of these sci-fy shows (B.G. and Firefly) contained.

    Whether people are “religious” or not, the question of God is always going to be a part of human existence, and I thought that both of these shows did a really nice job finding a way to fit God into the storyline without it being a “pushed down your throat” kind of thing.

    Have to admit, I was never a “Buffy” or an “Angel” person – for whatever reason never got hooked on either, but I fell for Firefly/Serenity hook, line and sinker. Never saw an episode when the show originally aired and never saw the movie at the theater – was totally unaware of its existence – but now I find my self hungry for MORE.

    I thought the casting was absolutely FANTASTIC. From finding Ron Glass (of Barney Miller fame) of all people to play the preacher/shepherd, to Summer Glau, Adam Baldwin and the rest of the cast – including the young woman who played the “Companion” (if she’s not on some list of Top 10 Attractive People then something’s wrong), it was casting genius.

    For now, I’m just enjoying watching the “reruns” on DVD – while I suffer through the looooong wait for CHUCK to return in March!!

    But thanks again, Nick C., and all you other Firefly fans for bringing this totally entertaining show to my attention. It’s gold!