In what could be either the most exciting or cruelest tease ever, Fox's President of Entertainment David Madden has announced that the network is totally on board with a Firefly reboot. The news came during a panel at the Television Critics Association, with Rotten Tomatoes reporting Madden's willingness to reboot the cult series.
Despite its cult status, Firefly was cancelled soon after its 2002 premiere, and only one season was ever produced. In the 12 years that have passed since the release of follow-up movie Serenity, fans have been campaigning tirelessly for Firefly to return— and this announcement from Fox means we're closer than ever to getting a second season.
However, there's one big, obvious catch: Madden has said that creator Joss Whedon would have to be both willing and available to get the ball rolling— which could mean the future doesn't look so bright for all you Browncoats.
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Too Busy For 'Firefly'?
#Firefly has been referred to as one of the best sci-fis ever made, so it's surprising to hear Madden claim Whedon may be too busy with other projects to give the franchise another chance. Wouldn't Firefly be a major priority for him?
Well, not really. Despite telling IGN back in 2004 that he'd originally planned for seven seasons of Firefly, he later made it pretty clear that his schedule was far too hectic.
In a 2013 interview with Buzzfeed, Whedon stressed that while it "remains the case" that he'd definitely love to continue Firefly, it's really not that simple— despite fans' eagerness to start a Kickstarter campaign to help with funds. At the time, Whedon was incredibly busy with various Marvel projects for the next few years, and even mentioned that making a sequel to his musical web series Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog was more of a priority than picking up where Serenity left off. Not to mention what the original Firefly cast had going on with their own careers:
"Couple years from now, when Nathan [Fillion]’s no longer [on] 'Castle' and I’m no longer the Tom Hagen of the Marvel Universe and making a giant movie, we might look and see where the market is then. But right now, it’s a complete non-Kickstarter for me"
Apart from Nathan Fillion (Mal) being way too busy with Castle, Whedon also brought up Morena Baccarin's (Inara) role on Homeland during a Reddit AMA— and the idea of the cast abandoning projects having the potential to "destroy everybody's careers":
Unlikely, But Not Impossible
Funnily enough, the projects Whedon claimed were holding the Firefly cast back from a reboot are no longer running. Baccarin left Homeland in 2013, and Castle was cancelled in 2016— though that show did manage to fit in a decent amount of Firefly references:
Unfortunately, that doesn't mean everyone's schedules are now freed up to focus on Firefly. Fillion is pretty busy with various TV shows in 2017; Whedon is still working on both Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and an upcoming, untitled WWII horror movie; and Baccarin is now involved with Gotham and possibly Deadpool 2. If Firefly is going to be rebooted, it's definitely not happening in 2017.
But what about 2018? The rest of the original cast's schedules admittedly look pretty clear. And who knows? Maybe Gotham and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D will come to an end (sorry, superhero nerds). Or better yet: Whedon, Baccarin and Fillion will manage to juggle their many priorities to make room for new Firefly. Hey, it's a long shot, but it might just be crazy enough to work. Before that happens, they'll probably have to get Jewel Straite (Kaylee) on board first:
Should 'Firefly' Get The Reboot Treatment?
In the words of Jurassic Park's Dr Ian Malcolm: "your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should."
"Reboot" is a fairly loaded term nowadays, with so many networks and studios attempting to cash in on the success of franchises from past decades with varying degrees of success. Unfortunately, it's by no means a foolproof way to revamp a series, let alone appease diehard fans of the original.
The same can definitely be said for Firefly. It seems that even Fox can now agree that the series was cut far too short; but perhaps too much time has passed for anyone to do justice to the story now.
However, Madden's statement that Fox aren't going ahead without Whedon's involvement means the potential reboot would be entirely under the creative control of the same mind who wrote and directed the original. That's definitely reassuring. Then again, it might just be a way for the network to blame someone other than themselves for Firefly's lack of triumphant return.
Sadly, well all know Firefly can never be the same without Wash— and even Alan Tudkye agrees:
Do you think a Firefly reboot could still happen?