Firefly was canceled too soon. Released in 2002, the series took place in the year 2517. Classified as a space Western drama, the series saw the ensemble cast (lead by Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, and Alan Tudyk) traveling on the spaceship Serenity in search of new adventures.
It was an undoubtedly popular series, garnering up to 4.7 million viewers per episode. Astonishingly, however, Firefly was canceled before it finished its first season. Only 11 of the 14 planned episodes were released, leaving the dedicated fans of the show devastated. Petitions, fundraisers, and online forums were created in attempts to save the show from being canceled forever, but these efforts were ultimately in vain.
However, Disney plans to reboot the series as an exclusive for its streaming platform Disney+. Disney had acquired the rights to the franchise after their 2018 acquisition of Fox. Firefly seems like the perfect option to diversify their current line-up for streaming. Here’s what to expect from the reboot.
Updated February 14, 2022, by Will Sayre: If you’re looking for more information regarding who’s involved in the potential Firefly reboot, you’ll be happy to know that we’ve updated this article with more details.
New revelations recently surfaced about Joss Whedon’s past behavior on set of the original series, specifically involving a writer who then came forward anonymously in an interview.
The Rebooted Firefly Will Have a New Story
The original Firefly series on Fox was intended for mature audiences. Inara, for example, is explicitly known to be a courtesan on the show. There are also political, social, and economic factors that interrogate the morals and ethics of the characters’ world and society. Disney has not confirmed anything about the plot, but there is speculation on how the story will differ. Some routes include picking up right where the series left off and delving into the past of Malcolm Reynolds (Nathan Fillion) who fought in the civil war against the Alliance. However, it is most likely that Disney will restart the entire series on a more family-friendly note. While Disney achieved a new “first” in Eternals by featuring the first openly gay character and first real sex scene, it’s unlikely that Firefly will do the same. Instead, they might opt for a narrative that would appeal to a more general audience on its streaming platform.
Joss Whedon Will Not Be Involved
Since Firefly was his vision and dream, many wondered whether Joss Whedon would return for the reboot. While Whedon isn’t a stranger to creating television properties — Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a much-beloved series to this day — it seems that the allegations of workplace harassment against him might be the reason he won’t be returning. Indeed, WarnerMedia conducted an investigation, resulting in swift action from the studio. Whedon then exited the HBO Max series The Nevers, and it’s safe to assume that producers, especially Disney, are cautious about working with him. He has not directed any television shows or movies since leaving The Nevers.
In January 2022, an interview was shared on Vulture featuring an anonymous writer who worked on Firefly, recalling a time when Whedon belittled another writer in front of several staff members. According to the writer, Whedon felt the script presented to him wasn’t up to par, and rather than addressing this with the writer privately, Whedon brought together the entire writing staff.
“It was basically 90 minutes of vicious mockery,” the writer said. “Joss pretended to have a slide projector, and he read her dialogue out loud and pretended he was giving a lecture on terrible writing as he went through the ‘slides’ and made funny voices — funny for him. The guys were looking down at their pages, and this woman was fighting tears the entire time. I’ve had my share of shitty showrunners, but the intent to hurt — that’s the thing that stands out for me now.”
More Details Are Coming
Disney has largely kept quiet about the Firefly reboot, but they are planning to create the series. Because of the lack of official information, a release date, cast, and specific details haven’t been confirmed. There are several routes that Disney could spin the plot, and while it is unlikely that the original cast will reprise their roles, perhaps there’s a chance that some actors could make a guest appearance.
Firefly has a dedicated fanbase, one that might not be too pleased if Disney changes the tone and plot to be more accessible for younger audiences. However, with Whedon no longer being a part of the decisions, it seems highly unlikely that this will be a continuation of the original story. That said, with the current slate of successful original shows that Disney+ has created so far, there’s hope that the original magic created in 2002 will translate after all this time.
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