‘Firefly’ Producer Would ‘Love’ to Make More Episodes as a Limited Series

Published 1 year ago by

firefly limited series Firefly Producer Would Love to Make More Episodes as a Limited Series

Though many Firefly fans still set a place for it at the dinner table, it would stand to reason that most would have grudgingly accepted that the passage of time has conspired with the bitterly sweet upswing of Joss Whedon’s career to make a return to the “verse” seem unlikely. Despite those limiting realities, though, that quivering ember of hope – lit by those fans and the obvious affection that Whedon, his cast, and his crew have for that subsisting little series – seems as unstoppable as a certain signal, particularly when people fan the flames.

Enter Tim Minear, writer and producer extraordinaire who is presently working on American Horror Story. Before Minear made creeping out audiences his primary preoccupation, he worked on Firefly (and also Terriers, where’s your pitch for the continuing adventures of Hank and Britt, Tim?) and in a new interview he theorizes that a limited return to television could work for Malcolm Reynolds, Zoe, and the man they call Jayne.

Here’s Minear on the chances that we will see more Firefly on television:

“I would never foreclose the possibility. The fact that it was even a feature film after it spectacularly failed on Fox was a miracle. And of course it lives on in other forms. In terms of getting the band back together to make a new adventure, who knows? I would love it. It would be great. But first everybody has their respective projects that limits them from crossing over into other things. It’s just trying to coordinate everybody’s obligations so they could somehow participate. [...]

“It doesn’t have to be 13 episodes. Look how ‘Sherlock’ does it. [...] I think a limited series of some kind would work best. Something like that could also work if, say, 20th could partner with Netflix, or another distributor. It would have its home on Fox, of course [then a second window on streaming]. A limited series would do very well, I bet.”

By “respective projects,” Minear is surely referring to his Horror Story responsibilities, Whedon’s role as the Don of the Marvel movieverse, Nathan Fillion’s gig on Castle, and a host of other cast and crew members with occupations and obligations that make a reunion a bit of a sticky wicket.

Castle and Beckett in Castle Firefly Producer Would Love to Make More Episodes as a Limited Series

To his credit, though, Minear is thinking outside the box, mentioning the “event series” model and Sherlock (the UK series that doesn’t seem to have any trouble keeping fan support – on both sides of the pond – despite its three-episode seasons and long breaks). Even still, could this actually work for Firefly?

It seems doubtful. Minear was an integral part of Firefly, but there’s no dispute (and certainly not from Minear) that Whedon would be the one to decide if the campaign to resurrect Firefly should kick into high gear or not. And, unfortunately, his last recorded thoughts on the matter indicate that he was more on board with a new film down the line when his Marvel obligation ends (assuming that he doesn’t keep recommit).

Why a film over a show? This is just speculation, but maybe Whedon doesn’t want to subject his story and the fans to something that is open-ended again – even as a limited series. Because the last thing that anyone needs is for Firefly to come back from the dead only to meet another premature death.

firefly cast science channel Firefly Producer Would Love to Make More Episodes as a Limited Series

With that said, the idea of a limited series with the whole cast does grab one’s attention, but the real interesting takeaway from Minear’s interview may be that Whedon discussed a spinoff with him about eight years ago. That would put that conversation just a year after the disappointing box office returns of Serenity.

It makes us wonder: Which character would a spinoff have have focused on? And could a spinoff still be a way back for the property if Whedon were to change his mind and become open to the idea of another series? (Then again, maybe he is open to that. After all, he didn’t explicitly say “No new show,” he just said, to paraphrase, “Yay movie.“) It’s also worth wondering if a prequel could work, though the passage of time has made that a more unappealing option since it would likely involve recasting.

As is always the case, Whedon’s availability is the key, but with his willingness to have a more hands-off role on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., maybe he might do something similar with a Firefly project. It sure seems like Tim Minear would be game and it’s obvious that the fans would flock to it. We’ll have to wait and see if it ever becomes a reality.

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Source: EW

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  1. I think it’s a bit late to do much more with Firefly. It was a great series and the movie was a wonderful swan song (completing the character arcs that were left undone in the series and giving the story a proper, if not perfect, conclusion). I don’t know why we need more.

    • If you don’t know why, then you aren’t a true Browncoat.

      • Good retort. It perplexes me why some people would bother to take the time to contribute to these discussions by claiming that THEY do not know why WE need more of something. If you’re not a fan, just move on.

        By all accounts, Whedon, cast, and crew loved this series, they would like to do something more with it, and it still has a loyal fanbase…although I would not include some of the commentators here among them.

        Why not, at least, do a sequel to Serenity? A limited series would be great, too!

    • Since personally I always had the distinct impression that Joss always had a lot more he wanted to do with Firefly and the characters and I don’t think I’m the only one. There’s so much more to see from this show and it’s universe whether that’s in a spin-off, a sequel to Serenity or a limited series it’d still be great to see more Firefly.

      Although I only want this if there’s a way to take it away from FOX, those excuses of human waste have been trying to sabotage Firefly from Day 1 and that’s me being a Browncoat or an obsessed fanboy, that’s me seeing FOX for what they truly are. A network of rich, entitled lowlifes who wasted everyone’s time by even bothering to pick up Firefly in the first place,

      the show would have been better with any other network on the first of the earth. It’d have been better off as caveman paintings on a wall.

    • Package it anyway you want…movie, series, limited series…just do it!

    • Why do I even bother, you Firefly fans will never stop whining about this show.

      • LOL

      • Well to begin with since Screenrant insists on NOT allowing an edit function for our posts I can’t correct the mistake I made where I meant to put “and that’s not me being a Browncoat or an obsessed fanboy” and secondly I attempted to give you a reasonable answer that goes beyond “I want more Firefly”,

        What I put wasn’t whinging, it was stating fact. That from day 1 FOX have done everything in their power to make sure Firefly failed as a show by airing episodes out of order and cancelling it after three episodes forcing Joss Whedon and his fans to force what little they could get from Fox for Firefly. Fair enough there was a problem with ratings but FOX didn’t help one bit with their attitude. What I was trying to get at was a simple fact,

        If FOX had so much against Firefly from the beginning then why bother picking up the show for a pilot? I’m annoyed as this is a network that’s now 90% The Simpsons in wacky situations “Hey guys it’s The Simpsons only this time their working in a diner!”

  2. Yes this could have gone 10 seasons if Fox wasn’t such asshats… One of the true great shows out there….

  3. I think that ship has sailed, no pun intended. But as we can now see on Castle, that show worked imho because of Nathan’s gravitas and all the cast chemistry. As much as I loved all the characters don’t think any of them has weight to carry a spinoff either.

  4. Let’s let it go.

    • Would fans of Star Wars or Star Trek say, “Let’s let it go”?!

      Would fans of Batman, Spiderman, James Bond, Fast and Furious, etc. say, “Let’s let it go”?!

      If YOU want to let it go, then just move on. Don’t bother reading the article, and don’t take the time to comment…

      • “Would fans of Star Wars or Star Trek say, “Let’s let it go”?!”

        Well, if they killed of several major characters (Book and Wash), and pretty much every friendly character that Mal and the crew ever knew, then quite frankly, yes, I think then I wouldn’t want to see any more Star Trek.

        Star Trek Into Darkness was not all that great, I hope they do a better one next time.

        I’m getting reticent about seeing more Star Wars, I hope I’m wrong and they do a good job.

        As for all the other franchises you mentioned, a yes to those as well if they somehow screw those up as well.

        Look what they did to Superman (Superman Returns), they nearly screwed that one up for all eternity, they had to do a Battlestar Galactica on that one and reimagine the character and the origin story to get that one on track again.

        Even the sequel to that is not guaranteed to succeed either considering a lot of people don’t want to see Ben Affleck in the role, and Gal Gadot is really untested for such a high profile character as Wonder Woman.

        So yes, if people screw up something you love, it’s better to be left with the memory of what you had.

        How many people want to forget that the Star Wars prequels were ever made, they have a lot of fans but still, there’s a bad taste that no amount of mouthwash can get rid of.

        And by the way, people are entitled to their opinion even if it doesn’t coincide with yours.

        • Maybe I’m pointing out the obvious but you are all over the place.

      • I’m a fan of the series but honestly your comparisons are a bit off. Firefly was a 13 episode series and the movie had a worldwide gross of about $39M. By any measure, those figures come no where close to any of the franchises you mention (sadly not even a franchise as overhyped as Fast and Furious).

  5. Just no. I loved the show but its already too late. Lets move on…to AAA class game on Firefly.

  6. I would love to see the crew of Serenity back in action again, most especially Mal and River. I loved the western flavor of the show. It also conveyed as being much more realistic than other space operas, with no aliens and a dictatorial, one-world government.

  7. They could use this to flesh out some character backgrounds such as Book.

  8. Firefly has a limited fan base. I am one of them but I realize I am one of the few. Time to move on.

    • I don’t think that is true. Yes, Firefly has a limited “hardcore” fan base. And no matter how vocal we are, the Browncoats are certainly no Trekkies.

      That being said, Firefly has a huge casual fanbase. My wife – who does not like sci-fi in general – enjoyed the series and the movie, and I know she would gladly watch new entries to the Verse. She isn’t going to petition the studios or rant about it online. But I know she would tune in. And I know at least a dozen more people who fall in to that category.

  9. As long as Summer Glau is involved i am in.

    • It’s hot in here, must be Summer LOL

  10. I hope they do try a continuation of the show in some form. I’m only watching it now for the first time and love it so I’m not looking forward to when I’ve finished and know that I’ve nothing left to watch.

    • Can’t stop the signal. That message in the movie was a hail mary to give all of us browncoats a faint beacon to look to.

      • Fair enuf…we keep fighting the alliance…those damn purplebellies…keep making sure firefly doesnt continue…

        I’m starting to think us browncoats may never see the day…when firefly returns

  11. I really loved Firefly and Serenity. Firefly was one of the best shows of the decade. I still harbor resent towards those meddling executives for ruining something which had such great love from the fans and massive potential.

    But IMO, it’s WAY too late to produce a limited series or any other production involving the ‘verse. Firefly may have ended prematurely, but Serenity was a good way to finish the story and close all remaining plotlines.

    Book and Wash are dead, the Reavers past is explained, and River’s arc of running from the Alliance came to an end. Everything was tied up very well. The movie was made to end things.

    A limited series or a second season wouldn’t work now. Movie franchises can easily be picked up after a decade, but TV shows can’t.
    Look at Arrested Development. Season 4 is vastly different and doesn’t live upto the first 3 seasons, and it also has a large fanbase but its future is still uncertain. I don’t want that for Firefly.

    But even if they were going to pull something, I’d prefer it be a movie(s), set a decade after the events of Serenity, with the remaining crew reuniting for a more misadventures. If done right, that would be shiny :P

  12. Hey, I am all for more summer glau.
    In aseriousness, river’s story arc only just began at the end of serenity. She could eventually carry the storylines on her own. Mal could conceivably die, as sad as that’d be but wash and book were expendable for the sake of the story, so the potential is game-of-thrones sized.

  13. It could best be done in two ways:
    A) moving forward from 10-years-after so the cast can just come as they are, in a short-form series, with principal shooting scheduled during summer hiatus (I’m sure they’d all consider that a happy working vacation)
    B) animated prequels and interwoven stories with the series, which would allow Wash & Book to return.
    Why did Patience shot Mal “a little”?
    What happened to YoSafBridge when the cops found her in the dumpster?
    How did they meet Mr. Universe in the first place?

    I don’t know if you’ve seen the new Serenity: Leaves on the Wind comic that just came out. They do have ideas for moving the story forward, and it’s… pretty good but leaves a LOT to be desired. There were I think 18 pages of story/pics (some redundant) and 15 pages of filler/ads/promos for other works. That’s not fair. I’m estimating. No, I won’t go back and count them, you can do that for yourself. It’s still worth buying. :-)

    Joss had a whole binder of ideas (Who do I have to blow to get my hands on that binder?). And as he pointed out in a speech, we’re all still telling the story. There’s some really skeevy fan fiction out there, but some of it is truly beautiful, funny, and/or moving.

    • I like your ideas, though I’m leaning towards a sequel movie/Sherlock-like series with a flash-back or two embedded to get Wash and Book in there.

      I’m not a fan of comics but I’m curious where the sequel comic goes. I tried reading the Man of Steel prequel comic and while it was cool to know his cousin’s story, it was not pleasant to read for me (probably because I don’t like comics so much).

  14. Much as I loved the original cast, why not have a spin-off?

    My pitch: Captain Mal Reynolds retired years ago, Serenity is sitting in some intergalactic garbage heap or used ship lot. Zoe, following the death of her husband, also retired. Meanwhile, River Tam has been investigating what became of her brothers and sisters that were in that military training program. Her goal is to free them of the mind control and conditioning they were subjected to. Her brother developed a treatment to help her master the conditioning, which she wants to share with the other test subjects. River wants to also destroy the government/military program, but she needs help. (yes, I borrowed the plot from Nikita and Dark Angel)

    She and her brother steal/buy Serenity, enlist Jane and Kaylee (let’s say she had broken up with her brother by then). But she is unable to find/recruit any of the others, so she has to replace them. This takes care of Nathan Fillion and Morena Baccarin’s time commitment issues. And if Gina Torres wants to come back, why not? But there would have to be a reason to force her out of retirement. Perhaps she (and Mal, and Inara, too?) needs to rescue any number of the characters.

    • Plus they could always add new actors to the show. Star Trek’s Brent Spinner would make a great addition and Nathen Fillion’s replacement? Eddie McClintock from Warehouse 13 would make a great addition and the idea could be that River is trying to find someone similar to Mal but finding that Eddie’s character is not that close a replica as she’d like (mirroring the way fans of a show behave when a replacement character is added) plus Eddie is great at playing both serious and comedic scenes.

  15. This was a well written article, thanks Jason.

  16. If Joss helms it then I’m all for it. If not then no.

    I’ve seen enough franchises ruined by substitute directors.

    • I’m all for it, if they can do it right. It’s very exciting to know that those who were involved in the show still think about it. Though I’m sure Tim Minear was probably responding to a question posed to him.

      Every time I get to the point of “letting it go”, something comes along like this that gets my hopes up.

      I was late to the party and didn’t first see Firefly until a few years ago. I would be first in line if they brought it back in some form this time.

      • +1

  17. TOOOOOOOOO MUCH TIME HAS PASSED, GUYS! Please… let the series rest in peace. I love the idea of a movie, but it can’t center around Mal and his crew (not to be mean, but… well, they’ve aged). Trying to bring it back as a series, even a limited one, would be pointless. How will you fit in the backstory so that it doesn’t look like a fake-history lesson?

    MOVIE IDEA: Why not explore what’s happened ten years after the movie, after the Verse found out about the Alliance? It can center around a new, younger captain (with a few Mal-like tendencies) and crew, and have the ‘old’ Serenity crew (not that they’re… old) be around to… I don’t know, guide the new generation of rebels. They could be a guide to a new revolution against the Alliance.

    It’d be a lot of backstory to cover for a movie, so how about a two or three-part series?

    If not, then screw it and stop talking about Firefly. Come up with something new. I’m fed up with so many remakes/reboots and adaptations from an already existing source.

    Where’d your originality go, Mainstream Hollywood?

    • M, Good idea. Same ‘verse different captain. Make him an Alliance turn coat, disgusted at the revelations from Serenity.

  18. Honestly I’d way rather have a continuation of Buffy and Angel (with Spike!)

    • id ove to see bit more of angel, found it hard to adapt to his persona in bones at first, but love david in that and its still going strong i can always go to the net and see angel singing mandy for a chuckle! and i loved lorne and the whole advising people after hearing them sing x

  19. Okay, I have one point to make and that’s it, the Original Star Trek was cancelled after 3 seasons in the sixties due to lack of viewers and it was because of fans that it got the movie which led to the movies that spawned the spin off shows. I wouldn’t say that its impossible for Firefly to come back.

  20. Wars over, we’re all just folk now.

    It might get another comic book, but it’s probably the end of the line for that show. A minority of us love it. The majority just don’t care.

    Big damn shame. Get aboard your boats and be on your merry.

  21. i would literally shed a tear of happiness if firefly ever came back to the screen in some form, miss it so much