Fans Unite To Help Nathan Fillion Buy ‘Firefly’

Published 3 years ago by , Updated February 10th, 2012 at 11:51 am,

nathan fillion buy firefly Fans Unite To Help Nathan Fillion Buy Firefly

Last week, we reported that cult-classic TV show Firefly was getting a new run of its first and only season on Science Channel. After the news broke, star Nathan Fillion waxed poetic, saying that he’d buy the rights to the series and start it up again if he won the lottery. Die-hard Firefly fans – never ones to let a lost cause die quietly – have begun a grassroots movement to raise the money for him.

Speaking to an Entertainment Weekly reporter, Fillion said that “If I got $300 million from the California Lottery, the first thing I would do is buy the rights to Firefly, make it on my own, and distribute it on the Internet.” Almost immediately, fans of the 2002 series started organizing on Twitter and Facebook to see if a donation drive was plausible. After a groundswell of initial support, HelpNathanBuyFirefly.com was created.

For the time being, the organizer or organizers are staying anonymous, waiting to reveal themselves once they establish a pledge system and prepare for an influx of money. Even so, the social campaign has begun in earnest, gaining almost 35,000 “likes” on Facebook at the time of writing. The people in charge are keeping a steady stream of information flowing, collecting commitments and art from excited fans who can’t wait to put their money down.

Here is their mission:

Phase 1) Generate momentum.   We’re going to setup a way people can pledge funding towards the mission of putting the rights to Firefly back into the hands of people who care about it.  Since Nathan said he’d be game to be those hands, we’re going to watch for …

Phase 2) Nathan chimes in towards us and approves the effort.   At that point, it’s a real mission and we’ll switch into…

Phase 3) We’ll setup a way for the funding to be collected into a Non-Profit Organization.  We’ll then want everyone to make good on their pledge and contribute.

And fans aren’t the only ones responding. Former Firefly writers Jose Molina and Jane Espenson have already responded to the campaign, pledging their talents to the cause if it actually comes through. A message on the group’s Facebook wall pledged $1000 (from one Malcolm Reynolds, no less) if the project reached the donation stage. News outlets from fan blogs to CNN are reporting on the movement, helping it gain steam all over the world.

So how plausible is a Firefly revival? Let’s just say that “long shot” is an understatement. While the group doesn’t need anywhere near $300 million (Serenity was made on a budget of $40 million in 2005) converting fan excitement into real-world dollars is a daunting task. Fillion’s comment was somewhat off the cuff, and he’s got commitments of his own on ABC’s Castle, which shows no signs of ending anytime soon.

The star still hasn’t officially responded to the fan movement he irreverently created. Then there’s the rest of Firefly‘s celebrated cast, many of whom have gone on to their own steady movie and TV gigs – especially Alan Tudyk, Morena Baccarin and Summer Glau. Series creator Joss Whedon is currently hard at work for Marvel assembling The Avengers. And of course there’s continuity issues – Serenity killed off some very important characters, and a direct continuation of the show would be difficult without them.

firefly exterior science channel1 Fans Unite To Help Nathan Fillion Buy Firefly

All this ignores the most likely roadblock for Firefly fans: 20th Century Fox isn’t obligated to sell the rights, no matter how much money is raised. After seeing a huge demand for more Firefly, the studio is more likely to try and sell to another Hollywood party, like it did when it sold the movie rights to Universal. Or (shudder), it could try to reboot the series on its own.

But fan campaigns to revive series have worked in the past. The internet campaign to save Firefly failed in 2002, but that was before the series had become the science fiction icon it is today. Even Serenity found a much wider audience on DVD than it ever did in theaters.

If Firefly is to return, it’ll join revivals of Arrested Development, Jericho, Family Guy, Futurama and Chuck – and that’s just in the last decade or so. Even the original Star Trek was cancelled, then brought back after a vigorous letter-writing campaign. And with Internet-based distribution outside of the Hollywood studio system, almost anything is possible.

If you want to Help Nathan Buy Firefly, you can check out the group’s website and follow them on Twitter and Facebook. And remember, Science Channel will be showing the original Firefly episodes in HD starting in March.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

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  1. I freaking love Nathon Fillion, he has the charisma and class of a true space cowboy. if had a miilion dollars I would fully support this, I guess a 100 bucks is a good starting point!

    • Please bring Fire Fly back .. the best show ever… actually watching the series over again this weekend!

  2. Admirable.

    • he’d spend millions on a show starring himself? of all the ways he could actually benefit the world lol. what an egomaniac…

      • You know – people have been clamoring for Firefly to go on for years. There was enough fan support to get a movie made… and I’m sure that EVERYWHERE the guy goes people beg him to do what he can to get Firefly going again.

        So cut the guy some slack.

        Vic

        • Well said Vic. Man this is potentially good news, I’d actually love to see more Serenity films. I watch the movie and series at least 6 times a year.

      • whatever , dude , this is being done by his fan base and the fans of the show , he didnt ask for people to do it, he was joking when he made the comment. Hell , I pledged some money was nt a 100 bucks like STU up there but i like his idea. I also like how we the fans can screw the networks with something like this.

      • Just remember, Fillion’s show “Castle” debuted as a mid-season replacement and now will be going onto a 4th season. Not to mention that its averaging around 10+ million viewers per episode according to the piss-poor Nielsen rating system. Not exactly a “high” number of viewers, but not bad at all…

        In summary – I don’t think he’s trying to revive the series just so he can inflate his own ego…

        • My family loves the TV show Castle – and Fillion totally carries it.

          Vic

        • hmm good points. i DID enjoy serenity…

        • Castle is one of the most campy and cheesy shows on television. The characters are somewhat two dimensional, the plots tend to be silly, and the prolonged courtship of Beckett and Castle is getting to the point where it is no longer an enticing dance, but an annoyance.

          That being said, I LOVE Castle! The show doesn’t take itself too seriously, all the actors play their roles very well, and it is a fun show to watch! Every other show I’ve seen the stars of Firefly on has just made me sad the show was canceled. I’m sad enough about that without watching “The Cape” or “V”. Castle, however, has Nathan Fillion. Not to mention the subtle and not so subtle nods to Firefly.

  3. Two things to think of:

    1. A Facebook movement in no way translates to a “real world” movement. One hundred thousand “likes” and zero dollars means zero dollars. I think this is an admirable cause, but unless people put feet on the ground to do something, it’ll never be more than a fantasy.

    2. Your writer seems to have forgotten that Adam Baldwin was on the show, too, and he’s had the most regular gig since it ended – as third star on NBC’s “Chuck” – which keeps moving happily along.

    • Adam Baldwin HAS been doing well, but Fillion’s “Castle” series seems popular too.

    • To your 1), fans and the cast of Firefly have already done it once. I’ll not discount anything.

    • I think Castle trumps Chuck, I love both shows but Castle is mor popular , Morena Baccarin is staring in V which may be cancelled but has picked up steam since the Second Half of the season has been back on. Oh yeah and more then likely she will be in Avengers. Summer , will be free after they cancel The Cape, which should be shortly. Gina Torres does mostly voice overs .

    • 1. A Facebook group was the reason why Betty White hosted SNL, lol.

  4. I’d love to help rejuvenate the series it was one of my favorite series ever :D

  5. This browncoat would be all over this.

  6. now that the reapers have been explained away in serenity would it not make more sense for the story to continue from that point on? I mean were this to ever work I personally would like the narrative to move forward and not retread previous territory.

  7. I would love to see the show continue to grow. the casts chemistry was great

  8. They could just retcon parts of the film so everyone can come back. I support this movement 100%

    • DO NOT. TOUCH. THE MOVIE.

      EVER!

  9. my heart broke when both Angel and Firefly series were canceled, oh I hate you WB and Fox, you destroyers of SCI-Fi. Anyways if you remember there was a lot of fan based action to help give these series a another chance. WB didn’t care if the DVD sales were the highest ever for the network. And Fox doesnt care about the browncoat movement. If they did they would have Solely produced Serenity rather than pawning it off on Universal. Fox’s only SCI-FI hit is X-Files.

    There’s another point to consider here. Remember a little series called Star Trek: Enterprise on UPN? The Trek community raised 4 million to preserve the series after it was canceled. This did nothing to get the network fired up. Grass root movements have failed as often as they have succeeded.

    I am excited about this announcement, but part of me is afraid that this talk will lead nowheres and only dash my hopes for Firefly’s deserved revival.

  10. Fillion is a great actor and he plays his role well. One of Canada’s under rated gems. I can’t believe some of the crap on t.v these days and shows like these are canceled.

  11. The irony is that if they somehow raised the money and he didnt buy the rights ,
    there are some fans out there who would see that as a betrayal.
    Look at what happened When it looked like Michael Rosenbaum wasnt coming back For the Smallville finale ,
    Some of the reactions I read throughout the internet,
    You would have thought Rosenbaum was a serial kiler.

  12. From Sean Maher’s official twitter (actor of that doctor)

    @Taxicr OF COURSE I WOULD BE ON BOARD if @NathanFillion acquired the rights to the show!

  13. This would be so dope if it happened and Fillion got the rights. I would be a happy guy.

  14. Sigh. No. Jane and Jose responded to Nathan’s off-handed remark about the lottery, etc. *not* to the fan campaign.

  15. Yeah, it’s important to remember that Nathan did indeed make an off-handed remark.
    not necessarily a statement of intent,
    more like an “in a perfect world” type of comment.

  16. Basically I agree with the article. Which to me reads like “This is fantastic news…. If you don’t think to hard about it”

    It’s nice to think about, but Firefly with Joss or any other major person not involved it will be pointless. It’s nice to dream that it could happen and our show could be back, but as the article says Castle is running consistent and probably won’t be cancelled. Chuck has managed to stay on this long and since there has not been a major ratings dip for it and NBC needs consistency hard to see Adam Baldwin returning. Joss is so busy now with all his marvel work I can’t see him returning to TV unless it’s more of an adviser role and a less involved Joss would be heart breaking. The show was his from the ground up.

    Basically Fillion made a joke and a bunch of fans took him to serious. He is contractually obligated to stay with Castle as is Baldwin with Chuck (both good shows though I think Chuck is by far the better of the two). Not to mention even if you could get Nathan, Adam and Joss all involved the show wouldn’t be the same with out our lovable pilot and on board Shepard.

  17. another thought is if this successful, and they reaqquired the rights from Fox, how would you market the series? On the internet? that would sell to established fans but there would have to be a huge effort to bring in new fans. eo my mind i can’t recall and ongoing internet series thats been successful like this would need to be to get all interested parties back on board.

    • really with internet tv growing by leaps and bounds I think it is great forward thinking, and i would absolutely add that to my netflicks que.

      • Gotta disagree loco. Internet TV hasn’t really grown much at all at best it’s used for re runs and it’s hard to find more than 3 original shows on it and it’s impossible to find one successful original show on it.

        Then there is the fact that this is a scifi show and it’s gonna be made on internet tv budget?

  18. I honestly don’t get all the rabid fanboyism for this show. I watched the series, I watched the movie and at no time did I think it was the best thing I had seen since sliced bread. Now don’t get me wrong, I thought the show was ok but imho it does not deserve the pedestal some people have put it on.

    (I also freely admit I pretty much hate cowboy shows so maybe that might explain my opinion since the show is pretty much cowboys in space)

    I highly doubt there is a large enough audience to carry a new version of the show (and why it was originally canceled). If we use Serenity as gauge….it was made for 40 mil and only brought in 38.8 worldwide (not including advertising and promotion costs). That’s decent empirical evidence the franchise just does not have the fanbase necessary to carry it (at least on network TV)

    It’s too bad the SyFy channel wasn’t in a financial position 9 years ago to buy and produce the series themselves like they have with some other shows. It might have stood a chance then.

    • Well that’s your opinion everyone who is actually a fan of disagrees with you.

      If you don’t think it deserves all the love and admiration of it’s fan than why bother coming in here to tell us that we are all wrong? If the show is just merely ok than why come in to a thread that is clearly for the fans tell us we are all wrong and why?

      • Funny, I thought ALL the articles written on Screenrant were there for EVERYONE to comment on. I saw nothing in the article that said “Post only if you are a fan and only positive comments PLEASE”. If all you want is happy, fuzzy feeling commentary then you should be looking for a Firefly fan site.

        I posted the reality of the situation…..Yes there are fans. You can find fans for just about EVERYTHING (I’m sure someone out there will even defend StarTrek 5, all 2 of them) but to be financially successful there have to be enough to make the series commercially viable. Like it or not its all about ratings.

        You also seemed to have missed my last paragraph though. Something can exist and not everyone has to like it, I get that. Maybe it can be re-pitched to SyFy for some sort of reboot?

    • While the show probably doesn’t have the widest audience, the fans it does have love it quite dearly. Part of the problem for the show’s failure lies with Fox as, if I’m remembering correctly, they didn’t promote it much, aired the episodes out of order, and gave it rather bad air times. Didn’t exactly help with getting a wider audience.

      I didn’t get into the show until I bought the whole series box set when I saw it on sale a few years back and I liked it quite a bit. The cowboy stuff was rather odd to me and still is, but I got used to it. Enjoyed the movie quite a bit as well aside from a few of the deaths.

      The show isn’t perfect to me and I truly wish it had gone on longer so they could have developed everyone and the story arcs further, but we get what we get.

  19. I only saw 2 episodes .
    But,I LOVED the movie.

  20. Loved the series but can’t really see it coming back other than in movie form. After saying that however I would totally contribute $$$ to this effort.

  21. The best shot they have would be if Joss Whedon directed a huge hit
    And I am talking TDK size numbers,
    Then, he might be able to get a sequel to Serenity made.
    But another series?
    No way.
    Plus, these efforts never work out.
    The fans got Jericho renewed, with a slashed budget and some of the cast members were fired as a result of the cuts.
    A movie is the best way to go.

    • I have to disagree. The Fans of Farscape, myself included, forced Vivendi to make a closing movie to tie up the series when SciFi (may they rot in hell) ended the series a year early even thought they promsed not to.

    • “Plus, these efforts never work out.”

      Really? Trying this one on for size: Stargate:SG1. Was supposed to end with season 8, but because of similar actions by fans and writers, we were given a few more seasons. And what about the movie “Serenity” itself? And toss this on for size too, Farscape.

      Never work out, huh?

      Also this isn’t “Bring it back”. It’s buying the rights to it and doing it themselves, or didn’t you twig to that fact?

      • Yeah – and I kind of wish that Stargate: SG1 had ended at season 8, while it was at the top of its game.

        Vic

        • I disagree. While I didn’t think the Ori and King Arthur story arc was as good as the original story arcs, I still enjoyed it MUCH more than most of the SciFi shows out there atm. The Ori were the ultimate, amoral bad guys though.

  22. If I were a Firefly fan, I would see The Avengers 20 times.
    AT LEAST!

    • Nice in theory, but there is no way the any studio heads (or possibly even Joss Wheden himself) would see the astronomical grosses of The Avengers as having anything to do with Firefly. It would be like every fan of the Evil Dead movies going to see every Sam Raimi movie in theaters multiple times. He gets more and more successful, and is there an Evil Dead 4? :D

      I don’t expect to see another Firefly TV show or movie, and I am quite happy that after I discovered the series on DVD in 2005, there was a movie which at least gave me a bit more closure. Just because I don’t EXPECT to see it doesn’t mean that I don’t support it! Since I bought a Firefly keychain and the Firefly book “Firefly: Still Flying” on Amazon within the past three months, I’m obviously willing to pay money…

  23. Even if it is about buying the rights, it still amounts to bringing the show back.
    that will be the end result .
    I stand by my original statement.
    The shows wont come back with the same high quality as before.
    I call that something that didnt work out
    If I have a chance of getting one of my favorite shows back,
    I want the show I remember.
    Not a pale imitation of that show.
    I wish the fans of Firefly the best of Luck but I think the odds are very long on this one.

  24. well it comes down to support and if the fans of the show that Fox buried due to their own internal network politics were able to get a little known and little watched series made into a motion picture, then anything is possible… If you don’t think these Firefly folks are fanatical enough, then think again, plus, hearing so many folks just being asked about it that were formerly involved in the show being willing to come on board at the mere mention of it tells you something about the nature of the series and its effect on the performers and the fans.

    No one has to touch the movie…what they do is simply pick up the series from where the series left off and use the movie as an end point to get to. I believe that Whedon envisioned this as being at least a three to four year process that would end up in a Serenity kind of threshold. I’d be happy to go along for the ride and watch them get there. If they wanted to do more after that, that’s entirely up to whoever but I would have loved to have seen the story play out as it was intended.

  25. If they managed to somehow get this done ,and its not going to be as easy it sounds ,
    I would hope that there is an an arc that introduces the characters
    A storyline that is “User Friendly” for old and new fans alike.
    Joss did that with the movie.
    Hopefully something like that could be done with this potential relaunch.

    • How do you mean introduce the characters? If you watch the show the right way through, the way the writers meant you to see it and not the out of order way Fox aired it, you do meet the characters. They don’t all get their own personal episodes detailing why they are the most badass or anything like that, but that’s never what the show was about. If you just want to know how they all hooked up the episode Out of Gas does that in Mal’s memories as he lies dying trying to repair Serenity.

  26. Natan,Joss:

    We love you and FIREFLY.
    You guys LOVE FIREFLY and $$$$$$$.
    We’d LOVE – MARKETING and more FIREFLY.
    Big Screen OR Small Screen .
    Do something RIGHT, OK ?

  27. I’d kick in.

  28. I don’t like the Idea of putting an actor on the spot for making a statement. I would not want to throw him a ball he never intended to carry. He is put in an uncomfortable position. Fox probably canceled because it had too much Humanism for gilded age political system. The only thing you can do is to spread the word, buy the DVDs as gifts tell your friends how good it is. When the DVD sales hit a certain number Corporate Greed might decide to throw in a line who knows. Fox might just not care about Fans on this no matter the demand. They are more interested in selling propaganda crap like Shield or the like. Take a look at Godzilla – 75% military worshiping propaganda. This is all the news fit to print for a bewildered herd public.