I think it is fair to say that if you ask any Sci-Fi fan what TV show was taken away from too soon…most would say Firefly!
It is regularly voted as one of the greatest sci-fi shows ever made even though it only got 14 episodes and cancelled by Fox 21 years ago. It is still one of the most loved shows ever made in the big black of space and personally I still watch the entire series and the movie at least once a year.
Disney has seriously considered rebooting the series several times but has not been able to figure out how to do it. There are a few road blocks in fact.
Firstly a show this loved is a difficult prospect and even if Disney nailed it there would still be doubters and haters. How could anything they do ever live up to expectations? In some ways it doesn’t really matter how good the show was it would struggle, at least at first, to please fans.
The second problem… Nathan Fillion. He is one of the most popular and busy actors in Hollywood and he has a full time gig at the moment on NBC with the Rookie. Could it be done without Nathan? Thankfully Disney decided no it could not and so plans for a reboot never really got passed the discussion stage.
Finally the biggest problem with a TV reboot? Joss Whedon himself. His production company, Mutant Enemy Productions, still owns aspects of the production rights and no new TV series can be made without their permission and the truth seems to be that Joss doesn’t want to make the series with Disney. Now there is also the slight issue that Joss Whedon is no the most popular man in Hollywood right now anyway and Disney were not keen on his involvement either but according to sources close to the production company Joss does not care either way because he has no intention of working with Mickey Mouse and friends. Now there are a few reasons for this I wont go into but let’s just say there are very personal reasons for Joss on this decision.
So why am I writing this article if Firefly cannot return? Because Disney don’t own the movie rights to Firefly… Universal does!
After Fox cancelled Firefly Universal saw the popularity of the DVD sales and decided to buy the movie rights. It was then Universal that brought us the Serenity movie, Not Fox that is now owned by Disney. Rights they still own.
Nathan Fillion has always been keen on a return to his character of Malcom Reynolds and through his contacts at NBC he, a little over a year ago, struck up a plan.
NBS in partnership with Universal would make a trilogy of movies for the Peacock network.
Now this was a pipedream in many respects. The show is 2 decades old and it was not 100% clear if the movie rights even included the options for a straight to streaming movie and even if it did, NBC still had to get Universal to agree to their idea. NBC and more importantly Nathan Fillion were not going to give up though and we can now exclusively report that serious negotiations between NBC and Universal have started and a script for the first Movie is about to be commissioned.
Nathan Fillion apparently already has several ideas about what the story should be for the trilogy. He sees Mal a broken man at the start of the first film, broken by the events of the Serenity Movie and the death of so many friends. He wants the return of Alan Tudyk, one of his closest friends in real life, to the character of Wash and does not see the fact that the character got skewered like a Shish Kebab at the end of Serenity as a major hurdle.
Nathan will of course be heavily involved in development and will come on as an Executive Producer if the project gets the go ahead.
The big question though… Will Joss Whedon be involved.
Well our sources say that Nathan Fillion has absolutely no concerns about working with Joss again and would do so in a heart beat. Apparently NBC do not have any concerns either but Universal are currently no so keen. Also according to the contract they have for Movie rights it is not so clear cut that his production company has to be involved. It is believed by Universal that they have a good legal standing for moving ahead without them if they choose to.
So it is not clear cut and there maybe a few hurdles still in the way of a return for the Firefly but nothing that cannot be overcome if Nathan Fillion keeps fighting and the fans are keen enough to demand it. The coming months should be interesting but for now all we can do is wait and hope that the show the crew the Enterprise would have flown straight past without even giving them a second look will get the chance to once again go and be bad guys!