You’ve got to hand it to Firefly fans, they sure don’t give up easy. I doubt there’s ever been a TV show cancellation that’s caused more outcry, and more unanimous fan support, than Joss Whedon’s criminally short lived sci-fi western. It was fan enthusiasm that allowed the show to come back as the feature film Serenity in 2005, though it didn’t generate enough box office returns to warrant a sequel or television revival. Since then, Whedon and co. have been asked countless times about the possibility of a comeback, and the answer seems to always be, “We’d love to, but it’s probably not gonna happen.”
Firefly producer Tim Minear (who’s currently producing American Horror Story on FX) recently spoke to Entertainment Weekly about his thoughts on the chances of the Serenity crew making a comeback:
“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. I’m completely talking off the top of my head, but there’s a show that’s been on for the last couple years that’s reinvented the form in terms of the limited series. I’m trying to think of the name of that show — Oh yes! American HorrorStory! It doesn’t have to be 13 episodes. Look how Sherlock does it.”
Now there’s an interesting possibility that no one seems to have talked about before. Sherlock has been a tremendous success for BBC, despite 3-episode seasons spread two years apart, thanks to widespread support from audiences and those making the show. It also falls into some of the pitfalls that a Firefly revival would face: its stars are simply too busy with other things to commit to doing the show full time.
Nathon Fillion is currently headlining Castle at ABC (which is now in its most-watched season), Joss Whedon is of course busy over at Marvel Studios, and the rest of the cast/crew have countless of other jobs and obligations tying up their schedules.
Now, with that said, it’s certainly not impossible to juggle busy schedules for a TV reunion. Just look at Arrested Development, which premiered its comeback season on Netflix last year and found a way to bring back all of the original cast members. That successful (and innovative) Netflix model is definitely something Minear has thought about:
“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. The reason Firefly had any afterlife at all is because of that. Those ancillary markets only really started blooming in the decade after we went off the air. Five years after we went off the air is when people discovered us. If we made it five years earlier it might not have happened that way.”
In a world where shows like Arrested Development and Veronica Mars came back thanks to overwhelming fan support and demand, it’s easy to see why Firefly couldn’t be far behind. So far, however, it just hasn’t been in the cards, and at this rate it may just be wishful thinking to expect it to ever happen. After all, the show was cancelled a decade ago, and Whedon himself recently said he’d rather focus on new ideas and projects than bring back old ones.
What do you think of a Firefly revival? Would you be interested in some kind of limited series? Or should fans just stop asking about it and move on? Sound off in the comments below!