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FireflyComic-Con: It’s Whedon’s show, but Fillion steals it
Saturday 23 July 2005, by Webmaster
Joss Whedon’s ability to draw a crowd grows each year at Comic-Con.
Two years ago he was up close and personal with folks in an enlarged lecture hall. In 2004 he and the cast of the upcoming Serenity feature film moved into the big leagues in the 4,200-seat Room 20.
This year, Universal put Whedon — best known as the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel — and the cast of Serenity in the 6,500-seat Hall H, which echoed with applause — some from a partial standing ovation — when Whedon walked on stage.
But despite the Whedon-worship that inspired some fans to wear tongue-in-cheek "Joss Whedon is my master now" T-shirts, hammy actor Nathan Fillion managed to steal the show, flaunting his Capt. Malcolm "Mal" Reynolds action figure as he strode on stage, holding the chairs for the film’s female stars as Whedon introduced them and leading the audience in slow, building applause.
Video crews with shoulder-mounted cameras transmitted the goings-on to giant screens for the benefit of those farther back in the giant hall and Fillion seized the opportunity for one close-up.
"And for those of you who haven’t seen the movie yet, I’ve got good news," Fillion said, pausing. "I’ve just saved a bunch of money on my car insurance."
During a question-and-answer session, when one fan suggested that Whedon cast Gina Torres — ZoŽ Warren on Firefly and in Serenity — as Wonder Woman in the upcoming feature film, Whedon replied that Torres and Morena Baccarin (Inara Serra in the Firefly universe) ought to fight for it.
Someone quipped that another cast member might want to try out for the role, so Fillion stood up and declared "All I’m going to say is this," before spinning on the stage like Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman changing into her outfit.
The cast thanked audience members — including those from various Browncoat clubs, named for the freedom fighters in the series — for their role in getting the show revived as a feature film.
"We wouldn’t be in the air without the fans," said Adam Baldwin (Jayne Cobb). "We wouldn’t be sitting here without you guys."
Cast members also thanked the fans for letting them reunite — "It was really one big episode and we got to fall in love again," Baldwin said — and thanked Fillion for his leadership on screen and off.
Fillion jokingly compared the cast’s relationship to a rock, a rock that could only be broken by time.
"You are my broken time-rock people," he said, looking across the stage.
Whedon good-humoredly intervened.
"We’d better move on to a question before Nathan keeps going," he said.
Thanked by a fan for keeping the series going as a movie (and a comic book, and a role-playing game), Whedon said he was inspired by the cast to keep the storyline alive.
"One of the reasons I couldn’t let these people go was not because they were good at playing these parts, but because I felt they were born to play these parts," Whedon concluded.