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Firefly - ’Serenity’ Movie - Indystar.com Screening Report

By Bonnie Britton

Sunday 26 June 2005, by Webmaster

Sci-fi sneak preview is a hit

Ron Glass, who was in ’Firefly’ series and is in movie based on it, attends ’Serenity.’

Fans of the 2002-03 Fox TV sci-fi series "Firefly" got an out-of-this-world treat Thursday night at UA Galaxy Stadium 14 when actor Ron Glass showed up at a sold-out 10 p.m. preview of "Serenity," a feature-length sci-fi movie based on the series.

The series follows several characters aboard a space transport ship, Serenity, 500 years in the future.

Glass, an Evansville native well-known for his role as Detective Ron Harris on the TV cop sitcom "Barney Miller," played Shepherd Book on the series and in the film, a mysterious "man of the cloth." He stayed for the film and participated in a question-and-answer session afterward.

Although canceled after just 11 episodes, the series spawned a fiercely loyal following of fans who call themselves Browncoats.

A spring release of "Serenity" had been planned, but the opening date was moved from April 22 to Sept. 30. To placate fans, Universal Pictures has held three rounds of sneak previews of the "work-in-progress" film. Ten cities in the country had sold-out sneaks Thursday night, with some fans showing up in costume and singing songs related to the show.

Many lingered to discuss the film, directed and written by Joss Whedon, who created "Firefly" as well as "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Angel."

On Friday, Cathy Kline, 46, who attended the screening at 8105 E. 96th St., said by telephone that "Firefly" offers a lot of surprises and "breaks a lot of traditional conventions as far as storytelling." The intensity of "Serenity," she said, is like living the movie.

For a work in progress, "it told a good story."

William Smith, 32, was pleasantly surprised by what he saw. "It’s like a Western, like history repeating itself."

Ron Freeze, 41, said, "We’ve been anticipating this ever since we’d heard Universal picked up the film. Joss Whedon writes more characters and situations than just flash-and-bang, like we’ve been getting from Lucasfilm. George (Lucas, ’Star Wars’) has gotten fallow."

Freeze was "severely impressed," knowing he’d seen a rough cut.