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From News.com.au


Firefly - "Serenity" Movie - News.com.au Article

By Justine Parker

Tuesday 13 September 2005, by Webmaster

Serenity cast

Hunted ... the cast of Serenity.

BUFFY the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon is back with another tale of a butt-kicking babe battling gory ghouls and inner demons - but this time his legion of fans can take some of the credit, and he’s only too happy for it to stay that way. He jetted into Sydney on the weekend and one of the first things he did on arrival was to invite fans to join him for a few beers.

Whedon’s futuristic action-adventure film Serenity marks his big screen directorial debut after creating the TV mega-hits Buffy and spin-off Angel.

But Serenity was only made when another series, Firefly, was axed after only 11 episodes.

Distraught fans launched a massive online campaign to resurrect the show and its cult status was confirmed with record DVD sales.

The buzz was enough to make film studio executives sit up and take notice - and throw the series a big-screen lifeline.

Advertisement: And Whedon’s the first to embrace these loyal followers.

"They’ve proven themselves to be an extraordinary bunch of people," he said.

"They are a real community in the old sense of the word, and that’s something that’s very exciting."

The film, set 500 years from now, follows the crew of the transport ship Serenity.

They find themselves hunted by a military alliance and cannibals known as Reavers when they agree to shelter a pair of fugitives including the butt-kicking, telepathic River Tam, who is being chased by the alliance.

The Oscar-nominated writer/director is no stranger to cinema, with a long career as a Hollywood "script doctor" called on by film producers to sex-up sleepy scripts.

His previous work includes films such as Speed, Alien: Resurrection and Toy Story .

But adapting his TV series for the big screen was the toughest challenge of Whedon’s career.

"The challenge is really the difference between TV and movies, where (on) TV you have a great deal of time to examine things and let them unfold - unless you’re on Fox - and with movies you really have to hit them in the jugular every single time," he said.

And then there’s the challenge of pleasing the fans, who played such a crucial part in backing the film.

"I’m literally serving two masters and they are exact opposites," he said.

"I have to do something that doesn’t contradict or repeat what I’ve done on the series, I have to make something that honours the fans - who had so much to do with the thing getting off the ground in the first place - at the same time I absolutely have to ignore their existence."

Those fans are already anticipating Whedon’s next feisty female flick - he’s signed on to write and direct Wonder Woman.

And the local contingent may have another chance to join their hero for a beer, with word the superhero remake will be filmed in Australia.

"It’s very possible ... it could well happen," he said.

Serenity opens in cinemas nationwide on September 29.