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Joss Whedon on Firefly the series and the movie

Tuesday 9 September 2003, by Webmaster

This is an excerpt from the new Joss Whedon interview in the October edition of the UK genre magazine SFX (conducted before the announcement of the movie in the Hollywood Reporter last week).


How disappointed were you when Firefly got cancelled?

"As disappointed as a human being can be. I poured my heart and soul into that show. I believed in it with every fibre of my being. I think it found itself as a show faster than anything I’ve ever done. I mean, that ensemble is as good as anybody I’ve ever worked with. I think I had dozens and dozens - if not hundreds - of stories I wanted to tell with those people.

"The moment we were cancelled I set about trying to find a new home for it, which I am still doing. At the moment I’m writing a screenplay about those characters, that I have some hope of getting made. And should that happen, then some of that pain will be alleviated".

Do you see it as a way of relaunching the series?

"No, I would think of it as a movie. You have to get into a different mode. If you’re seriously trying to get someone to invest in a film you can’t just say it’ll be a springboard for a series. That’s not enough. So it has to be completely self-contained. It has to exist without the series - the one that came before, or anything that might come afterwards."

Do the cast from the TV show come as part of the package?

"Oh yeah. The cast comes with the script".

With you as director?

"Yes I am signed on as director if it should go."

Where would you have liked to have taken the series? Without giving away what’s in the film...

"Part of what the film is about has to do with River, and that whole mystery, and that was going to be revealed over the course of the series. Um, but the places I wanted to take them were the dark, quiet places, where you have to make the really, really, hard decisions. Where you have to decide how many people you can save. If you can save anybody, how much of yourself you can give away. Every day’s a negotiation and sometimes it’s done with guns".

"And that’s what makes frontier life so fascinating. That’s what makes the show so interesting to me. Nothing is set. There’s no holodecks. There’s nothing safe about where they are, except they have each other."

Would you stand by your decision to have no sound effects in space in the movie version?

"Well the plan is silence. But, you know, if it becomes a big problem, and they say, ’By God...’ I’d say ’Okay’! You choose your battles. And if I get to put this cast up in on screen the way they deserve to be, then there are other things I can let go of".

2 Forum messages

  • > Joss Whedon on Firefly the series and the movie

    20 December 2003 12:46, by Lora Anderson
    I loved that series. I was sick when it went off the air. I seen it advertised on T.V. that you could buy the DVD some where, Does anyone know where?Firefly was the best. Someone didn’t know how to rate movies very well.
  • > Joss Whedon on Firefly the series and the movie

    14 January 2004 21:25, by Aaron
    I just bought the series on DVD and have to wonder who the supposed geniuses at FOX are to have canceled this show. Fourteen episodes in all, some of which were aired out of order and some of which were not even aired at all. The justifaction of not even giving a series a chance to find its fan base is a common trait among these TV executives, FOX in particular. Remember, this is the very network that canceled Harsh Realm after only three episodes. It’s a wonder any show has a chance on that network and it’s amazing how often a show, that isn’t a horrendous pop-culture sitcom or some sickingly redundant reality show, gets the boot. A word of advice to genuine creators of good shows. There are much more open minded networks who appreciate something new and who would no doubt give a new and different show a fighting chance. If you want to see first hand what I mean, watch Firefly. Such rich characters that could have become something great as well as a show that would have taken the viewer on a superb journey. I should know having watched Joss’ other shows. He has a natural born talent for making you feel for the characters. You watch Firefly and you’re there. You are a crew member of the Serenity. Joss, you are a great talent among peers who don’t get it. Here’s to hoping that your next series is given a fair and fighting chance.