Netflix has been known to bring a deceased TV show back from the dead a time or two over the years. Because of this geeks everywhere, myself very much included, have wondered why they haven’t resurrected one of the most obvious dead series: the criminally canceled Firefly, which wasn’t given long enough to find its audience in a time well before DVRs and on demand and mobile viewing, when the TV viewer numbers were all that mattered. Netflix has touched on why it’s not a show they feel (or felt, a few years back anyway) is right for them, but nothing more has been said of it.
Some of Firefly‘s actual cast members wonder the very same things we fans do about the show, as well. A mini cast reunion with Nathan Fillion, Jewel Staite, Adam Baldwin, Sean Maher, and Summer Glau went down recently at which they discussed Netflix, a scene we never got to see, and more.
See what they had to say below.
The group gathered at Long Beach Comic-Con for a panel moderated by Heat Vision’s Aaron Couch. Among the highlights of the panel, the cast was asked if they thought creator Joss Whedon would ever actually come back to Firefly if the opportunity arose, given the size of the movies he’s made since.
This led to a conversation on the topic which included a response, Fillion making a surprising case for not reviving the series (not that he wouldn’t return in a heartbeat like the rest of them, I’m sure—but that having just that one great season and movie isn’t the worst thing in the world), and Staite declaring she and Maher want more and wonder why Netflix hasn’t made it happen.
Here’s the full exchange, starting with a response to the Whedon question:
Adam Baldwin: It’s up to Joss. That’s up to Joss.
Jewel Staite: Is it? … I don’t want to put it all on Joss.
Baldwin: It’s on Fox.
Nathan Fillion: I totally get wanting more. I hear it all the time. “Is there going to be more? When is it? Could there be? What if there was?” And I get it. At the same time, we all had what I would call my dream job. It was the perfect position. Everything was great. Even the challenges we faced, we faced them together. We were all in it together and we were all pulling for the same thing, to make a great show. And I loved every minute of it. It’s really hard to look at that kind of stuff and say “Give me more.” Because enough is enough. Oh my god. It was everything. It was everything. How can everything not be enough?
Staite: Sean and I want more. Last night we had dinner and we were in an Uber and we were not talking about Firefly in any way…. You were on your phone and texting away and, I [said] something about Netflix…. And Sean said this, very absentmindedly, “I can’t believe they haven’t picked us up.”
Also mentioned was a scene that would have opened an episode that we never got to see, as shared by Fillion:
Fillion: Joss once described an opening scene to me where we are looking at a planet with a ring around it and as we come in close, we see the ring is actually rocks and pieces of ships and old derelicts. It’s a junk ring. It’s the junkyards — we mentioned it in Firefly one time. We see little bits and we’re jumping slowly from bit to bit and as we get closer we see Serenity floating lifeless and these little people getting on and coming through it. And as they get into the airlock and they close it, they come and there’s Malcolm Reynolds, bleeding and cut, strapped down with giant guns and not looking great. He’s got these two giant guns, and he says, “Get off my ship.”
The cast was also asked about what it was like to find out they were canceled. You can see what they had to say about that over at Heat Vision if interested.
I’ve said it before and will say it again: I’ve personally always thought the best way to bring Firefly back would be to first wait until everyone’s schedules open up, then get the gang together for a “straight to video” (or straight to streaming) movie. Maybe do a couple of them over the course of a couple of years similar to what Futurama did before its revival. Given when and where the show is set this might be too costly—Serenity wasn’t cheap at $39 million—but I don’t doubt they could make due with less.
Alternatively, they could do a trio of movie-length episodes like Sherlock does, or a limited series like we’ve seen with 24 and The X-Files with a six to 12 episode new standalone season. If successful, they can do one of those every once in a while when the group has time. I’d be perfectly happy with this. And c’mon now, Netflix is willing to drop $6 billion on content in one year. I hardly think it would be much of a problem to figure something out.
But that’s all just wishful thinking. So we continue to sit here, quietly waiting for Netflix to do something that they’ll probably never do. Because what the hell else are we going to do, watch season 37 of Grey’s Anatomy? Never!