or


[03/03/04 - 12:00 AM]
'Firefly' Gets Its Feature Wings
By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- Universal Pictures has greenlighted "Serenity," a feature film based on the short-lived FOX series "Firefly." The studio snagged the feature rights to "Firefly" from 20th Century Fox Television back in September (read the story).

Production on the project, budgeted in the mid-eight figures, is set to begin in June for a 2005 release date. Joss Whedon, the show's creator and executive producer, is on board to write and direct the project, which will see all nine original cast members - Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Morena Baccarin, Jewel Staite, Adam Baldwin, Sean Maher, Summer Glau, Ron Glass and Alan Tudyk - reprising their roles.

Whedon told Daily Variety the title shift is designed to give the franchise some distance from the TV version. "It was important that people understand that the movie isn't the series," he said. "The movie is bigger, more epic than anything you can do in a series." He also added he went out of his way to make sure the script was accessible to audiences who never tuned into "Firefly." "You're not going to bring people into a movie if you're explaining all the time what happened before," Whedon added.

Details about "Serenity" weren't released however Whedon specified the feature is set about six months after the TV show left off.

Barry Mendel ("Unbreakable," "The Sixth Sense"), Alissa Tager and Mutant Enemy's Chris Buchanan are executive producing the project in addition to Whedon.

Also for those interested, Universal had issued a press release touting the news:

GROUNDBREAKING WRITER/DIRECTOR JOSS WHEDON MAKES HIS FEATURE DIRECTORIAL DEBUT FOR UNIVERSAL PICTURES

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif., March 3 -- Joss Whedon -- the Oscar(R) -- and Emmy-nominated writer/director responsible for the worldwide television phenomena of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Angel" -- is set to make his feature film directorial debut with the futuristic action-adventure "Serenity," it was announced today by Mary Parent and Scott Stuber, vice chairmen, production, Universal Pictures.

Based on Whedon's cult hit television series "Firefly" (which has taken on a second life following its December 9, 2003, DVD release, winning new fans and critical praise worldwide), "Serenity" will continue and expand upon the adventures of the memorable characters launched in the series, who will be joined by new characters created expressly for the motion picture adaptation. Whedon will act as both screenwriter and director, with Barry Mendel ("The Sixth Sense," "Unbreakable" and the upcoming Wes Anderson film, "The Life Aquatic") producing and Chris Buchanan (president of Whedon's Mutant Enemy production company) and Alisa Tager (of Barry Mendel Productions) serving as executive producers. The "Serenity" cast will include such returning "Firefly" cast members as Nathan Fillion as Captain Malcolm 'Mal' Reynolds, Gina Torres as Zoe Warren, Morena Baccarin as Inara Serra, Jewel Staite as Kaylee Frye, Adam Baldwin as Jayne Cobb, Sean Maher as Dr. Simon Tam and Summer Glau as River Tam.

"We have wanted to be in business with Joss Whedon for a long time and we're incredibly excited to be working with him on his feature film directorial debut," stated Parent and Stuber. "Joss is a true creator, whose talent crosses all mediums. His mythic worlds are inhabited with rich, detailed and very human characters. 'Serenity' will provide him with a great opportunity to paint another larger-than-life canvas with very identifiable, real characters at the heart of the story."

Whedon -- whose compelling use of character, place and dramatic development helped "Buffy" and "Angel" to break down genre walls and cross over into global hit mainstream territory -- now applies his trademark compassion and wit to a small band of galactic outcasts 500 years in the future. The film centers around Captain Malcolm Reynolds, a hardened veteran (on the losing side) of a galactic civil war, who now ekes out a living pulling off small crimes and transport-for-hire aboard his ship, "Serenity." He leads a small, eclectic crew who are the closest thing he has left to family -- squabbling, insubordinate and undyingly loyal.

When Mal takes on two new passengers -- a young doctor and his unstable, telepathic sister -- he gets much more than he bargained for. The pair are fugitives from the coalition dominating the universe, who will stop at nothing to reclaim the girl. The crew that was once used to skimming the outskirts of the galaxy unnoticed find themselves caught between the unstoppable military force of the Universal Alliance and the horrific, cannibalistic fury of the Reavers, savages who roam the very edge of space. Hunted by vastly different enemies, they begin to discover that the greatest danger to them may be on board "Serenity" herself.

In addition to creating the series "Firefly," "Angel" and "Buffy" (as well as serving as executive producer on all three while writing and directing multiple episodes), Whedon's feature film screenwriting credits include the original motion picture "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Toy Story" (for which he received an Academy Award(R) nomination) and "Alien: Resurrection." Whedon also composed the music and wrote the lyrics for the self-directed "Buffy" episode "Buffy, The Musical," and the CD of the original songs from that landmark episode has sold more than 400,000 units. Whedon was nominated for the Emmy for outstanding writing on the "Buffy" episode entitled "Hush." "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" is the second highest-selling television series on DVD.





  [march 2004]  
S
M
T
W
T
F
S
 


· ANGEL (WB)
· BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER (UPN)
· FIREFLY (FOX)





[12/15/17 - 10:57 AM]
Performers and Co-Host Announced for "FOX's New Year's Eve with Steve Harvey: Live from Times Square," Airing Sunday, Dec. 31 on FOX!
The celebration will air live from iconic Times Square in New York with an epic countdown to 2018, featuring views of the Times Square Ball as it drops to ring in the New Year.

[12/15/17 - 10:54 AM]
"Titans" Releases First Image of Hawk & Dove
The Hawk and Dove suits were designed by renowned costume designer Laura Jean Shannon.

[12/15/17 - 09:03 AM]
Video: Showtime(R) Releases New Drama "The Chi" for Early Sampling
The pay channel is releasing the pilot today, ahead of its on-air debut Sunday, January 7 at 10:00/9:00c.

[12/15/17 - 09:02 AM]
ABC Sets "Once Upon a Time" Premiere Date Following Winter Break
Following tonight's fall finale, look for new episodes beginning Friday, March 2.

[12/15/17 - 08:35 AM]
Thursday's Broadcast Ratings: NBC, "Thursday Night Football" Keep Demo Crown
The Peacock tops the night among adults 18-49 while CBS is the most-watched broadcaster.

[12/15/17 - 07:12 AM]
Go Behind the Scenes of Sean "Diddy" Combs' Bad Boy Entertainment on the Two-Hour Special "Apple Music's Can't Stop Won't Stop: A Bad Boy Story," Thursday, December 28, on FOX
Originally released on iTunes earlier this year, the film explores the passion and personalities behind Bad Boy Entertainment.

[12/15/17 - 06:30 AM]
CBS Announces "Elton John: I'm Still Standing - A Grammy(R) Salute" Concert
The special will be broadcast later in 2018 on the CBS Television Network.

[12/15/17 - 05:36 AM]
"Roseanne" Returns to ABC with All-New Episodes in a Special Hour-Long Premiere, Tuesday, March 27
"Roseanne" will air in its regular time slot, 8:00-8:30 p.m., beginning Tuesday, April 3, followed by "The Middle," which will move to 8:30 p.m.

[12/14/17 - 01:11 PM]
Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment Announce "DC in D.C."
Events will take place Friday, January 12, and Saturday, January 13, at the Newseum, and will culminate with the world premiere screening of the upcoming DC series "Black Lightning."

[12/14/17 - 12:57 PM]
Nat Geo WILD Celebrates the Pol-Idays with "The 12 Days of Dr. Pol" Marathon
The marathon continues through the new season, which premieres Saturday, January 6 at 9:00/8:00c.

[12/14/17 - 12:30 PM]
Nickelodeon's New Original Animated Series, "The Adventures of Kid Danger," to Debut Friday, Jan. 19, at 6:30 P.M. (ET/PT)
The original "Henry Danger" live-action cast will continue their roles, now as voice talent, on the brand-new animated series.

[12/14/17 - 11:43 AM]
TLC Welcomes New Series "Seeking Sister Wife" and Fan Favorite "Sister Wives" Returns
The newcomer follows three families - the Alldredges, the Brineys and the Snowdens - all of whom are in various phases of seeking, dating or transitioning a new sister wife into their lives.

[12/14/17 - 11:31 AM]
Discovery Takes to the Gritty Streets of Memphis in the All New Series "Street Outlaws: Memphis"
The all new series debuts Monday, January 15 at 10:00/9:00c on Discovery.

[12/14/17 - 11:29 AM]
Food Network Renews "Best Baker in America"
The new season of seven episodes will go into production in early 2018 and is slated for a spring launch.

[12/14/17 - 11:00 AM]
History's "Pawn Stars" Celebrates 500th Episode with Back-to-Back Episodes Premieres Monday, January 22 at 10PM ET/PT on History
In the 500th episode, Rick Harrison celebrates by spending some capital in our nation's capital.