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)





[09/17/14 - 01:35 PM]
ABC Family's "100 Days Until Christmas" Campaign a Social Media Hit on Facebook
"Pretty Little Liars" continues to be dominate on Twitter, ranking as TV's #1 most-tweeted TV drama series of Summer 2014.

[09/17/14 - 01:35 PM]
The Viral Video Show That Started It All, "America's Funniest Home Videos," Celebrates 25th Anniversary with Maker Studios Content Partnership Anchored by Original Clip Show "ShayFV" Starring Shay Carl
The original content initiative extends an existing relationship between Vin Di Bona Productions and Maker Studios.

[09/17/14 - 01:34 PM]
Former President Bill Clinton to Appear on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" Thursday, September 18 at 11 p.m. ET/PT
President Clinton will preside over the 10th Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting, which takes place next week (September 21-24) in New York City.

[09/17/14 - 01:33 PM]
A+E Networks(R) Hits 22 Million Downloads with TV Everywhere Apps
The free, ad-supported TV Everywhere apps offer fans access to full episodes, movies and exclusive clips of their favorite A+E Networks HD programming.

[09/17/14 - 12:44 PM]
TBS to Celebrate 20 Years of "Friends" with 20-Episode Marathon on Sept. 22
"We're thrilled to be celebrating Friends' 20th anniversary by giving fans the chance to choose their favorite episodes for TBS's 20-episode marathon," said Phil Oppenheim.

[09/17/14 - 12:38 PM]
SundanceTV Celebrates Academy(R) Award Winner Danny Boyle
In honor of his upcoming series "Babylon," SundanceTV is featuring an evening-long celebration of the renowned director, including the original long form episode that inspired the series of the same name.

[09/17/14 - 12:24 PM]
HGTV's "Love It or List It" Begins Production in Raleigh-Durham
Producers at Big Coat Productions are actively seeking potential homeowners who are torn between renovating their existing home and relocating to a new residence.

[09/17/14 - 12:16 PM]
TV Land Hosts a Two-Day Marathon for the 30th Anniversary of "The Cosby Show"
The marathon begins Saturday, September 20 at 2pm with fan favorite episode, "How Ugly Is He?"

[09/17/14 - 12:15 PM]
FX Networks Announces 2014 New York Comic Con Schedule
"The Americans," "Archer" and "The League" are the among the network's shows being featured.

[09/17/14 - 12:01 PM]
Sit Back, Relax and Enjoy Television's Most Buzzworthy Moments as Bravo Media's "The People's Couch" Returns Tuesday, October 7 at 10PM ET/PT
This documentary series turns the cameras around on everyone's favorite couchers as they share their sentiments - whether good, bad or ugly - on this Fall's buzziest and most talked about "water cooler" series.

[09/17/14 - 11:59 AM]
"The 50 Year Argument," An Inside Look at the New York Review of Books, Debuts Sept. 29, Exclusively on HBO; Martin Scorsese and David Tedeschi Direct
The film marks Scorsese's third documentary to be presented on HBO, and Tedeschi's first co-directing project with Scorsese.

[09/17/14 - 11:14 AM]
Oxygen Media Goes Mad for New Series "My Crazy Love" Premiering Tuesday, October 28 at 10PM ET/PT
Each week, real people share their personal stories about a time in their life when the intoxication of love led them to extreme behavior and embarrassing acts.

[09/17/14 - 11:13 AM]
Discovery Channel and BBC Track One of the World's Rarest Animals in "Last Tiger Standing"
The one-hour special premieres Thursday, September 25 at 10:00/9:00c on the network.

[09/17/14 - 10:52 AM]
Time to Set the DVR: A Guide to CMT's Fall Lineup
Among the newly announced dates are the return of "Redneck Island" and two one-hour specials from "Party Down South."

[09/17/14 - 10:29 AM]
PBS to Present "America After Ferguson" Friday, September 26, 2014, 8-9 p.m. ET
The special will be taped before an audience on Sunday, September 21, at the Touhill Performing Arts Center on the campus of the University of Missouri-St. Louis.