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)





[05/02/16 - 09:19 AM]
Discovery Impact's "Sonic Sea" Looks at Ocean Noise Pollution - Premieres May 19
Narrated by Academy(R) Award-nominated actress Rachel McAdams, the film features interviews with marine ecologists, ocean life experts, and wildlife activists, including Grammy Award-winning musician, human rights and environmental activist Sting.

[05/02/16 - 09:06 AM]
Britney Spears to Receive Millennium Award and Perform Medley of Greatest Hits at the "2016 Billboard Music Awards" on ABC
Spears joins previously announced performers Justin Bieber, DNCE, The Go-Go's, Shawn Mendes, P!nk and collaborations with Nick Jonas, Tove Lo and Demi Lovato.

[05/02/16 - 09:00 AM]
Cinemax Drama Series "Outcast" Debuts June 3
The series is created and executive produced by Robert Kirkman, and executive produced by showrunner Chris Black.

[05/02/16 - 08:57 AM]
Sunday's Broadcast Ratings: "Little Big Shots" Tops Demo Race for NBC
The Peacock and ABC share the night's adults 18-49 crown.

[05/02/16 - 08:28 AM]
HGTV Renews Mother/Daughter Home Reno Series "Good Bones"
The 12-episode second season is scheduled to premiere in January 2017.

[05/02/16 - 08:04 AM]
ESPN Selects Seven Big Ten College Football Games for 2016 Saturday Prime Time
The schedule features eight Big Ten teams, including three teams in the ESPN.com way too early preseason rankings: No. 3 Michigan, No. 10 Ohio State and No. 17 Iowa.

[05/02/16 - 07:48 AM]
Investigation Discovery Has Best April Ever in Prime Delivery & Continues Reign as Top Network for Women
Investigation Discovery spins the numbers for the month of April.

[05/01/16 - 12:42 PM]
ESPN Averages More Than Three Million Viewers for Three-Day 2016 NFL Draft Telecast
ESPN spins the numbers for its NFL Draft coverage to date.

[05/01/16 - 08:37 AM]
Saturday's Broadcast Ratings: NBC Tops Demos with NHL Playoffs
Coverage of Pittsburgh at Washington leads the night among adults 18-49.

[05/01/16 - 08:33 AM]
Penguins-Capitals Stanley Cup Playoff Hockey Leads Saturday in 18-49
NBC spins the numbers for Saturday, April 30.

[04/30/16 - 01:17 PM]
Friday's Broadcast Ratings: CBS Tops Viewers, Splits Demo Crown with ABC
"Blue Bloods" is the night's most-watched program while "Shark Tank" tops the charts among adults 18-49.

[04/30/16 - 08:38 AM]
ABC Is #1 on Friday in Adults 18-49 as "Shark Tank" Surges to a 10-Week High
ABC spins the numbers for Friday, April 29.

[04/30/16 - 08:31 AM]
"Dateline" Grows, "Grimm" & "Caught on Camera" Maintain 100% Week-to-Week
NBC spins the numbers for Friday, April 29.

[04/29/16 - 10:01 PM]
Winner Announced on "Hell's Kitchen"
The winner received a Head Chef position at BLT Steak at Bally's Las Vegas, a total prize value of $250,000.

[04/29/16 - 04:26 PM]
Discovery Channel Dominates April with More Top Ten Unscripted Cable Series with Men Than Any Other Network
Discovery spins the numbers for the month of April to date.