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[05/05/05 - 12:00 AM]
Joss Whedon to Bridge His TV Series Firefly and His Upcoming Universal Pictures Feature Film Serenity with a Three-Issue Comic Book Miniseries for Dark Horse

[via press release from Universal Studios Consumer Products Group]

JOSS WHEDON TO BRIDGE HIS TV SERIES FIREFLY AND HIS UPCOMING UNIVERSAL PICTURES FEATURE FILM SERENITY WITH A THREE-ISSUE COMIC BOOK MINISERIES FOR DARK HORSE

MILWAUKEE, Or. -- May 2, 2005 -- This fall Oscar� and Emmy-nominated writer/director Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel) makes his big-screen directorial debut with Universal Pictures' Serenity, the futuristic action-adventure feature film follow-up to his cult-hit TV show Firefly. Firefly told the tale of a ship full of mercenaries, outlaws, fugitives, and one law-abiding prostitute running across the fringes of space. The Serenity film continues the story, and Dark Horse is proud to present a three-issue comic book miniseries that takes place between the TV show and feature film. Universal Pictures' Serenity is scheduled for release in the U.S. on September 30th, 2005 and in the UK on November 4th, 2005.

"Working with Joss is always fun and a privilege, and especially so when it's Serenity," commented co-writer Brett Matthews. " I love the characters and the world so much, how distinct and consistent the vision is and always has been. That sometimes to just keep going is enough, that there's meaning in the struggle even if you don't know exactly what that meaning is -- that speaks to me, and you get it in Serenity in a way that's dusty and real and organic, not forced. It just fits. It all just means a hell of a lot to me."

The plot of the comic book series centers on the crew members of the ship known as Serenity, who once again find themselves broke and on the wrong side of a number of very large firearms when a heist goes awry, and some old enemies catch their scent. After facing one failure after another, Malcolm Reynolds becomes the target of a conspiracy between government and mercenary forces, and a tense and divided crew must try to unite behind their compromised leader. Mixing intense Whedon-style dialogue with cinematic action and violence, artist Will Conrad and colorist Laura Martin paint a rough and wild world of adventure across a dangerous universe.

Serenity is a three-issue comic book miniseries written by Joss Whedon and Brett Matthews with art by Will Conrad and Laura Martin. Each issue of the series will feature three different covers one for each member of the Serenity crew, drawn by the biggest names in comics. Issue #1 features "Mal" by John Cassaday, "Inara" by J. G. Jones, and "Jayne" by Bryan Hitch. Subsequent covers come from such artists as Joe Quesada, Josh Middleton, and Jo Chen. Serenity #1 arrives on sale July 6 with a retail price of $2.99.

About Serenity
Joss Whedon- the Oscar�- and Emmy-nominated writer/director responsible for the worldwide television phenomena of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel-now applies his trademark compassion and wit to a small band of galactic outcasts 500 years in the future in his feature film directorial debut, Serenity.

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 Life Aquatic) producing and Chris Buchanan 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 Zo� 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.

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.

This film has not yet been rated. Please consult www.filmratings.com or www.parentalguide.org for more information.

About Universal Studios Consumer Products Group
Universal Studios Consumer Products Group is responsible for global licensing and retail strategies as well as building brand recognition of the extensive catalogue of NBC Universal properties. Universal Studios Consumer Products Group is a unit of NBC Universal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. Formed in May 2004 through the combining of NBC and Vivendi Universal Entertainment, NBC Universal owns and operates the No. 1 television network, the fastest-growing Spanish-language network, a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. NBC Universal is 80%-owned by General Electric, with 20% controlled by Vivendi Universal.

About Dark Horse Comics Inc.
Dark Horse Comics is a solid example of how integrity and innovation can establish a small, homegrown company as an industry giant. In addition to publishing comics from top talent like Frank Miller, Mike Mignola, Stan Sakai, Sergio Aragon�s, Neil Gaiman and comics legend Will Eisner, Dark Horse is also recognized as the world leading publisher of licensed comics. Their highly successful line of comics based on popular properties includes Star Wars, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Aliens, Conan and most recently, The Incredibles. Today Dark Horse Comics is the third largest comic-book publisher in the U.S.





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





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