After 'Firefly' Cancellation, Whedon Seeks 'Serenity'By Michelle
September 28, 2005 - 6:34 PM
Joss Whedon, the writer and director of Serenity, said that he "wanted to make a movie that made me feel the way I did when I saw Star Wars or Star Trek" in bringing his cult series Firefly to the big screen.
Speaking to The Latino Review, Whedon - perhaps best known as the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer - said that nonetheless his point of inspiration was not any previous science fiction, but a book about the battles at Gettysburg. "Life back then...they didn’t have any Tivo, or internet, and everything you had you made yourself. And I wanted to translate that to the screen in this type of movie," he explained.
Reportedly devastated when FOX cancelled Firefly after only a few weeks, Whedon said, "I'm not the sort of guy that does a pilot just to do one. I fall in love with something and want to then carry it through. I want to be able to tell the story all the way to the end. If you get to tell the story the rewards are great, unless you get cancelled."
An Associated Press article (via the Kansas City Star) draws comparisons between Firefly's cult status and Star Trek, though the latter had a decade of syndication to build up a fan base whereas Firefly ran for just eleven episodes and came out on DVD only a couple of years ago. "'Star Trek' was such a phenomenon by the time they made it into a movie," said Whedon. "Fans love `Firefly,' but I still don't know how many fans there are, whereas `Star Trek' was already part of the vernacular."
Serenity is the name of the starship as well as the movie, though it is a small transport more akin to Han Solo's Millennium Falcon than the Enterprise. Star Adam Baldwin noted that the characters from the TV series were "real people...it's a look into the future that's not going to be a perfect utopian future. Joss was able to portray people with flaws, imperfect people, tyrannical people, people who can be both heroic and self-centered."
Variety gave the film a largely positive review, but noted that without a major marketing push, it may fail to reach wide audiences. "What makes 'Serenity' refreshing is its avoidance of CGI, which gives the pic a much more human dimension," stated reviewer Derek Elley.
He also noted "the evident chemistry between the cast" and "humor that doesn't rely simply on flip one-liners" but wondered whether the airy sets, dark, unappetizing colors and unenthralling score would satisfy audiences not already passionate about Firefly, which is not a necessary prequel. "Though the widescreen movie contains a reasonable amount of action sequences, it was clearly made with considerably less coin than tentpole studio fare, and still shows a TV-style aptitude for soundstage sequences," added the reviewer.