Who among us has never spent an evening drinking with friends contemplating how wonderful it might be if Firefly came back to television? Even if Joss Whedon has moved on to create other worlds, some of those involved with the series, in front and behind the camera, still think there’s some television life left in the franchise.
Entertainment Weekly thought they would pose that question to Firefly producer Tim Minear.
EW: So what are the chances of this ever happening?
Tim Minear: I would never foreclose the possibility. The fact that it was even a feature film after it spectacularly failed on Fox was a miracle. And of course it lives on in other forms. In terms of getting the band back together to make a new adventure, who knows? I would love it. It would be great. But first everybody has their respective projects that limits them from crossing over into other things. It’s just trying to coordinate everybody’s obligations so they could somehow participate.
EW: If it were to happen, what is the most likely form that it would take?
TM: I’m completely talking off the top of my head, but there’s a show that’s been on for the last couple years that’s reinvented the form in terms of the limited series. I’m trying to think of the name of that show — Oh yes! American Horror Story! It doesn’t have to be 13 episodes. Look how Sherlock does it.
EW: Oh, that is a good idea. They’re all the rage now that networks are into doing event TV.
TM: I think a limited series of some kind would work best. Something like that could also work if, say, 20th could partner with Netflix, or another distributor. It would have its home on Fox, of course [then a second window on streaming]. A limited series would do very well, I bet.
EW: Yes, the show has reportedly done really well in ancillary markets.
TM: The reason Firefly had any afterlife at all is because of that. Those ancillary markets only really started blooming in the decade after we went off the air. Five years after we went off the air is when people discovered us. If we made it five years earlier it might not have happened that way.
EW: I must ask if there has ever been any actual talk of bringing it back in recent years?
TM: No one has talked to me about it. Joss and I had discussed at some point some kind of spinoff, but that was maybe eight years ago.
EW: Why has the show had such a passionate afterlife of fans wanting it to return?
TM: That’s the kind of thing you really can’t answer. Sci-fi fans are a breed of their own, but it’s not just that fandom doesn’t want to see something go away. I think there was something about the material and those characters and the type of people who gravitate toward a show like Firefly.
EW: I think there was also a sense that the story was just getting started and had so much potential. Usually with high-concept shows you wonder soon after the pilot, “Is this really a series or just a long movie?” But Firefly felt like it really had a universe of stories to explore.
TM: I think that’s right. But to categorize it as a high concept show is very misleading. It’s a Western. It could not be more low concept. It’s really a post-war Western, it’s completely grounded … I would also say if you had one DVD to take with you to the deserted island, it should be Firefly.
Yes, it is all just conjecture, but what else is the Internet these days? What do you think about the possibilities? Would a limited format be the way to go? Would all the actors have to come back, or could some recasting be done?
The way Hollywood works these days, we’re sure to get some kind of rebooted series before that generation passes on. Hell, it could be next week the way they are recycling old franchises.