A new report by Giant Freakin Robot revealed that a Firefly reboot is in early development at Disney’s streaming service.
As is the case with most reboots, the new show will reportedly retell the story of Captain Mal Reynolds and his crew aboard the Serenity from scratch, with the intention of making it a long-running Disney+ series. However, there’s a little twist to it. Unlike the original PG-13 Firefly series, the reboot is going to be a PG-rated adventure to conform to the streamer’s generally family-friendly programming slate.
The change in tone means that the reboot may not include some original characters like Inara Serra, who is basically a sex worker. While a lot of fans prefer an adult-oriented Firefly reboot over a family-friendly one, Disney ― which obtained the rights to the series in their acquisition of Fox back in 2019 ― probably thinks that it can generate more revenue from the franchise if it’s something that the whole family can enjoy.
It’s not clear if Firefly creator Joss Whedon is involved in the reboot. But since he was recently accused of “abusive, unprofessional” behavior on the set of 2017’s Justice League by Cyborg actor Ray Fisher, it won’t be surprising if Disney opts not to hire him for the project.
The original Firefly series
Starring Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk, Morena Baccarin, Adam Baldwin, Jewel Staite, Sean Maher, Summer Glau, and Ron Glass, the original Firefly series premiered in September 2002 on Fox and was canceled after 11 of the 14 produced episodes were aired. Despite its short life span, the series has gained a cult following after its successful DVD release.
The post-airing success of the show led Whedon and Universal Pictures to produce Serenity, a 2005 film which wraps up some of the series’ plots. Though the movie didn’t become the box-office juggernaut that fans thought it deserved to be, the franchise had continued to expand to other media, including comics and roleplaying games.
Talks about a potential Firefly reboot/revival
This past January, Firefly executive producer Tim Minear revealed to TheWrap that he and Whedon had been talking about reviving the series over the past decade. “We have talked about different permutations and how that might work,” shared Minear. “Do you take two of the characters and put them in a different place and sort of retell a new story with two old characters, with new characters?”
While that idea might work, Minear said that they’re not going to get all the main cast members back unless the revival will be set up as “a limited series, like they [Fox] did for The X-Files.” “I would love to see, like, an eight- or 10-episode limited adventure in that universe,” Minear said.
At the Television Critics Association (TCA) winter press tour also in January, Fox Entertainment president Michael Thorn said that the network wasn’t really against the prospect of reviving Firefly.
“The macro answer is, any time we look at one of our classic titles, if there’s a way to reinvent it for today so it’s as resonant now as the original was, and is, to the fans, we’re wide open,” Thorn told TheWrap at TCA.
He continued: “I loved Firefly, personally, and I watched every episode. I didn’t work on it, but I loved the show. It (talks of revival) had come up before, but we had The Orville on the air and it didn’t make sense for us to have, as a broadcast network who is very targeted, to have two space franchises on our air.”