NYCC: ‘Firefly’ Cast Members Discuss Possibility of Second Season

'Firefly' Cast Reunites for New York
Courtesy of Fox

In the 13 years since its cancellation, “Firefly” hasn’t just stayed alive — it’s thrived.

New York Comic-Con was proof. Three thousand adults and one infant “Browncoat” — a fond nickname for “Firefly” fanatics —  packed a ballroom at New York’s Javits Center on Saturday to remember a show that many say died far too early.

Alum Nathan Fillion (Captain Mal Reynolds), Alan Tudyk (Hoban Washburne), Gina Torres (Zoë Washburne) and Jewel Staite (Kaylee Frye) discussed the cult classic and gave hungry Browncoats the opportunity to ask their heroes questions.

Set 500 years into the future during a global civil war, “Firefly” charted the whereabouts of spaceship Serenity and its nine crew members in the year 2517. It blossomed into a cult phenomenon after its 2002 premiere.

Fox cancelled the show after 11 episodes largely because of low ratings, though the way in which “Firefly” aired — on an irregular schedule and with episodes often released out of chronology — has also been blamed.

But when asked what they took away from the short-lived skein, Staite said, “I learned that if the network tells you that no one is watching the show, sometimes they are wrong.”

The former cast members agreed that they would be game to star in a second season if it was offered.

“Full-time, please,” Fillion said.

“Otherwise they would cast new people,” Staite said.

“And nobody wants that,” Torres added to thunderous applause

As for their favorite memories from the show, Fillion quipped, “It’s been a long time since ‘Firefly.’ My memory is fading. We have been going to conventions since 2003.”

Tudyk spoke about the cast’s ability to speak both English and Chinese for the series.

“We had these things called cassette tapes,” thesp said. “Remember them? They helped us with the Chinese.”

“I have a confession to make,” Staite interrupted. “I never listened to the tapes. I just winged it. All of my Chinese was ADR’d later on. They couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t getting it.”

Despite the show’s quick demise, Staite said the show helped her career.

“I’ve gotten offered really cool jobs because of ‘Firefly,’” thesp said. “Specifically, ‘Stargate: Atlantis.’ And that’s because the producers liked ‘Firefly.’”

Torres admitted that the show didn’t exactly “propel my career forward, but it’s close to my heart.” Thesp went on to explain that the former role has influence her current role on “Suits.”

“Jessica (Pearson) is just Zoe in really high heels,” Torres said. “Jessica is also a badass. She has to keep these stupid boys in line.”

Fillion cracked, “I don’t think people look at your resume and say, ‘Look! He was on a failed television show, but it’s cultish.’”

When a fan asked whether the cast took any mementos from the “destroyed” set of the 2005 film “Serenity,” Staite called Fillion out.

“The set was not destroyed, it was dismantled,” thesp laughed. “I saw a man taking things of the wall and that was Nathan. He had no shame just ripping things off the wall. I should have done it too, but I’ve been in the business since I was 5 and the first thing I learned was you don’t do that.”

Before saying goodbye, a very pregnant Staite gave a very excited fan a T-shirt, a photo and a hug.

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  1. ChuckB says:

    I wouldn’t mind a hug from ANY of the FireFly Ladies. Or, by preference EVERY FireFly Lady.

  2. Trina Ro says:

    Best panel of the con! They were so funny! Best question was “Han Solo and Captain Mal walk into a bar. Who walks out?
    Nathan’s fast response … “Everyone else!”

  3. T-bone says:

    The article keeps referring to “thesp.” Who is “thesp?”

    • Addie the Pretentious Journa says:

      Pretty sure it’s “thespian” (word for actor) shortened and they’re using it in place of any name or pronoun. It’s super pretentious and obnoxious. They also skipped putting “the” in front of it which is extra pretentious and stupid. Dear Variety, this is not a “thing” and I wish you would slap the douchebag who wrote it upside the head. Author Addie- you’re an idiot. If someone interviewed you, would you enjoy it being written as, “I asked Addie what she thought. Journa responded___.” Moron.

  4. kukhem says:

    If they do make more sodes, (which I’m REALLY REALLY HOPING they DO), It Better be set in between the show and the movie. Wash NEEDS to be in there. Besides that, there’s a LOT of room in between to do a few more seasons. BEST show EVER!!!

  5. barb fenick says:

    oh yeah would die for more episodes. loved it so much.

  6. It was actual a rebellion against Galaxy wide corporate imperials, but hey a war is a war… Joss you should bring back the show. You have the money now. And I’m available to write episodes. :-)

  7. Thinking Allowed says:

    “Set 500 years into the future during a global civil war…” clearly the writer hasn’t even seen the show.

  8. nerdrage says:

    Mmm, the odds that they can get the whole cast back for any extended period of time are not good, especially Fillion, Baldwin and Baccarin, whose careers have thrived…it would be like Heroes Reborn, with everyone except the folks who made it, and who the hell wants that?

  9. I hope Firefy is coming back with all of the original cast members that would be totally awesome @BarbaraAnnWitte

  10. Chris Pearce says:

    I think a reboot would fall on its face without the original cast. They could maybe replace the doctor or some of the minor rolls, but can you imagine anyone else in the captains role or as Jayne? or Anara? It just wouldn’t work without the majority of the same cast.

  11. Andree Maurais says:


    I do not want to burst his bubble, but after 8 years of Castle he would not be credible, ihe is too identified with his character. Everybody would see Richard Castle. I think it would be better to grieve Firefly. Fillion is just looking for a job for next year…..good luck.

    • J H Kamper says:

      I disagree – a huge number of people, myself included actually watched Castle because we knew Nathan Fillion as Mal Reynolds (and the writers are aware of this, hence the number of Firefly references in Castle). So it’s definitely not the case that everybody would see Richard Castle.

    • sam says:

      I watched one season of Castle then dropped it. Boring show… Nathan Fillion will always be Mal to me.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      I disagree. I cite Walter Koening, who when he joined the cast of Babylon 5 as the reoccurring character Bester, was only know as Chekov from Star Trek. In the first episode Koening appeared as Bester, I remember thinking, “Ha! Chekov as a telepath cop.” However, by the end of the episode, I’d forgotten about the Chekov element. Indeed, when B5 ended, going back to watch old Star Trek made me laugh ’cause I’d go, “Oh! Bester is now Chekov!” ;-)

      My point is that in the end, it won’t matter. People who’ve never seen Firefly may see Fillion as Castle for a bit, but they’ll soon forget that, providing the writing of a new series is as good as it was for the first.

    • Sinkwriter says:

      I have watched Nathan in Castle at these years, but I would have NO problem seeing him switch back to playing Captain Mal. In fact, I’d watch that GLADLY.

      I’ve enjoyed his work on Castle, but the showrunners and writers of that show have been WASTING his talents. He got to show much more range on Firefly and could have done so much more with that role.

      Gone too soon…

      • Sinkwriter says:

        That was supposed to be “all these years,” not “at these years.” It’s late at night and my brain is shorting out for the evening. Sorry about that! :D

    • Bill B. says:

      One would have had to watch Castle to have that opinion. I am not one of them.

      • nerdrage says:

        Yep. Not a Castle type of viewer here. The real problem is getting him, Baldwin and Baccarin to ignore all the other opportunities that will come their way or the shows they are currently on. Do we really want a Firefly without those three? And without Wash and Book assuming it’s not a prequel, which it can’t be because the actors have aged.

  12. Alex says:

    They’d have to start over with a new cast, if J.J. can reboot “STAR TREK” Joss can reboot this. The question is does Joss Whedon and Tim Miner want to drop what they’re now doing and do a reboot. Everyone has moved on to other things.

    • nerdrage says:

      Star Trek is a big, well-developed canvas that can handle total changes in the cast of characters. Firefly might have been like that, but it never got the chance. Imagine Star Trek if all we knew were the first 10 episodes of the original series. Sure, we might think it was great, but was the Federation, Starfleet, Klingons, Romulans and the underlying theme all developed enough that it could stand a recasting?

  13. Steven Burgas says:

    Well, aside from Whedon’s increasing role as the emperor with no clothes, Serentiy happened and offed certain people and changed the nature of the series entirely. Or, are they going to ignore that?

    Yeah, leave it in the ground and let it rot.

  14. Michael says:

    I loved every episode in firefly. For me it was a success and a big mistake to end the show. I couldn’t get enough, I wanted more.

  15. Michaelmas says:

    Can we stop Using “thesp” when speaking about actors. It’s annoying. Yes, I know it’s short for thespian. Still annoying and poor use of English.

    • Dear Michaelmas,

      It’s VARIETY for Pete’s sake. OK? OK.


      Everyone Else

      • Sherry S. says:

        I’m actually with Michaelmas on this one. It was used so many times in this article that I got the feeling they wrote the article straight from their notes from the day at Comic Con and forgot to take all the “thesps” out of the article and reword it to include the actors’ real names.

        It just felt ridiculous. I know it’s “just Variety,” but come on, people… if you can’t even write out an article instead of half-assedly printing your NOTES… *eyeroll*

  16. John says:

    Dream on, Nathan Fillion – BTW, you’re looking more and more like Stay Puft Marshmallow Man – maybe an extra in Ghostbusters sequel would better fit you.

  17. Bill B. says:

    Might be a little late and more than a little optimistic. The show was mangled and gotten rid of by Fox, but don’t forget, the even better Serenity was also a money loser which seemed to surprise everyone and was the cause for Whedon to finally walk away and say no more! Personally, I’d much prefer another movie than another TV series.

  18. jazz says:

    would love to see a second season…just wondering how they would explain alan tudyk coming back from the dead…

    • Lee Butler says:

      If Joss can explain how Agent Coulson came back from the dead… and how Angel came back from the dead… and Spike, Darla, and even Buffy, I think he could find some explanation for Book and Shepherd

    • Jeremy says:

      Set before the events of “Serenity,” perhaps?

      • Merennulli says:

        That’s really where any continuation has to happen for the fans, but having the events of Serenity as a bottleneck is going to hurt the writing. The next logical place for them to go was rolled into the movie, without real gaps for developing either the Alliance or Reavers. That leaves either creating a new enemy, picking around the fringes of the enemies without developing them, or creating hidden factions that can disappear in time for the events of Serenity. Unfortunately, even treating Serenity as if it didn’t happen leaves all the revelations from the movie hanging there. Unlike Star Trek, Doctor Who, Star Wars, Stargate or other major franchises, Firefly was a very limited universe, so there isn’t huge regions to write new stories that avoid the original continuity.

      • Steven VB says:

        Just play Serenity off as a vision of one possible future in the mind of River…

      • nerdrage says:

        They’re too old now.

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