×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Whedon’s ‘Serenity’ greenlit

U moves forward on sci-fi spinoff

Universal Pictures has greenlit “Serenity,” the feature film based on Joss Whedon’s Fox TV series “Firefly,” which was canceled in late 2002 after just 11 episodes.

Deals are in place for Whedon to direct and for the original cast of the TV show to reprise their roles. Pic, budgeted in the mid-eight figures, is skedded for a June start and should be ready for a 2005 release.

After Fox pulled the plug on “Firefly,” Whedon struggled to continue the project, speaking with other nets and cablers about the skein, then finally turning to studios about a feature version. U acquired the feature rights from Fox last fall.

Whedon said the pic will be released under the title “Serenity” to give it some distance from the TV version. “It was important that people understand that the movie isn’t the series,” he said. “The movie is bigger, more epic than anything you can do in a series.”

To that end, he said he went out of his way while penning the “Serenity” script to make sure that it is accessible to auds who never tuned into “Firefly.”

“You’re not going to bring people into a movie if you’re explaining all the time what happened before,” Whedon said.

Series was a space oater set 500 years in the future, tracking the journeys of the crew aboard the Serenity.

Forthcoming pic is set about six months after the TV show left off, and centers on two passengers on board the ship who attract trouble to the crew.

The studio has closed a deal with Nathan Fillion to return as Capt. Malcolm Reynolds. Other original cast members Gina Torres, Morena Baccarin, Jewel Staite, Adam Baldwin, Sean Maher and Summer Glau are also in place.

Barry Mendel is producing the pic. Chris Buchanan of Mutant Enemy, Whedon’s shingle, and Mendel exec Alissa Tager are exec producing. Overseeing the project for U is vice chair Mary Parent.

More Film

  • Oscars Placeholder

    Make-Up and Hair Stylist Guild Applauds Academy's Stance on Airing Every Oscar Winner

    Rowdy boos were followed by triumphant cheers at the Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild Awards on Saturday in Los Angeles, as the Hollywood union touched on a week of controversy over a reversed decision to hand out four Oscars during the show’s commercial breaks. Hair and makeup was one of the four categories that would [...]

  • Marvelous Mrs Maisel Vice

    'Vice,' 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Lead Make-Up and Hair Stylists Guild Awards Winners

    Adam McKay’s Dick Cheney biopic “Vice,” starring Oscar nominees Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Sam Rockwell, won two awards at the sixth annual Make-Up and Hair Stylists Guild Awards Saturday night. The film won for best period and/or character makeup as well as special makeup effects. “Mary Queen of Scots” received the prize for period [...]

  • Bette Midler

    Bette Midler to Perform on the Oscars (EXCLUSIVE)

    Bette Midler will perform “The Place Where Lost Things Go” at the Oscar ceremonies on Feb. 24, Variety has learned. Midler, a longtime friend of composer-lyricist Marc Shaiman, will sing the song originally performed by Emily Blunt in “Mary Poppins Returns.” The song, by Shaiman and his lyricist partner Scott Wittman, is one of five [...]

  • Olmo Teodoro Cuaron, Alfonso Cuaron and

    Alfonso Cuarón Tells Why His Scoreless 'Roma' Prompted an 'Inspired' Companion Album

    Back around the ‘90s, “music inspired by the film” albums got a bad name, as buyers tired of collections full of random recordings that clearly were inspired by nothing but the desire to use movie branding to launch a hit song. But Alfonso Cuarón, the director of “Roma,” is determined to find some artistic validity [...]

  • Berlin Film Festival 2019 Award Winners

    Berlin Film Festival 2019: Nadav Lapid's 'Synonyms' Wins Golden Bear

    Israeli director Nadav Lapid’s “Synonyms,” about a young Israeli man in Paris who has turned his back on his native country, won the Golden Bear at this year’s Berlinale on Saturday. The Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize went to François Ozon’s French drama “By the Grace of God,” a fact-based account of the Catholic Church [...]

  • Alita Battle Angel

    Box Office: 'Alita: Battle Angel,' 'Lego Movie 2' to Lead President's Day Weekend

    “Alita: Battle Angel” is holding a slim lead ahead of “Lego Movie 2’s” second frame with an estimated four-day take of $29.1 million from 3,790 North American locations. “Lego Movie 2: The Second Part,” meanwhile, is heading for about $25 million for a domestic tally of around $66 million. The two films lead the pack [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content