Comic-Con 2012: Notes From The FIREFLY Press Conference
We just wrapped up the Firefly press conference here at Day Two, which means I got to sit in a room with Joss Whedon, Tim Minear, Nathan Fillion (Mal), Alan Tudyk (Wash), Adam Baldwin (Jayne), Sean Maher (Simon) and Summer Glau (River) cracking wise for sixty minutes. That's right: no Jewel Staite (Kaylee), Gina Torres (Zoe), Morena Baccarin (Inara) or Ron Glass (Book), but those who attended definitely gave it their all.
The series will re-air on the Science Network, debuting November 11. Science will offer a marathon in honor of the ten-year anniversary, as well as show an hourlong special of footage from Firefly at Comic-Con 2012. Right before the press conference, they held a panel in which Joss Whedon and Nathan Fillion evidently wept, but spirits were high at the press conference.
Nathan Fillion on what he's taken from his experience on Firefly: "It taught me how to act." He also maintains that he still turns to Whedon whenever he needs advice. "Joss will say, 'That's a great idea, OR...' It's a skill, as an intelligent guy, to not make the people around you feel stupid, and [Joss] has that."
Joss Whedon on the strong women of Firefly in particular and all of his shows in general: "I have always felt that men who are comfortable with powerful women are more powerful men." He remarked that Gina Torres played a strong woman, a wonderful wife and "the sexiest badass ever." True.
When a reporter asked if, after ten years of interviews and appearances and conventions, if any of them had never been asked a question they wanted to be asked, to which Adam Baldwin replied, "That is such a cop-out question! And you call yourself a journalist!" Fillion said the one question he'd never been asked that he always wanted is, "Are you available to do another series?" Sean Maher offered, "Nathan, are you available to do another series?" and Fillion replied, "From someone that's important!"
Alan Tudyk admits that he's the only person who's rewatched the series in its entirety recently - he just wrapped it up. He joked that before then, he'd only fast-forwarded to his lines, so he'd lost some of the nuances in the past. He said that rewatching it from this distance, as a fan instead of an actor, he loved it better and felt it was a more pure experience.
When asked about how Whedon would approach a Firefly reboot, he said, "Well, we'd need a younger cast. Captain Andrew Garfield!" Maher chimed in, "Zac Efron as Simon!" which, as you probably know, is funny because Zac Efron played young Simon on an episode of the show.
Whedon also gave his vision for the imaginary Serenity sequel, "It would open with a conversation between Wash and Book. Where it goes from there, I can't tell you."
About the fan popularity of Jayne's hat, Whedon said, "The hat is tangible, it's DIY. It's everything that works for culture. If I were smart, I'd start writing things that work like that on purpose."
When they were asked why they think that the series is so popular with the armed forces, Tim Minear posited that it's because it shows "life after the war. Life goes on, and they're still here." When Whedon mentioned that it's also popular with astronauts, Minear replied, "That explains why we were canceled, if our key audience are astronauts." Whedon: "They BOTH love it!" Minear: "How many of those guys are equipped with Nielsen boxes?"
A reporter asked if they thought that Firefly would have more of a chance to succeed if it aired on Fox today, because fans can tweet and start online campaigns to save the shows they love. While the rest of the panel started to nod, Minear chimed in, "I say no. You'd still need a network that, for instance, AIRS THE PILOT FIRST! It doesn't matter how much you tweet about it if the network doesn't support it."
When asked what Whedon thinks Firefly says about our future, he replied, "We're doomed. I don't have any faith in mankind. I love my friends desperately and I have faith in them, in their ability to be there for each other and protect each other when things are appalling. That is the definition for family, the biological need for family. That's what Firefly is."
Whedon also offered about the lasting nature of the show, "We're dealing with something that's universal and painful and lovely. And there's also this: I don't think people realize how much of that belongs to Tim Minear." Minear added, "We were right, the thing we made was right, the network was wrong, the fans were accurate. We were right."
But Fillion said, "Sitting here ten years later, it's hard for me to say I want more. I've got some wonderful friends from it, I got to do the best work of my life, I got a movie, and I've got thousands of fans...I'm gonna do it again. I'm gonna cry!" He got the tears under control and offered a bitchin' Shatner impersonation instead.