15 years since cancellation, legions of fans all over the world are still desperately hoping for new episodes of Firefly. The Joss Whedon created show only ran for one season, but made a really big impact in that brief time. Unfortunately, at the time, it wasn't a big enough impact for Fox to keep it around. But times have changed and Fox has noticed that bringing back shows can work. That being the case, the network is reportedly interested in rebooting Firefly, but only if Joss Whedon returns.
During last month's TCA's, quite a bit of news broke about all kinds of TV shows that will be coming in the future. So much news, in fact, that a little tidbit about Firefly sort of got lost in the shuffle. Rotten Tomatoes got word from David Madden, Broadcasting President of Entertainment at Fox, that he would be open to doing a reboot of Firefly if Joss Whedon wanted to revisit it. Here is what Rotten Tomatoes had to say about it.
"Given the success of Fox's reboots of The X-Files and 24, and Prison Break returning this year, Madden said he'd be open to a Firefly reboot if Joss Whedon himself wanted to revisit it. Madden suspects Whedon is now too busy with movies, and he would not consider doing Firefly without Whedon."
As Rotten Tomatoes points out, Fox is having success bringing old shows back. The fact that people are still clamoring for new episodes of Firefly a decade and a half later indicates that a reboot of some kind could really work. The problem is that most of the cast members from the series, including Nathan Fillion, Alan Tudyk and Morena Baccarin have all moved on and become quite busy. Not to mention that Joss Whedon, following his work on The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron, is quite busy himself and may not have time to dedicate to doing new episodes of Firefly.
Firefly got something of a continuation in 2005 when Joss Whedon directed the movie Serenity, which took the cast from Firefly and told a new story in that universe on the big screen. Unfortunately, the movie didn't do very well at the box office, only bringing in $38 million worldwide working from a reported $39 million budget. That said, the movie was received well by fans, so there is some encouragement there. The only problem is that Serenity was done for Universal and the Firefly series was done at Fox, so there are rights issues. Here is what Joss Whedon had to say about it in an interview with Collider back in 2015.
"There are rights [issues] between Fox and Universal because one had the show and one had the movie, so it gets a little funky fresh with that. More than with any other crew, I would love to get that crew back together. I also want to do the next thing and try to have a new thought. I don't guarantee anything. I'm very terrified that we'll bring it back and it won't be as good, or I don't have the same mojo, or it's just as good but we've all seen, so we're like, 'I don't know.'"
Despite the fact that there are some very obvious hurdles to jump over, fans have a glimmer of hope, albeit a very small glimmer, that Firefly could come back in some way, shape or form. It isn't likely that Joss Whedon would want to do Firefly as a flat out reboot, meaning that the likelihood of recasting or telling new stories in that universe following new characters is low. It also isn't likely fans would embrace that idea nearly as much as new, true-to-form Firefly episodes. In any case, if Joss Whedon decides it is something he wants to do, Fox is up for it, so some new Firefly episodes could happen.