'Firefly' Cast Recalls the Crazy Joss Whedon Pitch That Was Never Filmed

Nathan Fillion, Summer Glau, Adam Baldwin, Jewel Staite and Sean Maher reunite to ask why Netflix hasn't picked them up yet.
20thCentFox/Courtesy Everett Collection

Few shows have made such an impact in such a short amount of time as Firefly.

Joss Whedon's sci-fi western ran for just 14 episodes on Fox from 2002-03 and inspired the 2005 feature film Serenity, which was beloved by fans but failed to ignite the box office.

On Saturday, Heat Vision's Aaron Couch moderated a Long Beach Comic Con reunion panel with cast members Nathan Fillion (Capt. Malcolm Reynolds), Summer Glau (River Tam), Adam Baldwin (Jayne Cobb), Jewel Staite (Kaylee Frye) and Sean Maher (Dr. Simon Tam).

Below are highlights from the conversation.

On if Whedon having directed some of the biggest films in the world makes a reunion more or less likely...

Adam Baldwin: It's up to Joss. That's up to Joss.

Jewel Staite: Is it? … I don't want to put it all on Joss.

Baldwin: It's on Fox.

Nathan Fillion: I totally get wanting more. I hear it all the time. "Is there going to be more? When is it? Could there be? What if there was?" And I get it. At the same time, we all had what I would call my dream job. It was the perfect position. Everything was great. Even the challenges we faced, we faced them together. We were all in it together and we were all pulling for the same thing, to make a great show. And I loved every minute of it. It's really hard to look at that kind of stuff and say "Give me more."  Because enough is enough. Oh my god. It was everything. It was everything. How can everything not be enough?

Staite: Sean and I want more. Last night we had dinner and we were in an Uber and we were not talking about Firefly in any way.... You were on your phone and texting away and, I [said] something about Netflix.... And Sean said this, very absentmindedly, "I can't believe they haven't picked us up."

On the crazy opening scene for an episode that they never did…

Fillion: Joss once described an opening scene to me where we are looking at a planet with a ring around it and as we come in close, we see the ring is actually rocks and pieces of ships and old derelicts. It's a junk ring. It's the junkyards — we mentioned it in Firefly one time. We see little bits and we're jumping slowly from bit to bit and as we get closer we see Serenity floating lifeless and these little people getting on and coming through it. And as they get into the airlock and they close it, they come and there's Malcolm Reynolds, bleeding and cut, strapped down with giant guns and not looking great. He's got these two giant guns, and he says, "Get off my ship." 

On finding out they got canceled…

Baldwin: I was doing homework with my seventh grader in the trailer. [Mimes someone knocking on the trailer door.] "Come to the stage, they canceled us!" My daughter's like, "What does that mean?" [I told her,] "It's okay, it's okay, it's okay. You don't really need new shoes anyway."

Fillion: We had three more days of shooting after we were canceled and I remember thinking, "This is going to be the worst. Every day is going to be painful reminder of what we're losing and it's going to be one of the saddest, most horrifying three days of the shooting." And it turned out to be amazing. Everyone was determined to squeeze any last remaining drops of joy we could get from this wonderful experience. I was really impressed with how people pulled together. 

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