The Firefly media franchise is an American space Western media franchise created by Joss Whedon and produced by Mutant Enemy Productions. The franchise includes the TV series Firefly, the film Serenity, and other media.
|Created by||Joss Whedon|
|Comics||Those Left Behind|
The Other Half
The Shepherd's Tale
It's Never Easy
Leaves on the Wind
|Films and television|
The franchise is set in the year 2517, after humanity's arrival in a new star system, and follows the adventures of the renegade crew of Serenity, a "Firefly-class" spaceship. Whedon described the Serenity crew members as "nine people looking into the blackness of space and seeing nine different things".
The franchise explores the lives of people who fought on the losing side of a civil war and now make a living as part of the pioneer culture that exists on the fringes of their star system. In addition, it is set in a future where the only two surviving superpowers, the United States and China, fused to form the central federal government, called the Alliance, resulting in the fusion of the two cultures as well. According to Whedon's vision, "nothing will change in the future: technology will advance, but we will still have the same political, moral, and ethical problems as today."
The franchise stars the crew of the ship Serenity: Captain Malcolm "Mal" Reynolds, second-in-command Zoe Washburne, pilot Hoban "Wash" Washburne, Companion Inara Serra, mercenary Jayne Cobb, mechanic Kaywinnit Lee "Kaylee" Frye, Doctor Simon Tam, prodigy River Tam and preacher Shepherd Book.
Official video mediaEdit
Firefly, the first part of the franchise, was a short-lived TV series. One season of 14 episodes was produced. The series was initially broadcast on Fox from September 20, 2002 to August 19, 2003. Fox canceled it after 11 episodes were aired. The remaining 3 episodes were later aired on SciFi (now SyFy). Despite its relatively short lifespan, the series received strong sales when it was released on DVD and has large fan support campaigns. It won an Emmy Award in 2003 for "Outstanding Special Visual Effects for a Series."
The film Serenity was released on September 30, 2005. The film acts as a sequel to Firefly and features much of the same cast and crew. The film was written and directed by Joss Whedon. It was released on DVD, VHS and UMD on December 20, 2005, on HD DVD on April 18, 2006 and Blu-ray on December 30, 2008.
It received generally positive reviews and opened at number two, taking in $10.1 million its first weekend, spending two weeks in the top ten, and totaling a domestic box office gross of $25.5 million and a foreign box office gross of $13.3 million. However, it did not make back its budget until its release on DVD. Serenity won film of the year awards from Film 2005 and FilmFocus. It also won IGN Film's Best Sci-Fi, Best Story and Best Trailer awards and was runner up for the Overall Best Movie. It also won the Nebula Award for Best Script for 2005, the 7th annual 'User Tomato Awards' for best Sci-Fi movie of 2005 at Rotten Tomatoes, the 2006 viewers choice Spacey Award for favorite movie, the 2006 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form and the 2006 Prometheus Special Award.
R. Tam sessionsEdit
Set before the events of Firefly, the R. Tam sessions depict excerpts of counseling sessions with the character River Tam while she is held at an Alliance "learning facility" known only as "The Academy." The counselor in these sessions is played by Joss Whedon himself, while Summer Glau appears as River. The videos shed some light on the experiments and torture "The Academy" conducted on River. They "document" her change from a shy prodigy to the mentally unstable character of the television series.
Official print mediaEdit
Between 2005 and 2017, Dark Horse Comics released several Serenity comic books. For legal reasons, the comics were called Serenity rather than Firefly. All of the Serenity comics were one-shots or miniseries, as creator Joss Whedon didn't believe the Firefly universe can work in an ongoing format without compromising with quality. The first Serenity comic was Those Left Behind, a three-issue miniseries. It was published July through September 2005, and served as a bridge between the TV series and the Serenity film, the latter of which released later in September 2005. Another three-issue miniseries named Serenity: Better Days was released in 2008, and tells of the Serenity crew becoming rich after a successful job. More comics followed since, most recently the six-issue No Power in the 'Verse series which ended in 2017. All of the Serenity miniseries and one-shots have been collected as hardcover graphic novels.
In July 2018, Boom! Studios announced that they had acquired the comic book and graphic novel publishing license to Firefly with plans to release new monthly comic book series, limited series, original graphic novels and more. As part of the acquisition, Boom! Studios also bought the republication rights to the old Serenity comics. The new monthly comics started releasing in November 2018.
|What Holds Us Down||Jane Espenson|
|Fun With Dick and Jayne||Ben Edlund|
|Take The Sky||Jose Molina|
A novelization of the film Serenity, written by Keith R. A. DeCandido, was published by Pocket Books in 2005. At the time that book was contracted, Pocket Books also contracted to publish two original novels, and solicited proposals from various authors. However, none of these proposals were approved by Joss Whedon, and after a year had elapsed, the contract was canceled.
In February 2018, it was announced that Titan Books would be releasing three new Firefly novels, beginning later that year. The novels will be within the main canon of the Firefly universe, and Joss Whedon is attached as executive editor on all three. The novels are named Big Damn Hero (authored by Nancy Holder, releasing in October 2018), The Magnificent Nine (authored by James Lovegrove, releasing in March 2019), and Generations (authored by Tim Lebbon, releasing in October 2019).
|Title||Cover||Author||Audio book narrators||Publication||Summary|
|Firefly - Big Damn Hero||Nancy Holder, James Lovegrove||November 2018||The crew's latest job becomes complicated when Mal is captured by a group of former Browncoats who believe him to have betrayed the cause during the War.|
|Firefly - The Magnificent Nine||James Lovegrove||March 2019||Jayne receives a call for help from a former lover, but the visit is complicated by the presence of a child that all evidence suggests is Jayne's.|
|Firefly - Generations||Tim Lebbon||October 2019||Mal wins an old map that River translates as revealing the apparent location of one of the generation ships that evacuated humanity from Earth centuries ago.|
Other official mediaEdit
The soundtrack to Firefly was mostly composed by Greg Edmonson. The theme song of the series, "The Ballad of Serenity," was written by Joss Whedon and performed by Sonny Rhodes. The soundtrack to the series was released on CD on November 8, 2005 by Varèse Sarabande, although a 40-minute soundtrack was released by Fox Music in September 2005 as a digital EP. The soundtrack to the Serenity film was composed by David Newman and released on September 27, 2005.
The Serenity role-playing game was produced by Margaret Weis Productions, Ltd and released in 2005. Its mechanics are the first iteration of the Cortex System. In 2013 Margaret Weis Productions announced they had the rights to produce a Firefly role playing game and would be producing it using a slightly different system.
On October 4, 2007, Alan Tudyk said that sales of the then newly released Serenity: Special Edition DVD had led to "talk [of] doing another movie". Joss Whedon has since discounted that statement as being "wishful thinking" and added "I want to do more, but nobody's talking about doing more right now."
On December 8, 2006, The Multiverse Network announced that it had obtained the rights from Twentieth Century Fox to develop a massively multiplayer online game (MMO) based on the series. As of 2008, little progress had been made. On 3 September 2008, as part of a press release announcing the development of an MMO based on the Buffy the Vampire Slayer television series, Multiverse stated that work on the Firefly MMO had been delayed as there were "some issues that need to be worked through", although some gaming news sites have expressed doubts, based on the lack of progress with the Firefly MMO, about whether or not it will be completed or released.
On January 2, 2012 website Ten Ton Hammer uncovered documentation that Multiverse, the team behind both the Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Firefly MMO projects, had ceased operation on both games as of December 7, 2011 due to lack of funding. However, on January 5, 2012 former members of the Multiverse team announced that they had acquired the source code and were still working to develop a finished product.
On July 18, 2013 it was announced at Comic-Con that a mobile game titled "Firefly Online" would be released in Q3 2014 for Android and iOS. This game will not directly continue the franchise's plot but players may be able to meet the series' characters in it.
On July 28, 2014 it was confirmed that the leads of the series had signed on to voice their characters in the game and the release would be in Q2 2015.
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- Press release on ICv2
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