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October 13 2007

Is a Serenity Sequel a Good Idea? A thoughtful article about the risks of a DVD sequel.

didnt read the article but YES I like the idea of a sequel


there are just too many stories in this verse I wanna hear Joss tell
Meh, I guess I can see where the writer's coming from in his fears, but... I don't know. I guess as far as, "But the Browncoats are passionate and eager. Could any Serenity sequel possibly live up to their standards?" I just feel that... no, probably not, a sequel would probably leave some people disappointed at what they got. But most of these seem to be arguments that you could've used on Serenity back when it was coming out, and we all know how that turned out (um, I mean that in a good way. I liked Serenity).

I think if Joss has proven anything, whatever other flaws his work might have, a dearth of creativity isn't one of them.

I'm suddenly forgetting what my point is. I guess it's just that, while I understand the writer's fears, I think the record so far is good enough that if we ever got a DVD sequel, it wouldn't be so crazy to have high hopes.

If this message makes any sense.
Honestly? I think that there needs to be a bit of precedent before we can really debate the merits of aw direct-to-DVD sequel for our BDM.

Personally, I wanna see how MGM Home Entertainment and SciFi Channel handle the 2 Stargate SG-1 movies that will head to DVD, along with any other attempts by other studios at cashing in on an eager fanbase before I either throw my lot in with those supporting a DVD sequel or supporting those who oppose the idea.

I say this cuz the idea could work out well, but it has to be handled the right way. Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars was an excellent product, but I am sure there are 'Scapers out there who found the idea of a TV movie conclusion to their BDS to be distasteful. That and I gotta wonder if the Big Purple One would even deign to glance at a proposal for a DVD sequel...
Well, there are some definite risks involved. And I'm not sure what the cast dynamic would be without Wash and Book. But I would incline toward a tentative "yes" when asked whether I thought a Serenity straight-to-DVD sequel would be good. (I'd buy it regardless.) I have faith in Joss. The only things I would be worried about: the quality of the FX, and whether a new dynamic could be successfully established.
BlueEyedBrigadier | October 13, 03:36 CET
I gotta wonder if the Big Purple One would even deign to glance at a proposal for a DVD sequel...


Deign to glance at? He is pointing right at it!!!

Joss Whedon interview at Comic Con 2007

And even if a sequel comes as a straight to DVD release. It doesn't mean we won't get to see it in a theater. We know how to do that.

Plenty of stories in the 'verse. Before and after Serenity. Also there are comic books that could be put to film if there were sets hanging around. Film a sequel and put the already written comic books to film at the same time. Maybe Tim Minear could help out.
I like my "POSSIBLE SCENARIO"

Serenity sequel, sequel, Serenity set we can tour/have weddings/have shindigs at Universal Studios and where Firefly like episodes could be filmed for Straight to DVD and SciFi or USA Channel. Got my QMX Official Serenity Blueprints and lottery tickets.
Oh, I am aware that Joss is all for any kind of Universal-requested - since we all know what will be said if the Studio That Will Not Be Named tried to pitch a project ;) - project, Anonymous1...but I would imagine there would be caveats to the Big Purple One's acceptance.

Like getting a sufficient budget to ensure that quality goods are crafted; Joss & Co. did all kinds of amazing work with only $40,000,000...so expectations could be a bit on the high side from the suits at Universal.
Question: Is a Serenity sequel a good idea?

Short Answer: Yes.

Long Answer: Yes! Yes!! Ohhhhh affirmative! Must make, must see, yeeeeeessss! Oh God, sweet baby Joss and all the trimmings, YES!

Questions? Comments?
Not much trust in Whedon in that article. If he knows one thing, it's to breathe cinematic quality into the things he does, whether for the big _or_ the small screen.

Besides, I'm in Germany. If I want to see things in the original (non-dubbed) version, pretty much _everything_ comes directly to DVD for me. *wry g*
So, to summarise the article, "Q: Should 'Serenity' have a sequel ? A: If it's gonna be good then yes, otherwise, no". 'K, makes sense. And in other news, up is up and pain is considered to be painful by the majority of 18-34 year old adults surveyed (2% don't knows, + or - 1.5%). ;-).

For me, budget is the key thing (assuming all the cast needed would be keen to do it, most having already indicated they would). Despite the stories having some merit, the (first) "B5: Lost Tales" DVD was hampered by not having enough money, leading to some very poor effects sequences. I'd hate that to happen to "Serenity 2: Serenetiest" (though i'd still shell out if it was just the crew sitting around talking for 90 minutes - Joss has that extra string to his bow where JMS is sometimes throwing arrows by hand i.e. fantastic dialogue).

(I also think the reception of the Stargate D2DVD films will tell us quite a lot - same in-built fan-base, same genre so effects budgets will be comparable)
Well, would the budget of a direct-to-DVD sequel be lower than, say, the budget for two episodes of Firefly? If not (and I would expect not), I'd say we wouldn't have to worry much about the FX.
I dunno if it translates quite that directly GVH. An ongoing show doesn't have to build (many) sets and avoids other setup costs but I think Joss et al could certainly do something very special for the cost of, say, the 'Firefly' pilot (about $10-12 million IIRC) because, y'know, they already did ;).

(maybe less since effects are probably a bit cheaper 5 years on, in which case maybe the cost of 3-4 episodes - or about $6-8 million - might do. For reference, the first Stargate D2DVD movie, "The Ark of Truth", apparently has a production budget of about $7 million though they have the advantage of continuity and may also be "borrowing" some of 'Stargate: Atlantis's production facilities)
I guess I'm kind of the belief that,like pizza, any Serenity would be good Serenity. I have no doubt that even with a limited budget there are plenty of stories left to be told. I'm sure Joss and Co. could even work a mean marionette. Whatever it is, in whatever form, I'm there. Ultimately, I think so much of our enjoyment comes as much from what we put in it as what's given us.

Completely and utterly OT, can one of the lovely people here from across the pond, kindly tell me what "skiver" means?

And Saje, thanks for the limerick baby! You've made my day!
Heh, you're very welcome skeezycheeses ;).

And a "skiver" is someone dodging work (or school or whatever). E.g. if you took a sick-day when you weren't actually ill you'd be "skiving".
While waiting for Serenity to come out in theatres I had incredibly high hopes that I honestly didn't think the movie would be able to reach. Yet when the final movie came out it completely blew me away and surpasses my expectations.

I completely trust Joss not to pull a Lucas and make an incredibly disappointing sequel.

Also as Saje mentioned, a direct-to-DVD budget that could be similar to the tv show I think would be okay. It would be great if the sequel could get a bigger budget, but I don't have a problem with the FX being similar to the tv show.
I happen to prefer the 'direct to dvd' or 'on network' options. This is not to say I wouldn't completely support a major release movie but it seems to me, firefly is about normal people doing normal stuff, Serenity is about heroes doing extraordinary stuff. I happen to like the character driven firefly over the plot driven serenity.

If the direct to dvd was composed of 2- 40 min. shows, I think it'd be more like firefly then serenity. Regardless of my desires *hopefully* the money men will listen to Joss.
Direct to DVD seems to eb expanding beyond soft porn and low-budget horror; Suburban Girl anyone? In this day and age McLuhan's The medium is the message" is about as currently applicable as buggy whips, methinks. What counts most these days of blurring is the content.

"Big Purple One"? From whence came that nickname? (Can't be Numfar since he was a Green Pylean, not a Purple Pylean, right?)
Variations on the Purple theme have been a staple on here for years DaddyCatALSO (because Joss' name appears in purple when he posts).

It's also the colour of royalty. Pure coincidence ? U decide ;).
Random thoughts, not quite opinions:

1. I'd be happy with Sequelity podcasts, which could be made on someone's laptop for coffee money.

2. While I prefer mutant actrons, Joss has the voice and delivery to do excellent spoken storytelling all by his self. To rival Garrison Keillor, while being far easier to spell, not to say, say. Plus: Dickensian, literally, since Charles the Great Author did live performances of his stories and was reputedly fantastic.

3. Direct to DVD Sequelity is something I would certainly buy, love, and watch more times than is indicative of full mental health, but I wonder (again, not opining, just wondering) whether it would just serve those of us who are already fans, rather than bring in new ones. As Angel appealed to people who didn't necessarily like Buffy, and Firefly appealed to people who didn't like either, I think one of JW's talents is creating new audiences for new 'verses.

4. I didn't even read this article.

5. Amplifying point 3: Bad wars lend themselves to good popular art (see WWI/Literary Modernism, Vietnam/early 1970s movies) and Big Purple Dude is the best popular artist I see out there, so I hope he chases his muse. Even if it leads him to new stories in new 'verses, rather than continuing stories in 'verses I already love. SugarShock was very left field, and showed that that guy can have good fun out there. Basically, I'm thinking that if someone has the vision, talent, experience and heart to make a Big Movie For Our Time and All Times, it's J-Man.

6. Point 5 was an opinion. Possibly a repetitive one.
I will take a Serenity sequel in ANY form I can get it in. ANY FORM. I don't care, I just want more. And I have every faith in Joss' ability to deliver an AWESOME sequel.
I like Pointy's #2 idea. Wouldn't you pay good money to hear Joss voice Inara? Or Jayne? I know I would.
To be honest I'd rather see something completely new from Joss rather than Serenity sequels and Buffy comics.

[ edited by sungoesdark on 2007-10-13 20:07 ]
If Joss was writing, I don't see a problem with it. 'Course, I don't see this happening. I pray that I'm proven wrong. Would be the first to celebrate and eat crow.
If it's at all do-able, I'd rather see more of Firefly.

Big screen is nice, but TV, as Joss has proved, allows far more in the way of back story, character development and making the money go further.
I'm voting for finger puppets. It's cheap. As long as its all the original cast member's fingers. Can you just imagine the catastrophe that would follow with stand in Jayne fingers? ;)
Finger puppets? Yes. Or sock puppets. And Joss can use his home video camera to save some extra cash. It will be genius. Critics will love it. Way artsy.
While I think that my preferred scenario would be more Firefly, as opposed to more Serenity, that ain't gonna happen, cos of Fox owning Firefly...

However, I'm sure there are enough Browncoats willing to donate, for example, $10 each towards the production costs of D2DVD releases of one or two feature-length Serenity 'episodes' a year. This would help with production costs, and could also be used as a sort of advertising: "This product is so good, the fans are paying to get it made! Come and see what the fuss is all about!"

If an on-going D2DVD franchise wasn't possible, I'd still like to see Serenity 2 & 3 made, cos I want to see how Joss kills off Mal at the end of the third film. Also, I want to see if he (Mal) kills Simon... Remember the line in the pilot?:

Simon: "How do I know you won't kill me in my sleep?"
Mal: "You don't know me son, so let me explain this to you. If I ever mean to kill you, you'll be awake, you'll be facing me, and you'll be armed..."

(That's from memory, so don't moan if I got it a bit wrong!)

I've always seen this scene as almost a prophecy... But that's probably just me...
Never will happen. Again, just me thinking out loud. I always tend to do that.
In a perfect world the only thing that would determine if there was to be more Serenity would be Joss. I would prefer no more Serenity to new low quality Serenity, and I'd like to think he would too. If he has a story to tell and he thinks it is good and he knows the budget and he decides it's worth it, then it's worth it.

Otherwise, what we have is great and I love it and never want it to be brought down.

It's not worth making sequels just to make sequels or appease fans and I think that a lot of the most talked about problems with Hollywood right now involve the increased number of pointless sequels and remakes.

Basically I'm just gonna wait, not expect more Serenity unless I hear it from Joss, and enjoy what I have. Because what I have is awesome.
I'm always hopeful, but didn't Joss have a hard time gettiing the post-Buffy movies off the ground? Remember the proposed Spike movie anyone? I seem to recall Joss lamenting that they couldn't even do it as a direct-to-DVD.

Still, this is 'versal and it might be they see things different.

Let's hope.
Joss has years of experience in television learning how to make a smaller budget look much bigger on screen. I also hope that any naysayers, or borderline naysayers, know that Joss would write stories worthy of continuing the 'Verse. We're talkin' about Joss here, he'll do right by Serenifly.

Joss had several seasons of stories in his head when Firefly was cancelled. Those stories are still there, and I'd welcome seeing them told. I count myself in the camp of those who prefer more stories in the spirit of Firefly rather than Serenity. A series, mini-series, or ongoing direct to DVD series, can allow for the story arcs Joss does so well. This multi-feature format also allows more time for all the characters, and gives us those extra moments that might otherwise be left on the cutting room floor to accommodate a 2 hour movie time frame.

It'd be cool to see more stories in the spirit of life on the frontier, away from the security of the "civilized" Alliance worlds. Stories that reflect a quote from Joss back in the Firefly days:

"How do you create a civilization? It's a personal process. Your ethics and moral structure are going to be tested. It's about life when it's hard, about how we live when we're on the edge." - Joss Whedon


But for now, heck I'd love to watch a film of the cast appearing on an empty stage, reading the lines from the comic books, and acting them out with no rehearsals...
But for now, heck I'd love to watch a film of the cast appearing on an empty stage, reading the lines from the comic books, and acting them out with no rehearsals...

Hopes for a sequel set aside for the moment, I'm still pulling, in my head, for a radio play.
As much as I liked Serenity, the idea of a series of lower budget direct to DVD movies is much more appealing than another Cinema release. Cinema Sci-Fi tends to be more action oriented, direct to DVD can be more character and story heavy (like Firefly).
What about an animated movie? With direction from Genndy Tartakovsky, Peter Chung, Mahiro Maeda, or Yoshiaki Kawajiri. Of course Joss would have creative control over the whole thing but he wouldn't have to slave over it. And it could be used to test the market for how successful a straight to dvd movie would be without the expensive set construction and CGI. Plus all the actors would be able to reprise their roles since voice work isn't time consuming.
I think Voice Work would still be pretty time consuming.
Why focus on a sequel? Since we're making random wishes, why not push for a prequel? That way we get Wash and Book, AND some Mr Universe goodness as well. After all, there's plenty of juice in the old tale yet.

Any studios out there want to make some guaranteed cash?
Yes, no, anyone??!
Joss has, at least once, addressed the idea of a prequel.

Q. Now, let's suppose that "Serenity" finds its audience and there's a chance to make another film or, God forbid, return to television. Would it be a prequel, as I heard Chris Buchanan hint at one of the fan screenings, or would it continue the story from where we left off?

A. I would tend to continue from where I left off. That doesn't meanů. I think what Chris Buchanan was probably saying was that, you know, we would get everybody -- and I obviously don't want to get all spoiler-y --

Q. Right. I know.

A. But things that seemed irrevocable, uh, well, are -- but the movie itself already has a bit of a flashback structure, and the show had it, as well. And I think there's ways to weave in important character pieces without ruining the momentum of a sequel that would, in fact, pick up from where this left off.
I'm not a prequel buff. I don't want to see "Mal and Zoe: The Early Years" with William Katt and Tom Berenger. I mean, I do. But I'm more interested in the consequences of what has come.

At a certain point it all falls upon Joss. Firefly/Serenity are his stories. If he feels like there is more to say, we should defer to him on that. I do agree that, at a certain point, the story has to end. It just hasn't gotten to that point yet, we've seen two parts of the story. There is clearly more to be done.

As for a direct-to-DVD sequel not "living up" to Serenity, I don't see that. We already know that Joss won't tell a story unless he feels like he can do it justice. Plenty of criticism can be leveled at the dude, but he is committed to his projects. If the budget or what have you isn't right, it won't happen. So, if a direct-to-DVD sequel does go through, I'd expect it to be excellent.

So, to be concise, yeah. Totally. More. Tim Minear's involvement would be cool, if that's possible.
Voice work is not time consuming. Most animated movies only require an actor to come into the studio for a day or two. That's why voice actors like Tara Strong and Jennifer Hale can be in three video games (video game voice work is a lot more time consuming and can maybe take a month or two depending on the game) and four animated series in just one year. It is hard work though, especially if you do it professionally. Anyways with most of the cast members either busy or soon to be busy, it would make sense to test out a straight to dvd movie that would be relatively inexpensive. Plus it would bring in more money which would be an even bigger incentive to make a live action slightly big budget sequel.
All the "home-made" ideas are great, but with the recent climate, I'm thinking that if they went beyond "backyard sock-puppet theater," there'd be hell to pay. Or even if someone secretly taped the sock-puppets in the backyard and put it on YouTube. Universal bought the rights from Fox. If Joss makes something with the characters without either, he has to pay both, right? I'd love to hear that I'm wrong. But there goes all our grubby pennies.
More, please.

I agree with April.
Educational Saturday morning cartoon Firefly. Not teaching grammar, obviously, but, values. In between smuggling.
Best idea yet, willbueche.

The whole thrust of the article seems to be - Lucas did it with Star Wars and it was a creative disaster, therefore it can only happen the same with our heroes. I think the author clearly doesn't yet get Joss Whedon (he only just saw the Firefly episodes and it's not clear if he knows anything of the Buffyverse), and thus misses a key point of difference between Lucas and Whedon, i.e. that Whedon is a writer's writer, while Lucas' talents lie in producing grand spectacle.
barboo, immediately after he mentions Lucas, he says: "Granted, Joss Whedon has a much better track record. With Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Firefly/Serenity, he has proven to be more than just a one-trick pony."

So his entire thrust is definitely not what you claim it is.

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