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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Superpowers, a scintillating wit, and the best body money can buy... and I still rate below a corpse."
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May 07 2005

Starship troup-ers: 'Serenity' could replace popular sci-fi franchises. "When both the 'Star Wars' and 'Star Trek' universes reach their final frontiers this month, where will sci-fi addicts next get their fix of the future?" asks Stephanie Schorow of the Boston Herald. No spoilers here, but a lot of reactions from fans to the movie.

[ edited by eddy on 2005-07-02 22:13 ]

Whoever wrote this article apparently isn't up with current events because Lucas has confirmed that there WILL be two new Star Wars TV shows debuting in 2006.
I thought only one was debuting in 2006? And I think one is CGI, cgi animation of real looking people scare me.(poplar express)
True. Still, a romantic notion, yes?

Purely from a JossFan standpoint, I'd be tickled pink to see him get the mainstream love.
`Serenity' could replace popular sci-fi franchises

I've been saying this all along. Firefly needs to take over! Joss could do it, too.
Ooh, I loved the sentiments expressed here. Thanks for the link eddy.

Were any Whedonesqueteers quoted there, by chance?
I've been thinking for awhile now that Serenity will not only garner enough new fans to fill Trek/SW voids, just because it's great new SciFi -- well, you know, lots of SciFi in it, but it will grab hold of of so many new viewers because the storytelling is so much better than pretty much everything else. That's one long sentence but sums it up, I hope.

[ edited by April on 2005-05-07 04:47 ]
In an evil way I hope Serenity doesn't do too well so Joss won't forget about or not have time for another Buffy spinoff.
That would be counterproductive to another Buffy spinoff. Success gets you jobs in Hollywood because you're only as big as your last project. No success=no job=no spin off. If we want more Joss creations, we need him to be successful ya know?
To echo what eddy said, success breeds success. And I can't believe anyone wouldn't want Serenity to be a blockbuster.
Also, Joss gets mega-successful? SMG is suddenly 'available' for some new Buffy.

Years away, but why not? Stranger things have happened.
I mean I hope Serenity doesn't turn out to be a Star Wars triology turned whatever the hell you call is six-ilogy and then some, and take up all of Joss's time.
eddy- The first show is a CGI show based off of the current TV series Clone Wars, the second one is a live action series that will take place between Ep 3 and 4. Bad move on Lucas' part because there's no new territory to explore in that time period all the jedi are dead.
RpgActioN- I somewhat agree with you , but I also disagree. Joss has already given us 3 great shows and that's enough, but more could never hurt. I wish him all the success in the world may it be Angel or anything else.
six-ology = hexology ???
I was wondering about "sextology" over here.
Joss will make a Buffy feature when he wants to -- when he feels the urge to do so, when he gets a story in his head that won't let go. After all, I doubt he was planning on making a Firefly movie for his first feature, it just so happened that it was the only way to let the story continue. I don't want a BtVS feature until he gets a story in his gullet that literally demands to be told.
Ripper sounds demanding to me.
Doesn't Joss have a production deal with FOX (20th century), that they get his next couple of tv ideas? Maybe he doesn't want to have to do business with them after getting burned. Or is FOX, the channel, a different thing?
I wish Joss the best of luck. I love the Buffy franchise as much as everyone else but I'd love to see Serenity end up being six movies, if that is what Joss wanted. BtVS had 7 years and both SMG and Joss were ready to end it. Firefly had 13 episodes and was abruptly ended, shoddily treated and it was Joss' baby! If it would make Joss happy to continue with these movies then I'll be thrilled. If he wants to do a Buffyverse movie I'm all for it but I wouldn't want him to feel he has to do something like that because other things he was interested in doing didn't go as he wanted them to. And if he never wanted to do another Buffyverse project or more Serenity movies after the trilogy and wanted to do something brand new, I'll be there waiting to see what else his brilliant mind has to offer.
Fox Network is different than Fox the production company. Joss likes the production company.
Lilabramble, as far as Fox network goes, it's probably safe to say that the thought of working with them again isn't a keen idea.
On that note, I just rewatched one of my new favorites, "Objects in Space". They knew that Firefly was cancelled by the time they filmed the last few episodes, and I can't help but wonder about Early's final line (Firefly's concluding line), as he's just bounced off his own ship and he finds himself floating into infinity. "Well...here we are." I gotta say, it sounds to me like an echo of Joss sentiment there. But hey, I could be reaching. He wrote it, though. :)
"Marketing, marketing, marketing." Damn right. And this great article from the Boston Herald is sweet, sweet marketing for Serenity. Attn: big newspapers/magazines/columnists/bloggers - more of this kind of attention, please!

I loved reading this. Got all tingly.
I get the impression his biggest labor of love right now is the 'verse. I could be projecting, but Joss has a lot he wants to do with those characters and their journey, and his work was never stifled that quickly before. (Butchered, maybe, but not stifled. ;-) What I'd still most like to see is Firefly back on TV, but I'm revved and ready for September 30th, and a successful first few weeks of box office is our best bet for more Whedon movies and TV. It will help bootstrap Wonder Woman, too.

Don't get me wrong, I adore Buffy and Angel.
As someone who is 40 (and almost 41), I was thrilled to see so many people quoted in the article that were around my age or older. That said, I'm curious to know from those of you who went to the screenings, was there a specific age group there or was it a crowd of people of all ages. The reason I'm asking is if it is mostly 30 and 40 somethings is this something to be concerned about or is the Star Wars audience also people of that age too that mostly end up showing up.

It does make me happy to see a lot of people of my age group because I had a horrible experience when I went to see The Grudge at the theater opening night and the audience was filled with shreiking and non stop giggling teeny boppers! I'm going to see Serenity no matter what on it's opening weekend because I want to show my support but I'm also worried that I'll have a similar problem with this same type of audience and I don't want to ruin my first time seeing the movie because of this.
I somehow doubt large numbers of teens in droves opening weekend. I could be totally wrong too, but I just got that feeling.
My problem sitting through the Grudge was my overwhelming desire for SMG to kick the shit out of those... things.
In one way, I hope you're right April but I also want the movie to be a huge success and if that's the age group that Universal is hoping for I do hope they come out in droves. The movie is going to be rated PG-13 isn't it?
Lilabramble, the agreement Joss has with 20th Century Fox as I understood it (and please correct me if I'm off) was to have no involvement in television for a period of one year. After one year, he would be free to pursue any television project. However, Fox wanted the option of 'first dibs' in the choice of marketing any said project.

Good article, amazing what a few million flanatics can do. And I believe Joss will be able to entertain the next generation with his space cowboy saga. It's a fresh idea with real heart and thought behind it. The same can't be said for the current Star Trek or Star Wars themes. The wheels fell off those wagons long ago and even fans are saying "enough already!" People are ready for something new and Joss has a wonderful tell-tale. I'm seeing good things in the future...

Several have expressed doubts whether non-fans would understand the background history of the characters of 'Serenity' as based on the movie. I wouldn't worry too much about this. If they enjoyed the movie, (and reports of the test screenings say most non-fans did) then I think it's likely they'll purchase the 'Firefly' DVD set to see what this story is all about. Just a thought.
Glad to read articles like this, and even gladder that the mainstream is beginning to get on board the Serenity bandwagon.

Some of the movie's plot twists left fans visibly stunned and near tears. The reaction was, some admitted, testament to Whedon's compelling characters.

Wow. I'm so excited just thinking about that! It makes me even more determined to remain unspoiled because I honestly can't remember the last time I went to the movies and had a spontaneous, deeply emotional and visceral reaction to what I was seeing onscreen. It's so rare for me to be surprised by what I'm watching (because I'm either spoiled by too-revealing trailers or just getting really adept at guessing conventional plot twists) that preserving the integrity of that magickal bubble containing Joss's visionary brand of shock-and-awe will make it worth passing up all the juicy spoiler threads to come.

It's hard for me to imagine that I could care anymore for these characters than I already do -- but if there's anything I've learned from being a Joss fan, it's that when you think you've seen everything he's got, he'll land a shattering blow guaranteed to knock you off your complacency and right onto your ass.
The screening crowd in San Francisco was mostly skewed to a mature audience; the majority were in their 30's-50's. As a college age person myself, I was surrounded by people who were definitely older, though I did sense some 20-year olds as well. No one really younger than that. And a good crowd, very responsive, as you can imagine. Gina and Alan among us too, watching the movie (Gina said it was her first time!). There was the cutest moment when in the intro, Joss said something like "this movie was made without stars" and Alan yelled out, real loud, "WHAT!?!" Also, everybody has been saying Gina in real life is gorgeous (and she is! Up close, my sister and I were semi-mesmerized by her beauty -- and when she laughs, she sounds exactly as she does as Jasmine), but Alan is totally cute in real life. Big eyes, hair that sticks up and wise-cracky like anything.

he'll land a shattering blow guaranteed to knock you off your complacency and right onto your ass

Oh yes. I'd say the movie is not quite "Becoming Pt. 2", on that level, but it does tear at your heart and make you sweat. It makes your hair sweat.
dottikin, did you make that same statement in another post?
About my hair sweating? Nope. But it totally did.
I love Firefly, but it will never replace Farscape as THE sci-fi TV series, or Star Wars as THE space opera movies. in my heart. Just as nothing will ever replace Buffy/Angel as the THE supernatural/drama series.
My concern is still that Universal will focus the marketing too much to a younger crowd, because there is this ridiculous notion that Sci-Fi=fanboys. Whedon skews across a broad spectrum of ages and much older than people seem to realise. Plus a lot of women. Hopefully these screenings and articles like this one will help to give them a much clearer idea about this and they will broaden their approach when the PR/advertising machine kicks in.

While we are on the subject of marketing: please Universal, don’t just hand out key chains (hello, they are hidden in pockets), hand out buttons and t-shirts. As somebody pointed out on another thread, we could all be walking advertising. They really ought to step up efforts in that respect. Elementary, dear Watson.

I don’t think that anybody can predict how Serenity will do at the box office, the film is a tough sell and it really could go either way. DVD sales, I have no worries about, we are after all a pretty committed lot. Not committed in a ‘strapped to a hospital bed, waiting for electro shocks’ kind of way, but rather in a ‘trust me great-grandma, you really wanted this DVD for your birthday’ sort of way.

Oh, and off topic, but SNT your analogy about us being like the LOTR fire signals – really beautifully put!
Sorry dottikin. A case of de'java here. Must be the lack of sleep.
It's just a fact that teenagers have more disposable income than most adults do. They work to pay for things for themselves whereas adults have to pay bills among other things.
personally, I'd rather see Angel the movie than anything else. Imagine after the success of Serenity a kick-ass Spike and Angel movie..
The movie will definitly make most of its money from the DVD, but if people don't catch on to it in theatres then they will when it comes out at the local blockbuster (or whatever). And I think for the most part, for people that never gave the show or anything whedon-related a try will be surprised by the imagination and raw emotion this picture will surely punch. Then, when the sequel comes out in a couple of years it will definitly become a massive hit which will lead people to pick up the tv series and the buffy and angel DVDs.

But who knows...
Well, I don't know if it'll replace Star Wars among most people, but among geekdom and fandom, I'm guessing it will. For the average persons not like you and I, it's probably too genre.
The Matrix or LOTR are "genre" and they did alright at the box office...
In fact if you look at the top 20 grossing movies of all time (here) 16 of them are easily classed as genre which actually always makes me wonder how come genre tv tends to struggle. Strange how something that quantitatively counts the number of people who watch has genre coming out on top, but the system that relies on a tiny propotion of the publics' viewing habits being extrapolated always leads to genre tv getting cancelled.
Serenity does start with an "S".
It's because of the stupid Neilson Ratings system. You have to buy an extra box for your Tv or something for you to be counted as a viewer. I don't really understand it myself. Maybe someone else could better explain it.
Nielsen chooses you. Some people are given a box. Most are given diaries. And my understanding is they only use 1200 households. They may be using more households these days but I don't think so. They claim even though they use so few households that it's enough for an accurate sampling. So when they say this episode of this show got this many viewers we have no way of knowing the validity of Nielsen's numbers.

I've always felt 1200 is just too small a sample size considering the millions of households in America that have televisions.

Why is this system used? Because the networks and the advertisers have agreed to use Nielsen's survey results to gauge how much to charge for commercial time. That's it. It doesn't matter what we think of the system or its results. It's the system networks and advertisers have agreed to use and it seems both sides are satisfied with it. And have been for somewhere around 50 years.

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