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August 14 2005

Hang on in there. Serenity may be based on a cancelled TV show, but it's autumn's most anticipated film, says John Harlow in The Sunday Times (London).

This article is actually a really really good look at Firefly. When a reporter actually takes the time to mention how the (gorgeous) women of the Firefly verse are an extra step ahead in making sexuality not something to be ashamed of, I was impressed.
Very good article. It should be circulated everywhere.
Excellent article, very encouraging to the fanbase, I think.
Jeez, they give him $50 mill to make a movie but then ask for their $1000 Apple Mac back?
That's what I love about British interviews with Joss, you always tend to get those little extra details.
Yes it is a very good article.

"His second child, eight-month-old Squire..."
Wow, I missed something. I didn't know Joss had a second kid...:)

"...even a Buffy stage musical 'if I can find the time'."
Really? Hmmm...
Firefly and Serenity got a mention in the Review section of the Sunday Express: "A rip-roaring science fiction adventure with a unique Western vibe and scores of wonderful characters. Joss Whedon's cancelled classic Firefly just ended its run on the Sci Fi channel, but you can still catch up with it on DVD before the movie version, Serenity, hits cinemas in October. Treat yourself."
The U.K. media really seems to be a lot more accepting of Firefly/Serenity and sci-fi and whatnot, doesn't it? The U.S. seems to be running headlines like 'Beware Geeks in September!' with articles about geeks forcing a movie to be made that no-one will see, whereas the Brits are more like, "There was this show. It was cool. You should go see the movie - it's gonna be something different."
Wow, that was a really great article!
This part made me do a little squee!

Whedon hopes Serenity makes money so he can do a trilogy, even see it return to TV. Meanwhile, he is talking to James Marsters about a Spike movie and even a Buffy stage musical “if I can find the time”.

Seeing it return to TV after the sequels! Oh be still my heart!
I got all goosebumpy reading that article, so good to hear the 'mainstream' boys understanding what we have always known.

My neighbour, who has constantly mocked my love of BtVS & AtS, religiously reads the Sunday Times, hah! I feel a little bit of sweet revenge coming on. Think I'll call in and ask them to keep the paper for me :D
Superb article, and in a venue that immediately commands mainstream respect. Per Simon's suggestion, it's getting wide distribution from me.
Nice! Very nice! Now how am I supposed to make it through the next few weeks after an article like that?
Omigod, how much would a Buffy musical rock? Uh, muchly!

The article is entirely rockin' for making Serenity sound like the coolest thing since sliced bread. For pointing out that the typical Hollywood model of filmmaking is not working, especially the action movie genre, and that Serenity is something that's doing it right. And it positions the movie as an underdog, which always appeals, even though technically it is a major studio product made for major bucks -- the only thing it's doing really daringly is not using any big name actors.

I love the article for the small personal details of the man himself too. That Joss has been working out (and needs surgery! ouch! can we send cards, flowers or balloons anywhere?) has been a suspicion of mine since I saw a picture of him at a recent con -- he's looking buffed out! Not like Brad Pitt in Troy or anything, but buffed out for Joss! I hope he makes many more good health decisions, as I want him around for a very long time. And take care of your typing fingers too!
Jeez, they give him $50 mill to make a movie but then ask for their $1000 Apple Mac back?


And Joss can't afford his own computer? Do we need to start a fundraiser here?

And it positions the movie as an underdog, which always appeals, even though technically it is a major studio product made for major bucks -- the only thing it's doing really daringly is not using any big name actors.


Actually, for a SF/action/special-effects film, that budget is peanuts. One of the many things that Joss is so good at, is making decisions and getting things done quickly and affordably, one of the legacies of doing weekly television. I haven't seen the BDM yet, but based on the trailers, there is no way I'd ever guess the budget was less than $100M. (And compare with three-years-per-film Star Wars scheduling.) It will be interesting to see if Hollywood notices that lesson.
Wow! What a great article. Quick somebody find out what this guy's favorite something is and send him some. Although it is very different from the articles we have been seeing up to this point, I am hoping that is because up until now we have been seeing mostly articles about and based on "buzz" not mainstream criticism based on actually knowing what they are talking about...like having seen he movie. If it is as good as we all think it is, it makes so much sense to premier it at a European film festival.

If the critics at the film festival like it, it will have some legitimacy attached to it to make it stand out from pure action for the sake of action films. An American Sci-Fi action film premiering at a European film festival...the more I think of it the more it seems like a brilliant way of not only shaming American critics into giving it a fair shot, but getting those who would normally dismiss it out of hand because of its pedegree, to jump on the bandwagon so that they can be one of the ones to recognize and tout quality even when it is diguised in a Sci-Fi/Western action movie by that guy who did Alien Resurrection and some TV shows.

Of course, if it is not as good as we think it is, or the critics in Edinburgh don't like it, we may be screwed.

Oh, and my guess is that that is hardly a $1000 Mac, but still, c'mon. ...hmmm...Course, on the other hand, if the movie would have to sell more tickets to get a sequel if Joss does not return the computer and it is added to the cost of the movie...Joss, get the blasted thing unplugged and back to Universal!
Useless Simon facts #43243

According to today's Sunday Times, the worldwide sale of the paper is 1,360,559. It's the biggest selling broadsheet in the UK Sunday paper market. So the huge circulation will be very helpful in getting the movie into the mainstream in the UK and Ireland. You really couldn't ask for better coverage.

Useless Simon facts #43244

There are Reavers in the Bloodmoon expansion pack for The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind RPG game. Keep meaning to mention that.
Nice pictures with the article too and a prime space in the
" Culture" section .I'll be hanging on to this copy. I'll also keep an eye out for coverage in The Guardian, they're big Whedon fans and if The Sunday Times run such a high profile piece I'd expect The Guardian to go one step further.
Very nice. At last, a mainstream article that makes the movie sound like it's worth watching.
His second child, eight-month-old Squire (sister to Arden), is bellowing in the background.

Ah, finally some confirmation! The last I heard officially was when Joss said Kai was preggers in Oct '04. Or I could have very well missed a Whedonesque post about it...


Whedon hopes Serenity makes money so he can do a trilogy, even see it return to TV.

Ok, is it just me, or is this new? Last I heard, Joss said it would be hard(as in, a step backward) to return to the small screen after turning it into a movie. I got the impression he wasn't interested in a return to tv for Firefly/Serenity. But hey, the business is fluid, so I'm sure it's always an option.

And a stage musical of Buffy...interesting. And since James and Tony are from the theater...*ahem*....maybe some of the original cast?(And am I reading that right that he's talking to James about the musical, or is that just poorly worded?) Might be hard for me to see someone else playing my favorite characters, cuz I'm sure they'd not be able to get them all for a theatrical run. Not sure that's something I'd be very excited about, but if Joss is doing it, I'd obviously give it a go.
Ok, is it just me, or is this new? Last I heard, Joss said it would be hard(as in, a step backward) to return to the small screen after turning it into a movie. I got the impression he wasn't interested in a return to tv for Firefly/Serenity. But hey, the business is fluid, so I'm sure it's always an option.

There were reports out of Comic-Con in San Diego that had Joss saying he's willing to come back to TV with it, but only if some other network buys it outright from FOX, who he said he will never work with again.
A stage musical, with as much of the original cast as possible, is something I'd pay great gobs of money and travel great distances to go see.
Me too, herb, me too.

What a splendiferous article, from the Sunday Times, no less. Now all we need is for the NY Times and other prestigious and widely read US, Canadian, and other countries' papers to follow suit.

[ edited by phlebotinin on 2005-08-14 19:26 ]
The best way to send Joss "Get Well" sentiments is probably through his agency, CAA. I'm assuming he's still with them and his representation is still the Trio of David O'Connor, Chris Hubbard, and Lee Gabler.

CAA's address is 930 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA, 90212-1825. The phone number is 310-288-4545 and the fax is 310-288-4800.

Even if we could find the hospital where he's having the surgery, he'll probably have been discharged by the time cards (written with yellow crayon of course), letters, flowers, and balloons with stupid smiley faces on them get there.

P.S. When does Joss have time to jog in the first place?
Many of you will remember the NPR phone interview Joss did a couple of years ago. He was in charge of Arden whom you could hear wailing in the background. I'm guessing it was the rocking of Squire he was referring to when he said that he rocks and then he stops and rests and then he rocks some more!
And clearly he has a treadmaster which he uses while catching up on his TV viewing! While, no doubt, making notes for a screenplay and humming a few possible ditties for the musical. And planning his next hit and run posting here.
Now all we need is for the NY Times and other prestigious and widely read US, Canadian, and other countries' papers to follow suit.

I'm very hopeful that the NYT will get in on the Serenity Love. They had a pretty regular arts section contributer who was a huge BtVS/Angel fan for a while, and had some great articles about the end of Buffy and Angel. This is totally the kind of story/angle that they should be all over in their Sunday arts section. But if they run a piece, it'll probably be the Sunday before the movie is released.

This was a great article - excellently written, the writer knows what he's talking about, and good mainstream audience!
Oh, I'd be more than ecstatic if Firefly ever came back to tv!! I'm going to love the movies but a tv series is where we'd get the most out of the stories and characters. Maybe there is still some hope after all! Why would he say something like that if there wasn't any hope? And now Sci-fi is running the original series so maybe they'd take it - it's numbers have been pretty good!
Great article, great publicity...but a "Buffy" stage musical?? I love musicals, loved OMWF and even wrote "Another musical?" as part of my message on Joss's birthday card at the Riverside screening, but the idea of doing "Buffy" on stage makes me a bit nervous.

I'm not sure exactly why the idea makes me so queasy, but I keep thinking of those productions of "Flinstones on Ice" and "Scooby Doo on Ice" and probably "Mannix on Ice" that I either remember or had nightmares about once upon a time.

Of course, anything can work in the right circumstance and my hunch could be proven all wrong if Joss comes up with some brilliant conceit that is beyond my ken. But I still hope he tries something different, like my personal fantasy of him remounting Randy Newman's shamefully ignored "Faust" or maybe an adaptation of one of his favorite Frank Borzage movies or something.

[ edited by bobster on 2005-08-14 21:36 ]
..."Mannix on Ice"...

Ha Ha! Good one.
Have to go with bobster here about general queasiness about a stage musical...but I'm willing to be proved wrong...live theater, done right, is astoundingly powerful and intimate, even in a large theater, in a way the TV and film can never be...okay, queasiness receding...but I want you to know...I'm takin' a lot on faith here...
Borrowing from another thread, can we just put Dukes of Hazzard on ice? Pleeeeeease?
Great article. Hopefully we'll see some of this in the states.
Great article and I would love a Buffy musical that starred the original cast.
At least we'll never see Buffy on ice.
bobster, Chris, C'mon have some faith. Why in the world would you expect a Joss stage musical to come out like Disney on Ice? Give the guy some credit. If he writes it, it will have depth and purpose behind its songs and dances. The theater gets that kind of thing more often than people who do not follow theater might realize. Although Sweeny Todd leaps to mind, I was just watching a scene from "Kiss of the Spider Woman" on public TV the other night. Now there was a musical with a premise no one but a mother would ever think would work. A musical about two men in a South American prison where they are poisoned and the threat of torture constantly hangs over their heads...with songs and dances. I saw it on Broadway way back when and it did work very well. Then there was Angels in America, Rent and so on.

I would love to see Joss do a full out musical, whether based on Buffy or started from whole cloth. Actually I think I would rather something totally different from the established Buffy characters because I would doubt that most of the original cast would be interested or necessarily asked if they were. Musical theater is a very different medium from TV. If they did do it, I would certainly be in line for tickets, of course, but usually these things are done with musical theater performers who will commit to a year or more. Something totally new could be really interesting while not making everyone want to go home and see the originals on DVD.

...and then there is a Spike movie. Always an easy answer there. Yes, please.
But Buffy was so into the Icecapades! It'd be great!
Joss could do a mix and match with the actors. Alan Tudyk is doing a great job in Spamalot these days. He could be Xander!

Just talked with a friend of mine in England. I mentioned Serenity (Somehow it seems to come up in conversation a lot!) and he said "Yeah, I just read an article about it this morning. Is it really that good?" I confirmed that it was. One Times article plus one trusted friend equals someone ready to go see it. Hoorah!
You've got me cold, SweetMarilyn.
The article in the Sunday Times was great. As I was flicking through the magazine this morning, the name Summer Glau caught my eye. That could only mean....I quite felt that my little chest puffed with pride when I read it...."I know, I know!" I thought. The magazine does have a bit of a history of praising Joss's work, and making insightful comments about his characterisations. I was also pleased to read the bit about Joss talking to James Marsters about a Spike movie, without any explanation at all of who James was - it was completely taken as a given. This is quite heartwarming in so mainstream a newspaper.

And the picture of Summer clinging to the ceiling was intriguing; I couldn't quite work out how they did that. Where were the wires?
SweetMarilyn, I theorized that Summer was strong enough to hold herself in that position (after getting up there with a ladder & the help of some friendly crew) but I showed that pic to a friend of mine who is into rock climbing and she's pretty sure that's an impossible pose - her toes aren't really jammed against the walls as they would have to be to really support her weight. Sigh, bubble burst.
ginger...it's River...she can DO this stuff! I mean, well, just, well, damn!


And, newcj, I said I was taking a lot on faith!
Chris inVirginia, are you blond, by any chance? Somehow I get a vibe of a tall blond, laid-back type. Dunno why.

[ edited by SweetMarilyn on 2005-08-15 00:45 ]
Senior moment...sorry for double post...

[ edited by Chris inVirginia on 2005-08-15 01:01 ]
SweetMarilyn, blond? Not since I was 3 or 4!...sandy brown hair (with flecks of grey, hey, 50 does that to you, but no receding hair line)...and, tall? well, 6 one, not terribly lean at 200 lbs., and, well, "laid-back"...um...well, probably not...ask my very good friend and fellow Washington Whedonite pal phlebotinin...

Um, nobody has ever, ever, ever described me as "laid back"...never, ever, ever...
Perhaps this site mellows you! Good night anyhow. Sweet dreams.
G'night to you, too!
[quote]There are Reavers in the Bloodmoon expansion pack for The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind RPG game. Keep meaning to mention that. [/quote]

Very amused by that. The person who wrote this article saw Serenity at a press screening last week (I saw him), so expect a follow up review shortly.

I believe the Mail on Sunday will be covering Serenity soon (possibly next weekend, not sure yet). Mail on Sunday hits about 1 millionish households, so between the two we will have hit 2.5 millionish+ readers. Well done to UIP for targeting the right people.

[ edited by gossi on 2005-08-15 04:43 ]
Sorry if I overstated, Chris. After I wrote that post I realized how serious it sounded, but it was not meant to be. I was just thinking out loud. Those dastardly analytical thoughts of mine have a tendency to sound so serious at times.

As far as laid back, I tend to believe your own take on that one. I would assume it to be very unusual for someone with as many evangelical Whedon-verse notches in their belt as we have been led to believe you have, to be laid-back. ;-)
Joss is even more of a dad than I thought!

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