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September 15 2005

"Sounds good to me" - Joss on the Serenity trilogy. The final part of the Now Playing magazine interview. Insights from Joss about the marketing of the movie and its possible sequels (and who apart from him should direct them).

I for one would like to see Tim Minear direct the BDM-2. With all the bad luck the guy has had with tv, it would be great to see him move on to something bigger. Here's hoping the sequels happen(cheers)!
Sounds good to me too Joss!
The shot at a sequel is in our hands. Actually, it's in our wallets! The more tickets we all buy the better chance it happens.
The campaign for Tim for Serenity 2 continues. I've enplanted a special trigger word in Joss' mind to inspire him about Tim. That word is MINE-EAR. Oh yes.
Money quote (literally): "it ainít a trilogy unless people like the first one."

I've been working as vigorously as I can to get people out the opening weekend...if the movie does good business then, we should be in good shape.
I want to see Joss direct them all, but I also want to see him do more tv, a Spike telemovie, Wonder Woman, the Superman movie after Brian Singer's, Mr. & Mrs. Smith 2: The Honeymoon's Over, Buffy vs The Bride....and a plethora of other things.

So I can see how he might not have time for all that.
*sighs* Another two years without any Buffyverse, then.
How do you figure that, Christopher?
Here's what worries me:

Wonder Woman has probably got to start shooting by next year sometime to be out either by the end of the year or early 2007. That's a lot of time before Joss really has the effort and such to put into a new Serenity feature. So, really, if there is no other way than to hand the reins over to Tim, then I say I would be all for it. I'm sure Joss would still have a hard look over the script (or write it himself) and thus it would be all goodzie.
The reason Joss trusts Tim is that he knows Tim can write very well. And I mean, really really well. Tim is a force to himself, and is totally under appreicated by a great many people in my opinion.

Wonder Women is slated roughly for July 2006 I believe, although nothing is set in stone. I seem to recall after Serenity is out, joss is planning to work on it full time - although that'll still be one bitch of a schedule.
I want Joss directing the Trilogy.
I love Tim's work, but I love even more only one director per trilogy.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying Joss directing any sequels is a bad thing at all. I mean, you know, Serenity is amazingly good. I'm just saying if Tim was announced for writing/directing a sequel or 3rd film, I wouldn't be bummed - I'd be looking forward to it.
At the very, very least Joss would co-break the story and tweak a TM script. I'm guessing that they would probably also codirect it if Joss weren't the sole director, as I'm not sure the studio would trust a sequel to (another) first time feature film director. On the other hand, I would be surprised if TM didn't at least contribute to the script on the second one.
I actually would prefer that Tim does the second movie and Joss finishes up with the third. We need more Tim!
The reason Joss trusts Tim is that he knows Tim can write very well. And I mean, really really well. Tim is a force to himself, and is totally under appreicated by a great many people in my opinion.

Agreed. What some people seem to be forgetting is the stuff that Tim has done:

"The Train Job", "Out of Gas" (my favorite episode), "The Message", "Bushwhacked" - Firefly
Wonderfalls / The Inside - Executive Producer
"Home" - the wonderful Wolfram & Hart finale of Angel's fourth season

...And that is just some of the stuff. I would definately put my faith in Tim for sequels should Joss not have the time. But first, as has been said many times, the first movie MUST be a success first!
There's another upside here...If Joss lets Tim do Serenity II, maybe other onetime ME folk can get involved later and then maybe there'll be time not only for Serenity III but IV, and if IV why not V....?

Actually, what I'm hinting at is a sort of hybrid of movies and TV as they are currently structured. The line between home entertainment and non-home is starting to dissolve, and there's all sorts of posssiblities of, say, reasonably low budget movies that have relatively brief theatrical releases to be followed quickly by DVDs. Imagine a series of movies that comes out, say, every six months, almost like an old movie serial, only with much better writing and acting....

[ edited by bobster on 2005-09-15 20:34 ]
Question about what qualifies the first movie as a success. Is it opening weekend? Opening week? First two weeks?

The reason I ask is, I have a wedding in Seattle I need to go to Oct. 1-2, so I can't see the movie then, and I'm trying to figure out when to schedule my Firefly-watching group of friends to go see the movie. Many of them don't want to do opening night - waiting in line to get crappy seats, etc etc - so they were thinking of doing sometime during the next week or even the next weekend. From a studio/box-office standpoint, would it be more useful for this group of 12-14 Firefly fans to attend opening night, or would anytime within the next two weeks help contribute to the success of the movie and possible greenlighting of future sequels?
First 2 weeks teenes. But I suspect (without any evidence..) that if the movie doesn't make much in the first week that a bunch of theathers will pull it for whatever comes out the next weekend.
I got only a few words:
Tim Minear wrote "Out of Gas".
Amen to that Numfar!

"Out of Gas" is my favorite Firefly ep ever!

I'm happy if either Tim or Joss does the second one.
I thought "Out of Gas" was horrible. I watched the entire episode, ofcourse, but I watched it miserably. I was really excited when Mal dropped to the floor.
But even if it's not a "success" in the first two weeks things are still salvageble. The rental and DVD sales will also be taken into account when they are released. For example, it was those numbers that got the Transporter and Bourne sequels greenlighted.

Also, theatres are entitled to screen a movie for atleast two weeks if they decide acquire it. For example, even a crappy movie like Alone in the Dark held all of its 2124 screens in the second week. The third week though, the number was down to 209 screens. And by the fourth week it was all gone.

[ edited by Djungelurban on 2005-09-15 22:05 ]
But I suspect (without any evidence..) that if the movie doesn't make much in the first week that a bunch of theathers will pull it for whatever comes out the next weekend.

As a manager of a movie theatre I can attest that if a movie does not do well the first weekend, typically when making the showtimes for the next week (usually done on a monday/tuesday) that we will either:

1) move it to a smaller house (we have 20 screens)
2) lose one of the prints if we have more than one
3) remove some of the showtimes

I have never seen it, with regard to a wide release, that you would actually lose the movie completely after a week. So no worries, it'll still be flyin'.
I few more words about Tim "He wrote Lullaby."
Christopher, you are the very first person that I have ever heard of not liking OoG. It is my absolute favorite episode of Firefly. I think OIS is the "best" ep but, OoG is my favorite.
Tamara, I was just trying to stir some dramatic reactions. :P I'm quite fond of Tim's work and OoG. I loved Wonderfalls and miss it so much.
Uhm, so you posted to say you don't like Out of Gas to 'stir some dramatic reactions'? Isn't that called, like, trolling?
It's called, like, having a sense of humour?
Ah, I think I missed the class on saying things to stir things up for a laugh. (But then, I missed many classes. Probably explains my middle classness).
If the movie gods smile upon us and sequels of 'Serenity' are requested, I doubt you could keep Joss out of the writer/director chair with two men, a pry bar, and a tactical nuclear weapon. He would just crawl back. "Did I request a smoking crater in the ground? SF, get in here!" After all, this man went toe to toe with a network to save his story and he won.

With that said, if for some reason Joss couldn't do a sequel, I can think of no one better than Tim. They are both incredibly talented writers and they work well together with their differences.

Whatever the case, I just want to be here in this room discussing the latest works of Joss in the future.
I think the following:

I was really excited when Mal dropped to the floor.

was the clue that Christopher wasn't serious. At least it was to me.
But then you'd be assuming that I don't get excited when characters start dying. :( Think of how emotionally invested and excited I was during season seven of Buffy when the potentials started dropping, left to right.

:P I'm messing with you. I loved that episode.
A Serenity trilogy would be the shiniest thing in the 'verse...but, as others have been saying, our prime objective right now as loyal Browncoats is to get the first some serious coin.

About Tim, I think he's great, but I really sincerely would love for Joss to do all three Serenity films, if they do get a chance to be made. I know it would take a lot of time and that he's a very busy man, especially with the forthcoming Wonder Woman movie...but I would not mind waiting one tiny bit.
Hello - this is my first post here, having lurked on and off for ages, and getting signed up when registration reopened yesterday.

Anyway, I just wanted to say that the one thing that worries me most about the idea of a Serenity trilogy is: can Joss guarantee he has control, given that we're talking studio movies? It was my concern before Serenity had been made, but having seen it, it was clearly Joss's film competely, and thankfully my fears were groundless. But has he got that control in contract, or was it just people at Universal realising it was best to let him do his stuff? If Serenity is the huge hit we all hope it will be, and that it deserves to be, could the studio start demanding things for any sequels, if they got greedy/stupid? My worst fear is that they might have ultimate rights and changes could be imposed and in extreme the "franchise" (as they might then see it) be taken away from Joss altogether?

It's a genuine question, because I don't know how these things work, and I don't know of Joss still owns the characters and everything else about Serenity.
My feeling is, as long as Joss's vision is pulling in the coin, it will continue to be Joss's vision. And in this case, if it doesn't earn enough, the story will end sooner rather than later.

My love for and devotion to Tim aside (and it is GREAT, have no doubt), having Tim direct the Serenity sequel means that we could have the sequel release around the time of Wonder Woman, and have TWO great movies coming out to look forward to.
Exactly, brownishcoat. I wouldn't worry about Universal forcing things if any sequel does happen - they really do realise that Joss is a very seriously talented person. Obviously, if Joss pitches 4 hours of live tapdancing as Serenity 2: The Search for Feet, they might force him to make a few changes (Johnny Depp playing all the tap dancers, for example) - but from what I've heard from Joss' side, I don't think he has any large issues with Universal.
And Uni's support has been such that it's almost as if they came to Joss. It's really been overwhelming. The execs at the screenings really listened to what we were saying and asked us questions to get more info.

For example, I mentioned that my 2 daughters were flans as well and they stopped me and asked for their ages. That conveys a real interest to me.
Welcome, Kiddo. Pleasure to meet you.
I am all for TIm stepping in with the potential (fingers crossed) trilogy. It would free up some time for Joss. Tim is in fact a genius, "Are You Now or Have You Ever Been" anyone? brilliant.
Even if Tim wrote and directed Joss would be there breaking the story and having the real final say on the script (at least the final say among the creators). We'd get a dose of Joss regardless!
Do you think if they get a go ahead for a second and third movie that they'd film them at the same time? That seems to be the trend nowadays - LOTRs filming all three movies together, Pirates of the Caribbean filming 2-3 together and I think a couple of the Harry Potter movies were filmed at the same time (could be wrong about that one).
There are 12 movies premiering on Sept. 30.
I think Tim directing a co-written script would be amazing. I also think, from the tone of the interview, that Joss would really like to be more involved than just co-writing, because this he seems to think this series his baby -- and given all he's gone through to birth this movie, can you blame him? But given the hectic nature of Joss' future schedule, I'd say the only way we're gonna get a sequel (*cross fingers*) any time soon would be to have Minear direct it.
" There are 12 movies premiering on Sept. 30."

And most are on a very limited release. The only movies released that weekend that will be "wide" release are Into the Blue (Jessica Alba T&A flick) and Serenity.

The Corpse Bride will be going to wide release that weekend after being on a limited release the previous weekend.
Hi, Madhatter - thanks for the welcome.

How wide a release is Serenity getting, then? Do any of you know actual numbers of theatres?
And I hope everyone is fully justified in trusting Universal, but I would prefer to hear that Joss has full legal control, because particular execs might come and go, and I just feel nervous about studios and "franchises".
Kiddo, I don't think the official numbers will be out for another week or so. Best bet is somewhere between 2700 and 3000 screens.

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