Firefly, Doing the Phoenix Thing

http://hollywoodreporter.com/thr/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1969026

Looks like the fans won, to some extent.

Interesting.

I thought the show didn’t make sense in a purely logical context, but it had an interesting style, and some of the episodes were a lot of fun. The acting was mostly good, too.

I thought the show was good, and hinted at greatness. I wish the first season would have been aired in its proper order on Fox and given the entire year to prove itself. I can’t wait for the box set and hope they pull off the movie.

The show didn’t get enough viewers to stay on the air, what makes them think it will make big bucks in theaters? Just because the fans are vocal doesn’t mean there are alot of them.

Yeah I’m not really sure what the hell they are thinking here. A TV movie maybe.

— Alan

If you stuck with it to episode 7, Ariel, the last three aired episodes were really quite spectacular. I’m surprised he managed to pull of a movie deal as well, but he repeatedly expressed how much he loved this show and how he’d fight as long and as hard as it takes to keep it alive.

I’m a little concerned that this could be a turning point for televised science fiction. Either it succeeds, and there’s proof that critically fan acclaimed shows can be profitable despite the objections of TV executives, or it fails miserably, and Fox is shown to have been utterly justified in canning it - and other executives take notice.

Hell I stuck with it through the three finished yet unaired (in the US) episodes), two of which are pretty good, the third kinda sucks - even worse, ends the show on a cliffhanger or sorts, and it wasn’t even an end-of-season episode.

Again I liked the show, once you got used to it and can fit your head around the concept (which isn’t too far from making sense actually). Always went giddy over the no-sounds-in-outer-space deal though :)

— Alan

I think the reason Universal agreed to it is because Firefly has gained an increasingly ravid fanbase since the show got cancelled. The preorder DVDs sales have gone through the roof. Amazon sold out in only 24 hours. And Universal figured that if each of the 4.5 million people who watched it each week went and saw it, that’s around 35 million dollars so at the minimum. If it’s really good, figure in repeat business from a lot of them, and maybe get in new people who are drawn by the critical praise. It’s conceivable this movie could pull $100 million, and it will probably only cost $20 million to make, which means universal pulls a tidy profit. That’s not including international box-office and DVD sales. Really Universal isn’t going to lose much money on this deal, even if it bombed, which i don’t think it will.

To be fair Fox did give it the kiss of death timeslot Friday nights. It’s where Fox shows go to die (I’m pretty excited they moved Boston Public to Fridays actually. I can’t wait for that POS to go off the air). They keep trying to emulate the success of the X-Files which started out on Friday nights, but I guess they forgot it was a really cheap rpoduction that never had a very big audience until they moved it to Sunday. They’re super retarded that way. They produce these ludiocrously expensive shows and then toss them out on a night were nothing has ever indicated they can succeed.

Although I’m a big Firefly fan, the article made it sound like such an original Sci-Fi extravaganza that spawned refrences in SF material after it.

The whole concept/neat ideas of firefly is really just a meld of the three cowboy anime of 1998 (Outlaw Star, Trigun, and Cowboy Bebop).

The Japanese did do the cowboys in space thing first, but apparently Joss Whedon was completely ignorant of them when he came up with the show. Not that sci-fi is any stranger to western themes and stories. The Cantina in Star Wars. Battlestar Galactica was Wagon Train in space. Firefly is more overt with the anachronistic imagery than those examples, of course, in the same way the anime shows were. I think the creators of Trigun and Cowboy and Outlaw all just picked up on that frontier aspect of sci-fi and took it to it’s logical extreme, arriving at the same place Whedon would a couple years later.

Actually, it was the original Star Trek that Roddenberry pitched to the networks as “Wagon Train to the Stars.” (Sorry, gotta keep my geek badge current.)

I’d like to think I’m at least somewhat responsible for the Firefly movie. See, just this last weekend, I deleted the five unwatched episodes of Firefly sitting on my Tivo drive, telling Dawn “I just can’t bring myself to spend the time watching them knowing there will be no resolution to the story.”

So, thank me, folks.

I think 100 million is being very generous. Even if it had a horrible timeslot, I can’t imagine it drumming up that much business in the theaters. And your 20 million budget means scarily low production values for a film, especially if you add in marketing costs, which for some movies can be almost the size of the shooting budget.

Like I said before, rabid Joss Whedon fans are the reason there is a Dvd set, and a theater release. I just don’t believe there are that many fans, those that are just seem to yell louder than anyone else. Same thing with Buffy, you had a vocal minority that would go on about how great it was, but it didn’t get enough viewers to keep in on the WB.

Anyone want to bet that this Firefly movie ends up in turnaround and never gets made? I don’t get Whedon at all. He blew up the last two seasons of Buffy to make Firefly, a hackneyed blend of Gunsmoke and Star Trek, and is still trying to build it into a franchise despite the yawns of everyone but a few thousand fervent geeks. Let it go, Joss. A Buffy or even an Angel movie would make five times the money that a Firefly movie would bring in.

I wonder if there’s an addendum to this deal, that the Firefly movie is funded only if Whedon lends his writing talents to other, unspecified projects, or begins work on a Buffy flick. I mean, come on – a major studio is committing cash to a movie based on a TV show that lasted what? six episodes? It makes no sense.

I think 100 million is being very generous. Even if it had a horrible timeslot, I can’t imagine it drumming up that much business in the theaters. And your 20 million budget means scarily low production values for a film, especially if you add in marketing costs, which for some movies can be almost the size of the shooting budget.

It shouldn’t be very expensive. The sets from the series were never destroyed, instead they were put into storage which is highly unusual. The Cast doesn’t feature any names, I bet they’ll use most of the same crew. The show was produced pretty inexpensively compared to feature films. We’ll have the same cast, same crew, same director, same sets, probably the same composer for the score, maybe the same effects company. If 20 million is just the production cost that’s five times as much as was being outlaid for the same duration on television. That would mean a pretty big bump for a larger cast, better effects, location shoots, a longer shoot in general, etc. 100 M for domestic boxoffice is probably lofty, but given good reviews I think turning a profit should be feasible. And when you consider worldwide receits and DVD sales, seems like a sure thing to me.

edit: I am the math not good, sleepy.

Why would they need location shoots in a show set in space?

If they need any surreal planets to land on, all they need to do is whip out a CG stage and pay an effects company half of what it’d cost to fly a shoot out to a beautiful or barren remote location, and I think recent films have proven that CGI sets can be more than believable for such things.

Silly me, no, I haven’t seen the show. I’m making half-assed assumptions here. ;) That Friday timeslot prevented me from every seeing it, so can you fill me in? I am rather curious how real locations would be a factor.

You’ve not seen the show, have you?

I’m going to edit my above message cause it should be five time, not ten (assuming 2 or so million per ep average).

Yeah, yeah, everything’s been done. As Denny pointed out, even those anime were not the first to do cowboys in space. Still, Firefly completely wrecks all of those shows in writing and characterization, which were it’s real strong points. Can’t wait for the movie.

Shock. And. Awe.

There are no aliens on Firefly, it’s all people who’ve spread out since Earth became inhabitable. Since they need to find planets that will hold humans, their landscapes aren’t all that surreal. It’s been a while since I saw the show, I’m sure there might be an exception or two, but for the most part people need to live on planets similar to Earth, I suppose because not everyone can afford to go around terrarforming.

Yeah, yeah, everything’s been done. As Denny pointed out, even those anime were not the first to do cowboys in space. Still, Firefly completely wrecks all of those shows in writing and characterization, which were it’s real strong points. Can’t wait for the movie.[/quote]

Er. I don’t think I’d agree that Firefly wrecked the characterization or writing of Cowboy Bebop. It was a damned high quality show.