Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Here comes "Serenity"

Okay, okay...I am often guilty of getting overly excited about an upcoming movie, then suffering minor — sometimes great — disappointment. But the trailer for Joss Whedon’s Serenity debuted online just a few hours ago.

It kicks ass, comrades. It really does.

Serenity springs from Whedon’s Firefly TV series, which Fox unveiled in fall 2002. Firefly was set 500 years from now, shortly after a galaxy-wide civil war ends in victory for the totalitarian Alliance. Mal Reynolds, who fought as an Independent against unification of the planets, captains a Firefly-class spaceship dubbed Serenity. His motley crew includes a preacher, a prostitute, a soldier-of-fortune, a renegade doctor, and a young girl who was victim to mysterious government experiments. Their mission: to dodge Alliance authorities while earning a living smuggling illegal cargo and occasionally sheltering rebel fugitives. The series offered clever writing, thoughtful characters, and was genuinely libertarian through and through. It was the best sci-fi I’d seen on TV since Babylon 5.

The Fox network did what it had to do, of course. It stuck Firefly on Friday nights, television’s graveyard. Then it began airing the series’ episodes out of sequence, making it difficult to follow; the last episode aired was the pilot, fer crissakes! Finally, after ten episodes were broadcast, it dumped the show and began making preparations for memorable fare like Joe Millionaire.

Remarkably, Firefly refused to die. It built a cult viewership. And in 2003, the complete series of 14 episodes (three never before seen) were released in a box of DVDs. And goddamn if that package wasn’t a hit! A movie was greenlighted, to be written and directed by Joss Whedon and to star the original cast. That film, Serenity, is scheduled for release to theaters on September 30.

Buy or rent the Firefly DVD package. You won’t regret it. And watch the trailer for Serenity right here.


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