Last year Disney bought 21st Century Fox (the studio) for a hair over seventy BILLION dollars (what's an extra billion between friends?). Many were dismayed that the Mouse now owns an estimated 40% of the entertainment industry (at least by box office takings), but at least fans of superhero films were excited that we'd finally have a bunch of properties that could tie together under one roof. Last week Disney announced a new Fantastic Four film (hopefully done properly this time), and it shouldn't be long before we see a new version of the X-men that integrates with the MCU.
The deal also gave Disney the option over properties on FOX TV channel (which has very little to do with FOX News, which wasn't included in the merger). Today we get a first glimpse of the potential of the acquisition, and while it's something that fans have wanted for nearly two decades, it's not all good news. Reportedly in the works, though at a very early stage, is a reboot of Firefly!
The new show would tell the story of Malcolm Reynolds and his crew from the start; this a complete reboot, not a continuation. The story, the world, the crews characters might all be wildly different. Why? Because Disney want the show to be family friendly.
One of the selling points of the show was its darker nature, an antithesis of Star Trek at the time. Instead of warlike but not that scary Klingons, we got Reavers, who ate your flesh, and other things (and if you were lucky, did it in that order). Instead of straight as an arrow Picard, we got Mal, a war weary opportunist who didn't blink when kicking someone into a spaceship engine. Instead of loveable robot Data, we got edge of the seat crazy robotic River, a teenager who had her head scrambled (and could kill people with her mind). Instead of calm and serene ships counsellor Troy, we got, well, calm and serene ships prostitute (which is a respectable gig, honestly) Inara.
It's possible only Jayne (even with all his guns) and Wash (may he kebab in piece) could be described as family friendly. So, will any of our favourite characters character survive the move to Disney; even worse, will some characters be removed entirely?
And it's not just about the characters on the page. One thing Joss Whedon knows how to do is bring together a collection of actors that "fit". From minute one of the first episode, you knew the actors were their roles, and that they were a mismatched but perfect for each other family. There are fantastic actors around today, but will they bring the same magic that even after just 14 episodes, endures today, nearly 20 years later.
Further to this, Joss Whedon is currently persona non grata in Tinsel Town, and mostly likely has nothing to do with the reboot. After vague allegations from the set of Justice League, where he was brought in to help finish when Zack Synder unfortunately had to back away, things have not been going Joss's way. Ray Fisher, who played Cyborg in the film, retracted a previously glowing statement about Whedon, alleging terrible behaviour on set. Whether physical, racial or other, we do not know the specifics, but just days before WarnerMedia declared "remedial action has already taken place", Whedon announced he was stepping back from his upcoming HBO show "The Nevers". HBO is owned by WarnerMedia.
Firefly is once again showing that no power in the 'verse can stop it, but this might not be the show you are looking for...