The tears were flowing at Firefly‘s 10th anniversary panel at Comic-Con, and they weren’t just coming from devoted fans. The cast and producers of the cult classic got quite emotional on stage while discussing their time on the series and what it meant to them. Read on for highlights from the event.
WHERE IT ALL BEGAN | Although Avengers director Joss Whedon is now a movie superstar, he still recalled his time on the late series as one of the best times in his career. “We always knew from the very beginning that we were making something for the right reasons, in the right way,” he said, adding that his stars were “the best cast I’ll ever work with.” Leading man Nathan Fillion (now TV’s Castle), meanwhile, gave credit to the show for giving him a chance. “Firefly was a lot of firsts for me,” he shared. “’He’s good, but we don’t know if he can carry a show’ — that’s what I got a lot. Joss Whedon gave me the best character I’ve ever played.”
SPACE FAMILY | What was the key to the great chemistry between the cast, who clearly still enjoy each other’s company? “Right at the beginning, when we first started shooting the series, Nathan came up to all the actors and said, ‘We’re learning all the names [of the cast and crew],’” described Alan Tudyk. “It became a game [that] brought everybody together as a family.” Fillion also got props from Whedon. “There was never a moment from the time we met where I did not think he was the Captain,” said the creator. “He is there to make sure everybody is there having the best time, doing their best work.” One unnamed guest star who wasn’t very nice to the female stars on the show even “got a taste of what Nathan’s like when somebody threatens his loved ones. … He gets very Canadian.”
TEARS FOREVER | When asked to talk about what the fans have meant to him, Whedon was clearly verklempt and took in a deep breath. After the crowd started cheering, “We love you,” the geek hero, Fillion and Summer Glau also started dabbing at their eyes. “When you’re telling a story, you’re trying to connect to people in a particular way,” Whedon finally spoke. “The way in which you guys have inhabited this world, this universe, have made you part of it. You’re part of the story. You’re living in Firefly. When I see you guys, I don’t think there’s a show. I think that’s what the world is like. There’s spaceships. The story is alive.”
MORE SPACE SAGAS | When an audience member asked if they’d ever consider doing an animated continuation, Whedon joked, “I get it, but for some reason, I would be more interested in doing it as a a radio show.” However, more comics from Dark Horse, which counts the Firefly titles as its best sellers ever, are on the way. “Zack [Whedon] and I just spent some time [talking about] how to do some comics [telling stories] in the future and not just in the past,” revealed Whedon.
SERENITY NOW | Whedon described Firefly‘s big-screen foray as “one of the finest nervous breakdowns a man can have. I was inconsolable. It changed me. It changed the way I work and the way I operate.”
WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN… | What would Whedon have changed about the Firefly finale if he knew it was going to be the only season? “I don’t think I would have killed anybody,” he replied. “[It would have been] a different animal and it has different needs. We would have delved into the Blue Sun conspiracy… And we would have learned about Book and Inara.”
HAT TRICK | Jayne’s famous hat came from “one of the women who worked in the office,” shared Adam Baldwin, who asked executive producer Tim Minear if he could wear it through the whole episode. The EP wasn’t too keen on the idea, but Baldwin said, “I’m doing it. Joss isn’t here.’ … This is a goldmine. This is like a birthday cake in a wasteland.”
KEEPSAKE TO REMEMBER | Whedon has a painting in his house that Alan Tudyk (now on Suburgatory) commissioned from his artist sister. It depicts the creator protecting a firefly in a glass jar.Follow @VladaGelman