Meh. I’ll believe it when I see it.
Disney announced a lot of their big plans for the future in a huge investor presentation last week, but they didn’t announce all of them. There’s one property that I’ve been hearing whispers about that didn’t get mentioned. That property is Firefly. The lack of an announcement about it doesn’t mean, however, that Disney isn’t keen to do something with the Joss Whedon cult phenom. In fact, they’re working on a new Firefly series for Disney+. Development on their Firefly reboot is in such an early stage, however, that they couldn’t make an announcement about it during last week’s Investor Day.
Disney acquired the rights to Firefly in their acquisition of Fox back in 2019. There was no immediate move to do anything with the property, but something has changed. That something is the end of movie theaters.
Movie theaters are done. The biggest chain in the world will likely shutter permanently next month and the others are likely to follow suit. As a result Disney’s focus is shifting away from movies and towards producing programming for streaming platforms. Their investor presentation last week demonstrated this with a strong focus on Disney+ programming. To feed the streaming beast Disney needs more and more TV programming. Specifically, they’d like to have something that’s a draw besides Star Wars and Marvel. One of their plans to up the variety of content on their streaming platform is Firefly.
My source tells me that Disney is in early development on a Firefly reboot. The new show would start the story of Captain Mal Reynolds and his crew aboard the Serenity over from scratch, with an aim to make this a long-running series on Disney+. There is a twist here and the twist is that they see the show as ideal family-friendly programming for Disney+. My source tells me they’re planning to target it more at a PG-adventure, family audience and less at the sort of PG-13 dynamic the original Joss Whedon show went for.
This shift in tone suggests the new version of Firefly might drop characters like Inara, who is basically a prostitute. Instead it’ll probably lean more into the fun and adventure aspect of the universe’s stories. Fans may initially be unhappy, but it’s easy to see a way it could work.
Easier by far to see a lot more ways they could screw the pooch. And since it’s fully-Woke Disney we’re talking about here, I think I know which is the better bet, sorry as I am to have to say it.
As for dumping Inara, well, let’s see here. Shepherd Book, Wash, and Mr Universe all died in Serenity, so they’re gone. From the sound of it, Disney will probably neuter Captain Mal into an indecisive, wimpy man-child, always in search of a shoulder to cry on or a group hug, less Captain Kirk and more Ensign Hamlet. Simon Tam will be rendered hors de transgendeur in a desperate bid to “modernize” the franchise, making it more palatable for today’s non-binary audience. Jayne will finally break out those sassy cocktail dresses he’s kept secreted in a footlocker all this time unbeknownst to the rest of the Firefly crew, mincing around the galley belting out classic Broadway showtunes in a fluttery falsetto. Kaylee, in despair over Simon’s sudden gender uncertainty, will abandon ship to become a nun on Convent, a remote planet settled by Catholic colonists. Eventually, her chronic sexual frustration will drive her to announce a new self-identity: Negro male. She will leave Convent to return to Earth, where she will join BLM and then be killed in a mostly-peaceful riot.
I’d be thrilled to see a properly-done Firefly, but I have my doubts about this one. The word “reboot” itself is a red flag; the show doesn’t need rejiggering or re-imagining or rebooting, it just needs restarting, nothing more. As Glenn quips: “Given what Disney has done to Star Wars, I’m not sure we should celebrate.” Indeed. More than likely, almost certainly, the greatest TV show EVER will be defanged, declawed, deballed, and as far as I’m concerned, defunct.