Nathan Fillion Gets Fans’ Hopes Up With Talk Of Firefly: The Animated Series At New York Comic-Con

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Firefly reunion panel NYCC New York Comic-Con animated series Nathan Fillion Jewel Staite Sean Maher Joss Whedon

For many people, the Firefly reunion panel at New York Comic-Con last weekend was the equivalent of last year's NYCC highlight, The Avengers: The most anticipated event at the con, where fans get to interact with the majority of the cast and get their hopes up about the upcoming project. It seems that every time you get more than two Firefly cast members in the same room, fans get riled up thinking the show is somehow gonna be resurrected. And it doesn't help when Nathan Fillion hints at the prospect of an animated series…!

First, let's talk about the panel. Sean Maher (Simon) and Jewel Staite (Kaylee) were there in a mini-reunion of sorts to screen clips from Browncoats Unite, the Science Channel special with behind-the-scenes footage from the cast about the legacy of the show. But then in came a phone call from Nathan himself! As The Guardian reports, Nathan's voice over the loudspeakers got increasingly distorted, until he instructed fans to look behind them—and in strode Captain Tightpants! I'm not even a little surprised that the fans who went up to the mic for the Q&A portion later were crying, because I probably would've too.

Then Nathan recorded a special message to everyone who couldn't make it to NYCC.

Firefly reunion panel NYCC New York Comic-Con animated series Nathan Fillion Jewel Staite Sean Maher Joss Whedon Nathan Fillion kiss gif

What a guy. As if spirits weren't high enough, Nathan told the packed room, “If we’re dreaming, tell me what you think about this: FireflyThe Animated Series.” You can imagine the uproar. “I think there’s less face to be lost in an animated series,” he added. “I think if there was going to be a second movie, it would have happened by now. That was eight years ago.”

Of course, Nathan has already vocalized his desire to have an animated series; while talking to MTV News last month about Much Ado About Nothing, he offhandedly mentioned the possibility. But stoking the flames was Sean later telling the New York Post, “I know somebody who is actually trying to get that done, who has approached Joss [Whedon, the creator] about it. He used to work with Guillermo del Toro.”

Now, I don't blame sites like The A.V. Club for being cynical about this. The fact that we've gotten the cast to sit in the same room alone is pretty damn impressive and happens quite infrequently. Nearly all of them have separate lives and careers they wouldn't want to (or be able to, contractually) uproot to pick up where they left off with Firefly and Serenity. I'm not sure I'd go so far as to call it “fan-baiting,” because I believe Nathan respects the fanbase enough to not get their hopes up unnecessarily. Most likely is that this is simply a desire of his, and — as he said at the panel — he's just dreaming.

But then again, after Serenity but before the mainstream truly appreciated this cancelled show, Firefly lived on in comic book form, both as miniseries and short stories. The drawing style was well-received by fans; maybe the cast members could record dialogue on their respective TV hiatuses. I don't want to get anyone's hopes up, but I could see it taking a long time to develop but eventually happening. But would it be enough for fans? I know that not seeing Nathan's face would make me love Mal Reynolds just a teeny bit less.

Ah, well. In the meantime, we got to hear the cast joke about what episodes they'd direct. Nathan joked that he'd put Mal in a coma to lessen his own workload (in reality he's a hard worker who never complains). Jewel said she'd like to see Kaylee be more badass: “I want to fire a gun and beat somebody up.” Nathan added to that that Kaylee is actually a Dexter-like killer leading a double life, who dispatches Alliance baddies then knocks on Simon's bunk and says, “Mama needs some me time.” Sean added that Kaylee and Simon would have lots of babies, then he'd become an abusive drunk. Dark, but we like it.

Browncoats Unite airs November 11th on the Science Channel!

Photo: Graphic Policy

.gif: captainfillion on Tumblr