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Serenity Trailer Released Today

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There are a lot of movies I’m anticipating this year. I’m thinking The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy should be pretty good (I’m reading the books now) and Star Wars Episode III might actually be decent. I definitely am pumped up for War of the Worlds and Batman Begins, and I am quite certain that Peter Jackson’s King Kong later this year is going to kick ass. No doubt there are plenty of other movies, as well, that I’m not even thinking of right now and, as is usual, I will surely find many smaller movies to get excited about over the course of the year.

However, the movie that I most want to see this year, without question, is Serenity. This is a science fiction flick that is coming out September 30th. Now, this is a movie that you’ve either probably heard of and are excited about or you have never heard mentioned before. Serenity is a movie written and directed by Joss Whedon which also happens to be a feature film spun off from the television show Firefly, which aired for eleven episodes on Fox before the evil, evil network just up and canceled it after screwing around with the show’s scheduling, airing and promotion. Basically, they killed it and it never was given enough of a chance to find an audience.

The show was awesome, period. It was absolutely brilliant. It was a science-fiction-slash-western that had people flying through space with six shooters. They wore western type get ups and flew around in a beat up, run down ship that half the time barely stayed in the air. There was nothing clean and sparse about the sets like you saw with Star Trek but instead was dirty and gritty and none of the characters—save for Inara, the prostitute—were particularly couth or refined. Within the show’s future universe, you have the Alliance as the overarching universal government (which is all clean and sparse and sterile) and then you have the cobbled together crew of Serenity (the ship in Firefly) who are rebels and outlaws and shifty characters who are looking to keep away from the Alliance for a variety of reasons, often keeping to the outskirts of the universe. But these people are not villains or evil, they’re more scruffy heroes that maybe have had some clashes with the law, but who are ultimately good people simply trying to avoid an oppressive regime.

If the show had been allowed to live, it no doubt would have gone in some incredible directions. As it was, the full fourteen episode run found on the DVD set was amazing, but it left many storylines unresolved.

Then, somehow, this failed and canceled series was given a greenlight by Universal to be turned into a full fledged motion picture, which is the sort of miracle that makes this world sufferable at times. It was given a fairly big budget (though a bit small by major sci fi movie standards) and Joss seemed to be given quite a bit of artistic freedom to make an awesome movie based in the Firefly world with the Firefly characters.

So what’s the point of all this? It’s to tell you that the trailer for Serenity has been released today and is available on Apple’s movie trailer site. I’ve watched the trailer four times so far and it is magnificent. All the characters I know and love are back and the wit seems to be there, as most evidenced in the “Oh God, oh God, we’re all gonna die” line, which is pure Joss Whedon funny. The action scenes are clearly bigger and better than anything ever seen on the television show and the special effects look to be very impressive. The show was incredibly entertaining, with humor and action and great character development, fun dialogue, excellent acting, a fascinating future world and intriguing plot developments, a great bad guy in the Alliance and horror movie type monsters by way of the Reavers, not to mention all kinds of convoluted relationships and personal secrets and so on. I expect the movie to be the same, but on a much larger and more impressive scale. Which means you should keep your eye on this, because this is a movie to see. It’s the movie to see this year.

Go watch the trailer. Do it!

(Cross posted on my arts and culture blog, The Between)

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About Joel Caris

  • Liam Gallagher

    Batman Begins is gonna kick major arse this summer.

  • Fox so screwed with Firefly, never gavce it a chance to thrive. Case in point, after watching the premiere episode, “The Train,” I did not think I was going to like it. As I saw more, the more I sort of liked it, then, the last aired episode, the real premiere, it all really clicked, that was a great episode that did everything a premiere should do. If aired in order it probably would have done much better.

    I have seen the trailer, and liked it a lot, I am really looking forward to this. Originally this was slated for, I believe, a May or June release, but got moved so it would not get swallowed up by higher profile films.

  • Joel – I couldn’t agree with you more. I’m bursting at the seems to see this one. I haven’t seen the trailer yet — will watch it in the morn as it’s 2 am here…

  • Chris–I think if they showed the original two hour premiere that’s on the DVD box set, the show may have fared much better. After watching Train Job, I was intrigued but not sold–and that was as a huge Whedon fan. I was no doubt going to keep watching, but it was way too hard to get a feel for the many characters and the universe in that episode and all the exposition, meanwhile, made the episode itself less entertaining than most of the others.

    Damn Fox. I give them credit for taking risks on creative shows, but I damn them for so often killing them without properly supporting them or giving them a chance.

    And yeah, last I’d heard it was actually going to be hitting right about now, in April. I hate that I have to wait until September, but hopefully it will do better than and we’ll get the two more films that the cast is signed for.

    Eric–I’m pretty sure you’re going to love the trailer. It’s awesome. Heavy emphasis on the action. I would have liked to see a bit more on the characters, but this will do and I think it may just appeal to the mainstream audience that doesn’t have a clue what Firefly is. I hope so, anyway.

    The trailer, by the way, is going to be attached to a film this Friday–probably Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. (Must read faster!)

  • Chris–okay, looking back at my comment, I probably just should have written, “I agree.”

  • Fox wanted more action in the premiere, from what I heard, but the problem as a viewer is getting dumped in the middle of an action scene with no feel for the characters, plus there are a lot of primaries, even for an ensemble….

  • Just watched it and it left me with the chills, in the good sense. It looks great, and I love how they’re continuing with the River storyline — makes perfect sense.

    Whedon has to walk the fine line here by bringing his fans over while also appealing to a mainstream audience, and I think this trailer does that brilliantly.

    I also remember reading that Mal is going to be a bit darker than he was in the series and you can see that side here as well.

    I only hope the ensemble cast isn’t pushed into the background for an action blockbuster type deal. Each character brings so much to the story.

    Speaking of… where’s the priest dude? I don’t remember seeing him in the trailer.

  • Just watched it again and sure enough, no priest dude. Maybe his “moral unease” witht the naughtiness of the crew got the best of him.

    And man: how great are Adam Baldwin and Alan Tudyk (who actually played a wacky priest of his own recently on Arrested Development)? I could watch them in anything.

  • Chris–Yes, they wanted more action. You know, I’m sure sometimes network execs aren’t as stupid as they are made out to be, but sometimes you have to wonder.

    Eric–I hadn’t heard that about Mal going darker but it certainly does jive with what’s in the trailer. Particularly notice how he looks when he says “I don’t murder children.” Looks like it’s been a bad day for him at that point.

    Book is indeed nowhere to be seen in the trailer, but he is supposed to be in the movie. I think he might have a reduced role (rumors that he might not actually be on the ship with the rest of the crew) but we still are supposed to find out more about him.

    And yeah, Adam Bladwin is perfect for his character. Remember the episode wit that orange cap? Sheer genius. And Alan Tudyk is grand. The AD appearance was great, but I love most, aside from his Firefly character, him playing a pirate in Dodgeball. That was just magnificent.

  • “Jaynestown” was one of the most brilliant pieces of television I’ve ever seen. “A Man Named Jayne” is a song that no one can ever forget. What a bizarre, hilarious futuristic/apocalyptic adventure that was.

  • I am happy to report that both Kaylee and Book are in the movie. If you frame by frame you can catch them in the trailer, though they are not prominently featured. I’ve also spoken with some folks who’ve been to screenings (I get to see it next Thursday, woohoo!) and they assure me that there is plenty of Kaylee and some Book.