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Firefly Fans Could Be Getting Great News Soon

It's been, gosh, almost two whole decades since Firefly went off the air, and the show's fans have been peppered with false hope at least once a year ever since. Rumors of reunion specials, Serenity sequels, and Netflix reboots have made the rounds like so many signals you can't stop. Nathan Fillion cosplayed as Captain Reynolds on Castle, which devotees saw as a sure sign that the crew would keep flying soon enough. An MMO was announced in 2013, complete with voice work from the original cast, before it died on the vine without so much as a "sorry we got you all worked up" from the development team.

It is, therefore, with some degree of caution that the following update is relayed: Word is making the rounds that Disney is working on a Firefly reboot, intended for release on its Disney+ streaming service.

That update comes courtesy of Giant Freakin Robot, and while a reminder to do like The Who taught you and not get fooled again might come as a given, the rumor appears to have legs. It's all thanks to the continuing downturn in the financial viability of theatrical releases, and a company-wide shift towards more televised content. Firefly, which joined the Disney vault as part of the company's 2019 acquisition of all Fox entertainment properties, is seen as a viable universe to explore given the studio's direct-to-consumer emphasis. 

But it's not the return of a beloved cult franchise that's turning the most heads — it's the rumored Disneyfication of the series that appears to be coming with it.

Firefly might be coming out of the black

Per GFR's source, Disney's return to the 'Verse is set to make some staggering changes, not the least of which is that the series would reportedly be a hard reboot, recasting and restarting every character from the beginning. That's bound to draw the ire of diehard fans, as will the studio's proposed plan to make the new series "PG rated" in the hopes of creating a more family-friendly end product.

Firefly, in its short-lived run on Fox back in 2002, was a decidedly bleak story defined by its morally gray plots and characters. In the 'Verse, prostitution is a noble line of work, dogs are eaten, and high-ranking boss battle minions get kicked into turbines to better make a point. The good guys do bad things, and the bad guys do worse things, with frequent allusions to forced brain surgery, wholesale civilian slaughter, and sexual violence factoring into the show's plot. It seems like a peculiar universe to try and sand the edges off of, but that's reportedly what Disney intends to do.

Details on the show's production are slim at the moment, with reports that the Firefly reboot is in such early days that it wasn't yet ready for Disney's recent Investors Day presentation. Perhaps the biggest question on fans' minds will be whether or not original showrunner and series creator Joss Whedon will be involved, given the recent string of bizarre allegations surrounding the acclaimed filmmaker. There's no word yet, but it seems unlikely that the show will break atmo without Whedon at least offering his two cents.

While Browncoats wait for more news about the rumored reboot, there's still plenty of Firefly lore to explore. Since the show went off the air, Dark Horse and Boom! Studios have produced dozens of comic book continuations of the story, written by geek royalty like Patton Oswalt and even Joss Whedon himself. The franchise has spawned novelization, reference books, RPGs, board games, and a cook book since its untimely removal from the airwaves. Given that the original series only lasted half a season, the fact that it spawned so much content might seem impossible — but then again, that's what makes it mighty.