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Fox is Willing to Bring Firefly Back if Joss Whedon Is, Too

…which means it’s still pretty unlikely.

In the early 2000s, a bunch of people figured it would be cool to make a science-fiction western show. They were right, and even though it was canceled after only a single season, Firefly remains one of the most adored science-fiction television shows. It’s been 15 years since Firefly was on (12 years since the movie, Serenity), but that hasn’t stopped fans from hoping and wishing for a return. Last month, word quietly got out that at the very least, Fox is willing to put it on air.

A brief blurb from Rotten Tomatoes in January revealed that Fox President of Entertainment David Madden would be willing to put Firefly back on the air if Joss Whedon came back to run the show. That’s about it, and unfortunately for fans, it really doesn’t bring the show any closer to coming back.

Fox hasn’t been the main obstacle — that would probably be time. 15 years is a lot of it, and since then, the cast has gone on to other things while Whedon has gone into movies. If it happened, it almost certainly wouldn’t reunite the original cast (Ron Glass’s passing notwithstanding) — while the world of Firefly is interesting on its own, it’d be explored by different characters.

Then, in a 2013 interview with Coming Soon, Whedon said of bringing Firefly back, “If all the planets align that would be great, but I’m not going to do what I did the first time and move heaven and earth to make it happen.” Needless to say, 2013 was a while ago, but at the very least, it’s reasonable to conclude that a Firefly reboot wouldn’t be the same kind of passion project the original was, which was one of the things that made it great.

People change as time goes on, and maybe at some point those planets will align — in that case, at least we know Fox is receptive to the idea. But, I wouldn’t be surprised if those brown coats stay in the closet for good.

Via comicbook.com