Brendon’s update: I asked Kate to write the following retraction of her original Firefly reboot article. There’s not much I can add to her comments but I want to assure readers that, while the original story slipped past when I was busy elsewhere and not in communication with Rich and Kate until after it was published, I’ll be doing everything I can to prevent any issues like this in the future.
Kate’s final update:
I strongly believe that the mark of character is the ability for an individual to stand up and honestly admit when they are wrong and have made a mistake. That is what I am here to do today.
In the course of reporting from San Diego Comic Con this past weekend, I believed that I had stumbled upon a breaking story regarding a possible reboot of Firefly on the Science Channel.
The first instinct of a reporter, when they stumble upon something as big and exclusive as this story, were it true, is to rush rush rush to get it to press so that they are the first person to report on the situation. Which is what I did.
And, I shouldn’t have. I should have taken more time to verify the facts I was presenting in my article – for the follow up statements I requested from both Joss Whedon and Debbie Myers of the Science Channel to come through, for someone to process the tape of the press conference so I could watch it again. Because, had I done that, I likely would have come to a different conclusion as to the intended levity of Whedon and Myers’ statements in that conference.
I would like to present the data I had originally collected. The circumstances behind this data might clarify why I came to the conclusion I did:
During the press conference I was the first person up to ask a question and after that I sat down very close to the dais as the rest of the conference continued. I took ten pages of notes on the remarks of the cast, Joss Whedon, Debbie Myers and Tim Minear.
In my actual notes from the press conference, the statements about the possible MMoRPG and the hypothetical sequel are inadvertently categorized as having happened one following the other – which upon review of the tape is not true.
I believed on leaving the conference that I had audio tape which substantiated my notes. Sadly, I did not, as there seems to have been a malfunction with my recorder and I only got 53 seconds of the conference.
However, upon leaving the press conference, I ran into Debbie Myers (whom I have interviewed previously) on my way out of the Hilton. Upon seeing her, I informed her of the virility of my Tweet about a potential reboot of Firefly (something like 150 re-Tweets in ten minutes). She told me that was great, and that she was very excited about the reboot.
I asked her if she would be willing to meet with me to go on the record to verify the statements I’d pulled out of the press conference. She said yes and directed me to her assistant to set up an appointment.
I now believe that she thought I was talking about the 10th anniversary documentary, not a reboot of the whole series.
Upon learning that I did not have audio tape of the conference, I still believed that the statements of Myers to me substantiated the reboot concept. I wrote my piece and Rich and I made a judgment call to go with the story as it was written and to later continue to try to verify the context.
Since that time, I have worked diligently to get Debbie Myers and/or Joss Whedon to go on the record about this matter, to no avail. Further, four days after the publication of my article, evidence that conclusively shows me that I was incorrect in my analysis of the statements in that press conference has come to light.
What’s more, Scott Allie, an editor at Dark Horse Comics who works on the Firefly comic series Tweeted the following at Rich this morning:
Please delete that inept Firefly story & I’ll pay for your Thai dinner in LA tonight, thereby having done you 2 favors today.
Allie has also gone on the record with the blog Furious Nads as to my story:
In his own panel, Joss was asked about this, and said it wasn’t on the table. I had wondered if he’d want to spend his Avengers clout on a Serenity sequel, and, to keep it simple, he replied in the negative. And we’ve been talking about the new Serenity comics, and in that context have talked about new TV or film stuff, and none of it is on the table. Clearly he was kidding on the Firefly panel. Not to say he’d never do it, but nothing that reporter concluded was accurate.
Allie has more than reasonable access to Whedon; he also has such good insider knowledge of the Firefly franchise that I am completely satisfied that my original article was incorrect.
So, sadly, I have to now report that there is no intended imminent Firefly reboot in the works.
If I ever receive direct information that this statement is wrong, I’ll be back here to tell you, dear readers.
I am sorry for any angst my article or this subsequent retraction has caused amongst the dedicated Browncoats of the world. I honestly reported on what believed the context to have been and know now that I was incorrect. This is a learning moment for me and I am unlikely to rush to press with a story of this magnitude again without first ensuring it is, as my editor Brendon exhorts, “completely bulletproof.”
And now the previous versions of this story, for transparency.
Kate Kotler updates us:
In the course of writing the below report on the Firefly 10th Anniversary press conference from San Diego today I stated that Joss Whedon was seriously considering a reboot of the entire Firefly franchise, to air on the Science Channel, and following their upcoming reunion documentary.
I do honestly, personally believe that my report from this afternoon is accurate. Brendon disagrees and has cited his reasons for believing that Whedon was joking: remarks made by Joss Whedon in a further panel later this evening to the effect that he has no plans as yet to return to television; comments from Whedonesque, who have good access to Whedon, stating that there is definitely no reboot in the works.
I have continued to work to either confirm or disprove my assertion that a new series of this show, including the original cast, is imminent. I have reached out to both Joss Whedon and the Science Channel, asking to confirm my reading of Joss’ remarks and the conclusion I made in my article.
I am still waiting on a reply.
Kate Kotler writes for Bleeding Cool;
Out of the 10th Anniversary Firefly Reunion panel came a surprise announcement which will delight Browncoats the world over:
Bleeding Cool was on the scene when Joss Whedon and The Science Channel’s Debbie Myers confirmed to a packed room of journalists that if the planned Firefly reunion movie performs well that we can expect a full Firefly series reboot. And, it seems as if Whedon plans to wipe the slates clean and bring back the entire original cast.
“The opening sequence [of the Firefly reboot] is a conversation between Wash and Book,” said Whedon quite, quite seriously to the amazed Firefly cast and crew on the press panel with him Friday in San Diego.
“Have I never talked to you about this?” He asked Nathan Fillion, seated to his left.
To this point, Whedon has seldom discussed the decision to kill off the characters portrayed by Alan Tudyk and Ron Glass in the 2005 release, Serenity. To critics and fans, alike, this decision provided a finality which indicated that it would be unlikely that a reunion or reboot would ever be possible.
Now we know, that perception was incorrect.
Some are supposing that because Whedon followed the comment with an offhanded remark about rebooting the series with a younger cast (“Zac Effron as Simon…”) that bringing back Wash and Book is more of Whedon’s patented “snark” and are not taking the concept of a reboot seriously.
Not so; immediately upon confirming that, yes, he would like to head back to the ‘Verse again, The Science Channel’s General Manager, Debbie Myers, stated emphatically, “We can help you with that!”
Regardless, it is clear that even after a decade, the impact of the short-lived sci fi series is still being felt by both fans and the cast.
“[Doing Firefly] taught me how to act,” said Nathan Fillion of his involvement with the show, “Out of [the show] I got some of the best work I’ve ever done and a movie, I really couldn’t ask for more.”
“I have much more perspective,” said Alan Tuydk of watching the series again for the first time, “Everything is a discovery again after ten years.”
Bleeding Cool will continue to work to confirm the exact details of the promised reboot and the confirmed movie. Stay tuned!
Kate Kotler is the author of the Geek Girl on the Street Reports column and the co-host of the Keep Your Pants On podcast for Bleeding Cool. A Chicago based freelance writer, you can read Kate’s personal musings on her website and follow her on Twitter @adorkablegrrl.